Picking Cotton

The music grapevine in New Hampshire was humming over a recording date
at a small studio for an independent label, Tea Street Records, to
record an "unplugged" album of James Cotton.  A trio of Cotton, plus a
local guitarist and a St. Louis piano player, "Piano Slim", began
recording a slate of Cotton originals on March 4th.  The recent
surgery on Cotton's famous vocal cords seemed not have effected his
singing voice, according to the publicist for the project. WMUR, NH's
main TV, sent a crew to the studio to get some atmospheric material
for the 11 O'Clock News.  The Boston Globe sent a writer and a staff
photographer.  The engineer and producer for the session expressed
great satisfaction with the material they had laid down.  A gig for
the Cotton trio was scheduled to follow the session at The Rynborn, a
highly-regarded blues club that features the best local talent and the
greats on tour.

After the Tuesday night feature ran on WMUR Doug Aborn, owner of the
Rynborn, got a call from T.J. Wheeler, a journeyman blues picker and
singer from Portsmouth, N.H., well known in these circles.  "If this
guy was James Cotton he must have been run over by a Mack Truck and
been on a Slim fast diet," Wheeler told Aborn, who called the producer
to suggest he should check his artist's credentials.  A badly shaken
production staff made some inquiries and learned that their artist was
one James Cotton, 5' 1" tall, blues singer and harp player, veteran of
20 years in the St. Louis area, born in Mississippi in 1935.
Contacted in Santa Monica, CA, where he is recuperating from his
surgery, the more famous James Cotton commented "My life hasn't been
any bed of roses lately -- I wish he'd lay claim to my problems, since
he appears to want to share my little bit of fame."

The gig at the Rynborn has been cancelled.  James Cotton of St. Louis
is returning home this Sunday.  A spokesperson for the production says
the album will still be released but with appropriate disclaimers.
I wonder how they'll bill him.  St. Louis James? Little Jimmy Cotton?
Hoodoo Cotton? James Weevil Cotton?

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