Easy Lovin’

James Cotton

Cotton and Rice

James Cotton (harmonica & vocals) and his band featuring Johnny Cotton (trombone), Douglas Fagen (tenor sax), Boney Daniel Fields (flugelhorn), Vernon Banks (guitar), Eddie Harsch (piano), Noel Neal (bass), and Ray Allison (drums) perform in 1987.

James Cotton was nominated for a Grammy Award twice in 1984 and 1987 before finally receiving one for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1996. He first became interested in music after hearing Alex “Rice” Miller (aka Sonny Boy Williamson II) on the radio. Cotton left home with his uncle and moved to West Helena, Arkansas, finding Williamson there. The older harp player would be his mentor during the early years and when Williamson moved to Milwaukee to live with his estranged wife he left his band in Cotton’s hands. James Cotton was quoted as saying, “He just gave it to me. But I couldn’t hold it together ’cause I was too young and crazy in those days an’ everybody in the band was grown men, so much older than me.”

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