WXRT'S BLUES BREAKERS TO PREMIERE TWO TRACKS FROM HARMONICA LEGEND JAMES COTTON'S COTTON MOUTH MAN
On Monday, March 25, Tom Marker, host of Chicago radio station WXRT-FM's Blues Breakers program, will premiere two new songs from Grammy-winning harmonica giant James Cotton's upcoming CD, Cotton Mouth Man. The CD, to be released on Tuesday, May 7, is a joyous celebration of Cotton's 69 years as a professional musician (beginning at age nine). Recorded in Nashville and produced by Grammy-winning producer/ songwriter/ drummer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Joe Louis Walker, Susan Tedeschi), the album is a trip through sounds and scenes from Cotton's long and storied career. Cotton co-wrote seven of the tracks with Hambridge (who co-wrote five additional tracks). The songs were inspired by Cotton's colorful and sometimes perilous life and his memories of the Mississippi Delta, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Memphis, Sun Records, Chicago, and Muddy Waters. Throughout the CD Cotton's blast-furnace harmonica sound and larger-than-life personality are front and center.
Helping Cotton tell his stories and showcase his music are guests Gregg Allman, Joe Bonamassa, Ruthie Foster, Warren Haynes, Delbert McClinton, and Keb Mo. Other vocals are handled by Darrell Nulisch, who has been singing in Cotton's band for many years. Members of Cotton's road band -- Jerry Porter, Noel Neal, and Tom Holland -- are also on board for some songs. Forming the core of the backing band on the CD are Hambridge (drums), Rob McNelley (guitar), Chuck Leavell (keyboards), and Glenn Worf (bass). Tommy MacDonald and Colin Linden each add guitar to one track. Cotton, who after a bout with throat cancer turned the vocal duties over to others, was inspired by the sessions to return to the microphone, singing his own Bonnie Blue (the name of the plantation where he was born), and making Cotton Mouth Man the most personal, celebratory and just plain fun recording of his seven-decade career.
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