In 1970, James Cotton and his Blues Band released “Taking Care of Business.” This album is what modern blues is ALL about. It’s got plenty of feeling, grooves, guitar licks, harp, funk, and soul from the opening track to the closing. The influence that James Cotton has on many musicians can still be heard today with bands like the Dave Mathews Band or the Blues Brothers Band.
Vocalist James Cotton is one hell of a talented man on the harmonica. He plays the harp like no other. He began his career in 1950 with Howlin’ Wolf. He also played in the Muddy Waters Band. Almost twenty years, he is still going strong on this record. His vocal and harp style is very traditional that still influences musicians to this day. His style is rooted deeply in Chicago Blues and Delta Blues.
This album features one of my favorite Blues guitarist, Matt “Guitar” Murphy who has been around playing along side musical acts like Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Ike Turner and the one and only Howlin’ Wolf. Other notable musicians on this record are guitarist Todd Harry Rundgren, and bassist Stu Woods.
Musically, this album is very very good. It’s rich on soul, it’s rooted deeply in traditional Chicago Blues with a dash of Delta Blues thrown in. The musicianship is great from the piano, horns to the traditional guitar and bass.
The musical structures are well played, even though, James Cotton did not write any of the songs on this record. One song that really sticks out is “Nose Open” written by Matt Murphy. The mouth harp is excellent, the guitar work is amazing. The leads are wonderfully done. The vocals are brilliant. The horn sections are well done. Lots of upbeat tempos throughout the entire album with some slower tempos thrown in.
A1 The Sky Is Falling 3:57
A2 Long Distance Operator 5:20
A3 I’m A Free Man 2:34
A4 Can’t Live Without Love 4:24
A5 Kiddy Boy 4:03
B1 She Moves Me 4:25
B2 Tonight I Wanna Love Me A Stranger 3:08
B3 Nose Open 4:02
B4 Goodbye My Lady 3:05
B5 Georgia Swing 4:48