Anyone who’s ever cared more than slightly about blues harmonica knows who James Cotton was. Cotton had a huge sound, and it certainly made an impression on me.

In 1979, I went to Nashville to do a “masterclass” session for oak publications with Charlie mcCoy and Cotton. At one point in the session, McCoy–who had studied Little Walter very carefully–told me that he’d always regretted not meeting Walter, but after spending a couple of hours with Cotton, he felt like he had.

As it happens, I dedicated “Double Lucky,” one of the tunes on my record “The Lucky One” to Cotton and Magic Dick. I was thinking of Cotton when I recorded the rhythm harmonica for this piece. I’m thinking of him now, too.

RIP James Cotton, and thanks for the inspiration.