Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Oct. 22, 2010
James CottonGiant (Alligator)
Harp and soul man James Cotton – born in the Delta and long a resident of deep South Austin – kindly dedicates his latest disc to the late Koko Taylor (1928-2009). Giant, which could refer to either Taylor or Cotton for all their historical blues relevance, reaps what the king of the genre, Muddy Waters, for whom Cotton honked many years ("Sad Sad Day," "Find Yourself Another Fool," "Going Down Main Street") hath sown and includes originals from Cotton and his vocalist Slam Allen ("Change," "Heard You're Getting Married," "With the Quickness"). In between, the veteran blower vets his chops on classics ("Buried Alive in the Blues," "How Blue Can You Get?," "Since I Met You, Baby") and gets all his licks in like a true champ ("Change," "That's All Right"). "Blues for Koko" leaves Giant's shadow long, joyous, mournful – 12-bar blues filled with Cotton's glorious harmonica elegy.