James Cotton – Dealin With The Devil


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James Cotton – Dealin With The Devil

James Cotton (vocals/harmonica) is one of the Giants of Blues. Born 1st July, 1935 in Mississippi. He ran away from home at the age of 9, after hearing Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), on the radio, found his home, was taken in by him, and toured with him for the next six years. He played with Howlin’ Wolf for two years, before joining Muddy Waters in 1954, who he stayed with till 1966. During that time he played harmonica on numerous Muddy Waters blues classics, and recorded for the Chess Records Label, including, “Got My Mojo Working”, which is regarded by many Waters fans as one of his finest moments on record.

It was during this time that James Cotton came to be regarded as one of the harmonica greats, and is regarded along with Little Walter and Walter Horton from Chicago, and Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), his mentor, as Blues Harmonicas most important exponents.

Beginning in 1960, James Cotton undertook solo appearances, and toured Europe. He went solo in 1966, and his high energy shows, soulful vocals and extraordinary harmonica playing produced some of blues finest moments for the next 20 years. James Cotton moved easily between large bands complete with horn sections, to more basic blues combos, and he can also perform the more basic “down home” blues styles. His recordings feature all of the above, plus a style of soul vocal not unlike Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland.

It is considered that James Cotton’s career since the mid 1980’s has been in a period of slow decline, especially to those who can remember him turning somersaults on stage in the 60’s & 70’s whilst playing extraordinary harp solos without missing a note. His great recordings are considered to have occurred in the decade following his departure from the Muddy Waters Band, and it is from this period that the recordings contained on this CD come from.


James Cotton – Dealin With The Devil

01. I Need You So Bad
02. Don’t Start Me Talking
03. Dealin’ With The Devil
04. The Creeper
05. V8 Ford Blues
06. Turn On Your Lovelight
07. Southside Boogie
08. There Is Something On Your Mind
09. Knock On Wood
10. So Glad You’re Mine
11. Diggin’ My Potatoes
12. You Know It Ain’t Right
13. Jelly Jelly