Blues harp master was one of the last living links to The Blues’ heyday. Above photo: Christopher Durst (via the web).
By Blurt Staff
A giant of classic—and contemporary—blues passed away March 16: James Cotton, harmonica legend, at the age of 81, from pneumonia. Fittingly enough, he died in an Austin hospital while the SXSW musical throngs clogged the clubs in the streets below.
The Delta-spawned bluesman influenced untold players from multiple genres—blues, rock, folk—and aside from the many blues peers he performed with over the years, he also worked with everyone from Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton to Janis Joplin and Keith Richards. He got his start as a vocalist in the ‘50s, at Sun Records of all places, then wound up as a featured performer with Muddy Waters before starting his own James Cotton Blues Band.