James Cotton's death at 81 in Austin concludes the career of one of the last of the classic postwar bluesmen, leaving only Buddy Guy still active in that hallowed group. Cotton, born in Tunica, Mississippi in 1931, became one of the great amplified blues harp players of all time, in that rarefied atmosphere with Sonny Boy Williamson II, Little Walter Jacobs, Howlin' Wolf, Big Walter Horton and Junior Wells. Cotton, a member of the Blues Hall of Fame nicknamed "Superharp," was  also  a powerful vocalist and master showman. He also found out late in life he was the half-brother of Bobby "Blue" Bland. The two men had the same father.

Published in Get Rhythm