Day 18: Buried Alive In The Blues - James Cotton
(I am now going to begin making up a week’s worth of back-reviews. Thank you, vacation, for sufficiently making me lazy. I promise this is one challenge I won’t let slip through my fingers.)
I’ve neglected this thing for a week. I had limited internet access, and was busy completing my childhood dreams. Whatever. On one of the last days of our excursion, we ventured to Park Ave Records, a local shop in the outskirts of Orlando. Though our desired purchases were plentiful, we each also bought a $5 ‘grab bag’ of 10 random CDs. This track is the first song off the first album in my bag. I knew none of the artists, and can only form semi-witty, D-List judgements of their sound from the album covers alone. In other words, my purchase was perfect for this project. This track looks promising though. I mean, how wrong can you go with a bluesy, soul-ful looking black man with a harmonica and a top-hat?
Thoughts: It’s one thing to write a number one single. But it’s a whole other ballgame to write a song with such depth, clarity and musicality that it can stand on it’s own, no matter the listener. This is such a song. First of all, the fact that this album came out LAST YEAR, and that it’s already in the bargain bin is ridiculous. This guy can outplay 99 percent of the hacks who call themselves ‘artists’ just because they have a slender build and can play 5 chords. This man has soul. He’s played with the legends. He’s been active since ‘53 and he’s STILL rattling off blazing harmonica solos to complement the thick bass lines and Chuck Berry-esque guitar riffs that define his sound. AND HE BEAT THROAT CANCER! C’MON! This is a CD that I’m glad to have rescued. James Cotton may not be a household name or a icon of sorts, but two things are certain: he can teach them all a thing or two, and he can write a damn catchy tune. Mad props, good sir. Mad props.