James Cotton Cotton Mouth Man

James Cotton is not the kind of musician to let a little health problem get in his way. In his case, however, his health issue wasn’t so little. After battling throat cancer throughout the 1990s, Cotton lost the ability to sing. Fortunately for him, he plays the harp just as well as anyone. Having a few friends help him out on his new album Cotton Mouth Man doesn’t hurt either.

Joe Bonamassa shows off his vocal chops on the title track featuring Cotton’s blistering harmonica. “Mississippi Mud” pulls back on the tempo, but Keb Mo’s spirited vocals shine through. Another highlight comes from Ruthie Foster’s powerful take on “Wrapped Around My Heart”. Other guests include Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, and Delbert McClinton.

After decades on the road and trying times, bluesmen like James Cotton continue to play and record music. Why? A passion for the music. Passion that pushes him to keep the blues alive and well.