James Cotton (born July 1, 1935) is an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, who has performed and recorded with many of the great blues artists of his time as well as with his own band. Although he played drums early in his career, Cotton is famous for his work on the harmonica. Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, utilizing Otis Spann on piano to record between gigs with Muddy Waters' band. In the 1970s, Cotton played harmonica on Muddy Waters' Grammy Award winning 1977 album Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter.