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Deep in the Blues

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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: James Cotton (vocals, harmonica); Joe Louis Walker (vocals, acoustic & National Steel guitars); Dave Maxwell (piano); Charlie Haden (acoustic bass).
  • Recorded at Conway Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California on August 14 & 15, 1995.
  • DEEP IN THE BLUES won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
  • Personnel: James Cotton (vocals, harmonica); Joe Louis Walker (guitar, acoustic guitar); David Maxwell (piano).
  • Recording information: Conway Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA (08/14/1995/08/15/1995).
  • Photographer: Carol Friedman.
  • This is James Cotton unplugged--an all-acoustic album collaboration (in various combinations) with pianist Dave Maxwell, blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker, and the great jazz bassist Charlie Haden. There are so many spellbinding moments here that it's almost a shame to single any of them out.
  • However, highlights definitely include Walker's National steel guitar solo "Vineyard Blues," Cotton and Maxwell's deeply moving take on Maceo Merryweather's "Worried Life Blues" (a performance which easily surpasses the better known versions by Chuck Berry and the Animals), and a spectacular version of Muddy Waters' "Two Trains Running." Cotton also gives us the Little Walter-ish harp showcase "Everybody's Fishin'."
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (8/9/96, p.58) - "...new albums by bluesmen with Cotton's history are all too rare. And sidemen Joe Louis Walker, Charlie Haden, and Dave Maxwell are first-rate." - Rating: A-

JazzTimes (12/96, p.113) - "...few others can summon up more vocal expression on the blues harp than this Chicago blues legend....This is about as downhome and straightforward as it gets....James delivers the goods with chilling directness..."
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