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Sitting In With Superharp – by A.J. Wachtel

by GFats on April 4, 2012

Sitting In With Superharp

By A.J. Wachtel

75 year old Blues icon James “Superharp” Cotton is a man of few words and many notes. He is also a member of an older Blues generation whose universe is getting smaller and smaller each year. Read on and see Cotton pass the torch and keep the music alive.

BOSTON BLUES SOCIETY: You recently played “Spoonful” with Keith Richards and Eric Clapton at the Salute for Hubert Sumlin Concert on Feb. 28th. Can you tell me what rehearsal was like and how did you get along with Clapton and Richards? Who chose the song?

JAMES COTTON: The Howlin’ For Hubert rehearsal was a good one. I really enjoyed it. Eric and Keith are nice people and we were all there at The Apollo Theater for the same reason.- to celebrate Hubert’s life. Eric suggested we do “Spoonful” and Keith and I thought it would be a good song to do too.

BBS: Care to comment on your participation in “Hard Again” the album you made with Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter?

COTTON: (Smiles) We had a ball making that record! It turned out to be a great record AND a great tour also. I think everyone will agree on that.

BBS: Any advice to young Blues musicians and artists struggling to get their music heard in this tough economy?

COTTON: My best advice to offer is just to play good music, find good representation and just keep on KEEPING ON.

BBS: What do you think Sonny Boy Williamson’s legacy is today? You lived with him and toured with him at a young age. Can you tell my readers what you remember best about Sonny Boy and his music?

COTTON: The man was a genius. To this day there is no one who can beat the country-boy style he developed and played. What I remember best about him is he was very good to me in the six years I spent with him when I was so young. He gave me a chance. I played EVERYTHING he played.

BBS: Peter Wolf from The J.Geils Band once told me Howlin’ Wolf was an eccentric person and fairly gruff. What do you think Howlin’ Wolf’s legacy is today and what did you enjoy most about him and his music?

COTTON: My experience with Wolf was all good. He was a decent man. I worked with him for two years and again, it was all good. MY legacy, of course, is still a work in progress!

BBS: Where can your fans keep current with career news, tour schedules and personal info?

COTTON: Go to my Superharp website at: and you can also go to


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