James Cotton


Grammy nominated for 2010 Traditional Blues Album Of The Year! The blues harp master returns to Alligator! A straight-up shot of James Cotton at his hard-blowing best, backed by his tight, road-tested touring band. The spotlight shines directly on Cotton’s ferocious playing and huge sound throughout, as he fires up the band for an exhilarating collection of breathless boogies, infectious shuffles and sweet, simmering blues. "Among the greats of all time, He blazes on harp with brilliant virtuosity,"--Rolling Stone

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1. Buried Alive In The Blues 3:31
2. Heard You're Getting Married 4:59
3. Find Yourself Another Fool 2:54
4. Sad Sad Day 4:59
5. Change 2:56
6. How Blue Can You Get? 5:01
7. With The Quickness 2:32
8. Since I Met You Baby 6:13
9. Going Down Main Street 3:50
10. That's All Right 5:12
11. Let Yourself Go 3:05
12. Blues For Koko 3:08

2010 Grammy Nominated For Best Traditional Blues Album Of The Year

Dedicated to the memory of Koko Taylor

James Cotton
Slam Allen Vocals and Guitar (left channel)
Tom Holland Guitar (right channel), Vocal on “Sad Sad Day”
Noel Neal Bass
Kenny Neal, Jr. Drums
Ronnie James Weber plays bass on “Sad Sad Day”

Produced by James Cotton, Jacklyn Hairston and Derek O’Brien
Recorded and mixed by Stuart Sullivan at Wire Recording, Austin, TX
Mixing assistance by Bruce Iglauer
Mastered by Collin Jordan and Bruce Iglauer at The Boiler Room, Chicago, IL
James Cotton photos by Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve
Band photos by Dusty Blues
Packaging design by Kevin Niemiec
Alligator logo design by Michael Trossman

James Cotton is booked by The Rosebud Agency:


James Cotton plays Seydel Harmonicas exclusively (
Tom Holland endorses Saint Blues Guitar Workshop Guitars (

Special thanks to: The James Cotton Blues Band, Rupert Oysler of Seydel Harmonicas,
Stuart Sullivan, Derek O’Brien, Bruce Iglauer and the Alligator Records family.

It is with great pleasure and pride that we welcome a true blues legend back to Alligator Records. James “Mr. Superharp” Cotton, over the course of a 66-year career (starting at the age of nine!), has earned his place as a world icon of blues harmonica. His signature gigantic harp sound and blast-furnace attack are unmatched, even as he turns 75 years old.

James learned from other blues giants—Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf, and of course Muddy Waters, at whose side he played for over a decade. He began recording as a teenage band leader, at Memphis’ Sun Records. He appeared on many of Muddy’s later classic sides, including the famed Live At Newport album. Since the mid-1960s, he’s led his own all-star bands of world-class players, touring relentlessly. He’s cut almost 30 albums, combining his incendiary high-energy boogies with the deepest and sweetest of slow blues, the blues he first played as a boy in the Mississippi Delta and perfected on the South Side of Chicago.

These days James leaves the singing to his band, but every time he raises that harp to his lips, the sheer force and ferocity of his music reaffirms his status as Mr. Superharp Himself, an undisputed giant of the blues.
Bruce Iglauer