22 March 2017

#581 :: LIVE Blues Recording Wednesday :: James Cotton (RIP), Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters (22 March 2017)

The Blues Room #581
Wednesday 22 March 2017
9pm-10pm NZ time, FreeFM89.0

This episode is dedicated to the late James Henry Cotton aka Mr Superharp (July 1, 1935 – March 16, 2017). Not only was Cotton one of the greatest sidemen of Muddy Waters, but Cotton was a master in his own right as band leader of his own blues band. This episode features a fantastic LIVE recording of Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters, and James Cotton on tour promoting Waters' 1977 album, Hard Again. 

It was at a time when Johnny Winter had only recently recovered from past addictions and blues giant Muddy Waters was facing a decline in his career brought on by illness as well as the 1975 collapse of Chess Records. Steve Paul of Blue Sky brought both musicians together. The results of his investment soon paid off and Winter's childhood dream of playing alongside his hero Muddy Waters came to fruition on the album Hard Again in 1977. Hard Again had a raw, expressive feel and hearkened back to Waters Chess Records days, and the outstanding musicianship and intimate exuberance exceeded all expectations earning Waters a Grammy. 

The Hard Again tour combined the respected powerhouse of Waters, Winter, and James Cotton with musicians from the Hard Again sessions. Although this particular collaboration was short-lived, it has provided blues fans a rare opportunity to indulge in the work of three hugely important musical figures whose respect for each other is evidently unflinching. Two live albums, Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live and Breakin It Up, Breakin It Down, have allowed a glimpse of the concerts from 1977 and '78, but this Boston performance has never previously seen the light of day. Echoes proudly presents the entire WBCN-FM broadcast of a performance at the Boston Music Hall on February 26, 1977, digitally remastered. Thank you James Cotton, thank you Johnny Winter, and thank you Muddy Waters. You are BLUES. Nuff said. Enjoy.

Muddy Waters: Vocals & Guitar
Johnny Winter: Vocals & Guitar
James Cotton: Vocals & Harmonica
Bob Margolin: Guitar
Pinetop Perkins: Piano
Charles Calmese: Bass
Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith: Drums

Rocket 88
Mama Talk To Your Daughter
Mannish Boy
WBCN DJ Talks And Interviews Pinetop Perkins
You Don't Have To Go
Got My Mojo Working
WBCN DJ Interview With Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters & James Cotton
The James Cotton Blues Band - One More Mile

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