Henry and I hate doing tribute shows. We don’t mind paying homage to any of the greats who have passed, we just hate saying a rushed goodbye to someone whose life we want to celebrate and whose music we want to continue to play.
But sometimes, you just have to say something.
For this week’s show, we were planning on something else, something brand new, but yesterday we got the news that one of our favorites, Mr. Superharp himself, James Cotton passed away due to complications from pneumonia.
Damn, this one really hurts.
Anyone who has ever picked up a harp and fancied him or herself a player, if they ever dreamed of playing on a stage with a band, was influenced by James Cotton. He inspired so many people with his unique style that there was just no escaping the effect he had on the art.
I got my first harmonica when I was in grade school. It was a cheap little number that someone picked up in a five-and-dime store and gave it to me. The first time I blew a note, I was hooked. Been playing off and on (mostly off) ever since. For a time I got pretty good at it – even learned the last movement of Beethoven’s 9th and would dust it off on stage once in a while.
James Cotton was an idol of mine – and a whole lot of other people. And I just can’t imagine the world without him. But, we move on.
As a tribute, Henry and I made a decision to run a different show this week, one that originally ran back in July. We call it, “Lisa Mann Meets The Alligator.”
No, it’s not a bad monster movie like we talk about sometimes, it’s our good friend and multiple award winner Lisa Mann on her latest album, Hard Times, Bad Decisions, and a selection from an Alligator Records compilation album.
There’s more, just wait a minute and check out this line up!
From Lisa, we’ve got three selections from that recent album, and anytime you get a chance to listen to Lisa, take it! There’s a reason she’s won several Bass Player of the Year awards, and it wasn’t because we stuffed the ballot box.
From The Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Collection we’re sampling music from Ann Rabson, Johnny Winter, and Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King. Ann’s name may not be as familiar as the others, but she was one of the founders of Saffire, The Uppity Blues Women and a personal friend to me. Unfortunately, we lost her, Winter, and Kubek all too early. Makes this show even more poignant.
And there’s more for you, including some recent releases from Reggie Wayne Morris, Mighty Org, and Mick Kolassa. If that wasn’t enough, check out the selections from Jeff Chaz, Markey Blue, and listen to Henry get antsy when I play The Record Company.
Lastly, we have a selection from Cotton teaming up with the one and only Joe Bonamassa on a great tune, Cotton Mouth Man. It’s a good way to honor a man who was so important to our world.
Join us, Time For The Blues airs Saturday Night, March 18, at 11:00. It’s a fitting way to say goodbye to Cotton, and hello to a whole lot of talent. And hey, if you haven’t heard the jokes before, there all new.
Find us at http://ideastations.org/ or on 89.1 WCNV, Northern Neck; 90.1 WMVE Chase City, or our home station, 88.9 WCVE, where it’s always Time For The Blues!