Sunday, September 25, 2011

James "Superharp" Cotton Plays at the Flying Monkey in Plymouth NH 9/24/11

Nestled in the lakes and mountain region lies the quaint college town of Plymouth, New Hampshire.  The picturesque downtown offers the right amount of entertainment, culture, and collegiate air for the discerning window shopper.  Downtown Plymouth  is also the home of The Flying Monkey, a re-purposed old time theater turned concert venue (among other things), that is pulling in top-notch national acts.  Tipped off by a business acquaintance that this was the ideal venue to see a show, I immediately started my online investigation to see who was playing, and, to my pleasant surprise blues legend royalty James "Superharp" Cotton was on the marquee.  

Mr. Superharp may not have blue blood, but he certainly has the blues running through his veins.  He started playing the blues harmonica (or what I like to refer to as the Mississippi saxophone) at the tender age of nine.  He was taught how to play by the great Sonny Boy Williamson and played with the late Muddy Waters for over twelve years.  Born in 1935 in Tunica, Mississippi, he has played alongside countless musicians (Howlin' Wolf, Big Mama Thorton, Freddie King, Johnny Winter, Janis Joplin, B.B. King, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, and Santana to name a few).  He has played with as many musicians as he is young, and he is still going strong!

Mr. Superharp's performance at The Flying Monkey echoed a lifetime of experience and raw intuitive talent.  Backed by the incredibly talented James Cotton Blues Band, there is no place Mr. Superharp can't go with his music.  His harp literally transforms into his voice of expression as he calls and responds to the music, translating to that unmistakable stomping delta blues sound.

Mr. Superharp's sound is quintessential to the blues, and transcends to something more and is intrinsically important to the listener.  The human experience affords us the sense of sound and the ability to recognize ourselves in what we hear.  The sound of a friend's laughter, rain falling on a tin roof, a Morgan Freeman monologue, or the crackling of a fire comforts our existence.  Likewise, the sound of Mr. Superharp's music is so distinguishable to those who hear it, that it echoes the remarkable life of an old blues-man from Mississippi.

If you consider yourself a blues fan or lover of live music, I highly recommend seeing James "Superharp" Cotton for yourself - you will not be disappointed!

Visit the band's official website here


  1. Please let me know if you ever want to come review any of our events. The arts festival is called Arts on the Edge Wolfeboro - check out our website and see some of the fabulous things we have presented. Email me if you see something in the future that you would like to attend Thanks, Nancy

  2. That sounds really cool Nancy, I will definitely go to some of your events! I wish I had seen the Medieval Baebes!