James Cotton, one of the few surviving members of the Muddy Waters Band, sure knows how to throw an anniversary party.

James Cotton, one of the few surviving members of the Muddy Waters Band, sure knows how to throw an anniversary party. Cotton and his regular bandmates are joined here by a super-fine group of blues artists, and this collective lights the fuse on a dozen sweet tunes. First thing to note is that Cotton wails on the harmonica from start to finish. He's flying high on "Creeper" and "Blues in My Sleep" (G.E. Smith's lead guitar is mighty tasty on this number) and works a heartfelt tribute to the recently departed John Lee Hooker on "Blues for the Hook." Guest vocalists include Koko Taylor, Shemekia Copeland, Kenny Neal, and Bobby Rush, while Jimmy Vaughan and Lucky Peterson step up on lead guitar. Cotton regular David Maxwell's piano is another constant highlight. This album is one hot mama.——PVV

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