EDDIE COTTON – Here I Come
LABEL: DECHAMP RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 21, 2014
Contemporary Mississippi blues musician Eddie Cotton, Jr. has combined university training with service in his father’s church and a love of the blues to produce commanding music of fiery intensity and power.
Following his spectacular 2000 debut Live at the Alamo Theater and Extra in 2002, Here I Come shows the triple threat singer, songwriter and guitarist breaking out and up to establish serious credibility as a major new star demanding and deserving to be heard.
Cotton performs 10 uniquely original tracks backed by Myron Bennett (bass), Samuel Scott, Jr. (drums) and guest artists Grady Champion (harmonica), Carlos Russell (harmonica) and Sam Brady (organ). The minor key soul funk of the title track functions as a mini-bio as Cotton sings in his satiny soul voice “Sometimes in a fight, you know you get knocked down, but when the dust clears, I’ll still be around, here I come, better have some.” The mesmerizing slow blues “A Woman’s Love” finds Cotton in tender “call and response” with his sweetly sensuous guitar as he declares his love with the simmering passion of “Every day is such a trial, sometimes it’s so hard to smile. But just to know she’s depending on me, I’m determined to go the last mile,” his voice rising and falling dramatically and dynamically throughout. “Pay to Play” swings with graceful propulsion in an ironic take on “love” with “I’m not going to tell my real name, I know to you that seems such a shame. But your kind of love has caused me so much pain, now ice water flowing all through my veins,” his guitar “talking” sass in a remarkable instrumental rebuke.
Gorgeous, jazzy guitar chords and melodic fills underpin the gentle R&B ballad “Friend to the End” about the value of friendship and peaking with the glorious chorus “I need a friend that will understand that I make mistakes, and I’m just a man, and if I’m wrong, trust I’ll make it right. But I’ll never leave you alone, alone in a fight.” Back-snapping funk drives the dance friendly uplift of “Get Your Own,” confirming Cotton as the new torch-bearer of classic soul music via “In this game of life, sometimes you just can’t win. Sometimes you may fail, but get up and try again. You’ll get ran over, if you stay down on the ground. Get yourself up and fight another round” and the exuberant chorus “Get your own (2x) and move right along.” Sexy, funky cross rhythms insistently propel the monochord vamp under the hip slang of “My Boo” as Cotton contributes to the traditional amorous boast category.
Fellow rising star Grady Champion honks harmonica on the exuberant monochord boogie shuffle “Leave Love Alone” containing a memorable hook while Cotton explains “Don’t judge me, one day you’ll see. When love gets a-hold of you, ain’t nothing you can do.” Blues harper Carlos Russell gets “down home” on the easy loping “Back in a Bit,” Cotton’s lusty pitch “Hey little darling, answer your telephone. Well, I’m feeling kind of good and I was wondering are you all alone. My heart’s on fire and you’re the one I desire” getting the ardor cooling response “Well look a-here fool, you called too late. I got a little something started, you know, he said he couldn’t wait. You see, I’m not alone, I’ll call you when my man is gone.” A limber Reggae beat bubbles under the gospelly “No Love Back,” Cotton preaching “Love don’t come, with no love that’s guaranteed. It will make no exceptions now, for you or me. If you give love long enough, and then you’ll see. Love will come, with no love that’s guaranteed.” The exceptionally creative and street erudite songwriter closes with the toe-tapping Chicago blues shuffle “Berry So Black.” Addressing race metaphorically, Cotton fesses up “Well, I can’t stay away from that blackberry vine. Well, I must admit that there was a time. Well, I keep coming back to those berries so black” as Champion celebrates solidarity with long, sustained, imploring lines.
Eddie Cotton has accomplished a near miraculous feat. He has brought total commitment and extraordinary talent to bear on a total reinvigoration of soul-blues, spreading rapturous joy for all.