Harmonica master James Cotton to perform in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Harmonica master James Cotton to perform in Grass Valley

Grammy Award-winning harmonica master James “Mr. Superharp” Cotton and his band will celebrate the release of his new CD, “Cotton Mouth Man,” with a live performance at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley Thursday (May 30). The album is a joyous celebration of Cotton’s 69 years as a professional musician (beginning at age 9). Cotton has recorded almost 30 solo albums, including two highly-regarded releases for Alligator in the 1980s, the famed “Harp Attack!” with Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Billy Branch in 1990 and the Grammy-nominated “Giant” in 2011. Tickets for the 8 p.m. dance concert are $28 for members, $30 for non-members and are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office.

Cotton’s history is now the stuff of legend. Born on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Miss., July 1, 1935, he learned harmonica directly from Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) as a small child. He toured with Howlin’ Wolf, recorded for Sun Records and spent 12 years with Muddy Waters before stepping out on his own. Leading his own band, he rose to the very top of the blues and rock scenes, touring non-stop and earning his reputation as one of the most powerful live blues performers in the world, a man who could literally suck the reeds out of the harmonica from the pure force of his playing.

In June 2010, Cotton was honored at New York’s Lincoln Center, where his friends Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Taj Mahal, Shemekia Copeland and others paid tribute to him in an all-star concert. There James Cotton played to yet another sold-out venue with fans cheering the man known worldwide as “Mr. Superharp,” an undisputed giant of the blues. He continues to tour nationally and internationally with his own band.

For more about the show, visit http://thecenterforthearts.org.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User