James Cotton's third solo release on Telarc, Baby, Don't You Tear My Clothes picks up where 35th Anniversary Jam of the James Cotton Blues Band left off. The strongest of these 13 tracks find Cotton and associates digging back to the '30s for inspiration: Doc & Merle Watson assist on Leroy Carr's "How Long Blues," "Stealin' Stealin'" with Dave Alvin, "Key to the Highway" featuring Odetta, and a bluesy take on the Jimmie Rodgers country standard "Muleskinner Blues." This is mainly a mid-tempo, laid-back session with plenty of Cotton's harp virtuosity, which shines brightest on the instrumentals "Coach's Better Days," "Blues for Jacklyn," and "Friends." Also making contributions to the album are Peter Rowan, C.J. Chenier, Rory Block, Jim Lauderdale, and Marcia Ball. Cotton's core band of guitarist Derek O'Brien, pianist David Maxwell, bassist Noel Neal, and drummer Per Hanson are the glue that hold this session together; they maintain a certain continuity that has been absent on similar "superstar" sessions. Both the blues novice and the fanatic will enjoy this disc.
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AllMusic Review by Al Campbell