March 20, 2017
Blues legend James Cotton passed away Thursday. He was 81.
Cotton, dubbed "Mr. Superharp," was born on a cotton farm in Tunica, Mississippi. He came to prominence in the Fifties when he cut two singles for the fledging label Sun Records and performed gigs with Muddy Waters. In 1966, he formed the James Cotton Band, issuing a self-titled debut the next year. In the Seventies, he recorded for Buddha and Capitol, reuniting with Waters for LPs produced by guitarist Johnny Winter. The first, Hard Again, came out in 1977 and won a Grammy. Cotton continued to record throughout the Eighties, including a run on Alligator Records, and won the Best Traditional Blues Album Grammy for his Deep in the Blues LP in 1997.
His most recent album was Cotton Mouth Man, which came out in 2013 and was nominated for a Grammy. Cotton earned six Living Blues Awards in his lifetime and 10 Blues Music Awards.