2009 is James Cotton's 65th year in the entertainment business. The musical pedigree of Grammy Award winner James "Superharp" Cotton consists of a veritable who's who in the world of the Blues. Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2006, the Smithsonian Institute in 1991, and winner of countless W.C. Handy Blues Awards, he has shared the stage with B.B. King, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter, the Allman Brothers, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Sam and Dave, The Grateful Dead among many others.
An orphan at the age of nine, he was raised in Mississippi by his mentor, Sonny Boy Williamson, who remains famous for his many unique songs and innovative Delta Blues harmonica style. As a young teenager Cotton befriended Howlin' Wolf and joined forces with him playing Mississippi and Arkansas juke joints for two years. During that time Cotton hosted his own afternoon radio show in West Memphis, AR and also recorded "Cotton Crop Blues" and three other songs on Sun Records in Memphis. In 1954 when Muddy Waters needed a harmonica player, he found Cotton playing a club in Arkansas and took him to Chicago. Cotton remained with Waters for 12 years not only playing shows but also recording with him on Chess Records. One of the highlights of that period came when Cotton arranged the ever-popular anthem for the blues, "Got My Mojo Workin', " which was played for the first time by the Muddy Waters Band at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1961.
In 1966 Cotton formed his James Cotton Blues Band which continues to showcase his immense talent and keeps him one of the most sought-after, hard-driving, seminal blues musicians touring the world today.