James Cotton was born in Mississippi in 1935 and became interested in music as a young boy when he heard Sonny Boy Williamson. He moved to Arkansas with his uncle and actually tracked down Williamson, and they struck up a friendship and started playing music together. Cotton began his musical career on drums, but is best known for his harmonica abilities, and he started his career playing harmonica in Howling Wolf’s band. Cotton then went on to play in Muddy Waters band in the mid-50s. The Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet was formed in 1965 with Otis Spann on piano. Cotton made several records for Buddha Records in the 1970s, and provided harmonica on the 1977 Grammy award-winning album Hard Again. James ended up on Alligator Records in the 1980s, and rejoined this label in 2010. It’s interesting to note that it was discovered that James cotton was a half-brother to Bobby Bland. Cotton passed away in 2017 from pneumonia at the age of 81. We recommend starting your James Cotton vinyl collection with the excellent Late Night Blues Live at the Penelope Café which was reissued in 2019 for Record Store Day. Our LP inventory is constantly changing, so check back often, or browse our list of vinyl from blues musicians.