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The Legendary PAUL COTTON from POCO and ILLINOIS SPEED PRESS
Born in Alabama and raised on the south side of Chicago, the soulful influences of his roots can still be heard in the music of Norman Paul Cotton. He took up the guitar in his early teens and followed this passion through to the place he finds himself today, 'a legend in his own write'. The unmatched talent, artistry and staying power of Paul Cotton is an inspiration to so many of us.
Touring and recording with various bands in the late 50s, and well into the 60's, including; the Capitols, Mus-twangs, Gentrys and Rovin' Kind, he then formed The Illinois Speed Press*, where Paul was discovered while performing, landing a major recording contract for his new band. After two albums for Columbia Records, Paul was asked to join the critically acclaimed, Country Rock band POCO, where he spent the better part of four decades as it's dominant songwriter, lead vocalist and lead guitarist.
Poco was formed from Buffalo Springfield Rock Legends: Jim Messina (Loggins and Messina), and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield) when Neil Young and Steven Stills departed. --- Additions to the newly formed band included Rusty Young and drummer George Grantham from Colorado (Boenzee Cryque), Timothy B. Schmit(Eagles). and Paul Cotton (Illinois Speed Press) who replaced Messina early in 1970.
Paul Cotton is globally known for his famous hits: 'Heart of The Night' 'Bad Weather' 'Indian Summer' 'Barbados' and numerous others. He has authored countless hits for Poco's best selling albums, and has been awarded a number of Certified GOLD & PLATINUM RECORDS including Asylum record "NO NUKES". Recognized in The Alabama Hall of Fame ,the Humanitarian Award and the countless charitable contributions and unmatched talent are but some of his tributes.
Still waters run deep, and this quiet man always comes to the table filled with the promise of a new and better time, whether writing songs about love and longing or painting pictures with his brilliant story telling. He was environmentally conscious or 'green' before it was fashionable composing 'Blue Water' 1972- Crazy Eyes. Being a prolific writer, Paul seldom relies on other's material, but he brought life back into J J Cale's Magnolia and Cajun Moon, making them 'like his own'.
During breaks in past touring schedules, Paul Cotton recorded three solo CDs, and is currently recording a fourth Solo CD with his acclaimed Paul Cotton Band. To his credit, boatloads of accolades continue to pour in for these works: Changing Horses, Firebird and the most recent being When The Coast Is Clear, a top winner- selling out whenever & wherever it is offered.
Having shared the stage and performances with other Legends - Eric Clapton, the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers, Willie Nelson, Jefferson Airplane, Beach Boys, Procol Harum, Moody Blues, ZZ Top, America, Loggins and Messina, Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Outlaws, Charlie Daniels, Steppenwolf, Yes, America and many more, Paul Cotton thrills audiences around the world with his unique 'tone' and master of the strings.
Having retired from the big shows he headlined at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Shea Stadium, Central Park, Madison Square Gardens and Fillmore East and West and at an age that most men would opt to retire, Paul has not stopped and continues to perform to everyone's delight.
Choosing to go forward, this truly gifted artist is currently writing songs, recording and bringing his brand of live music to fans around the world. His Band performs on an annual Cruise with private concerts and personal meet and greet gatherings.
Paul plays and tours today with the Paul Cotton Band - rockin' every venue they play. He recently organized the Illinois Speed Press' very successful 'reunion cruise', where he and former partner Kal David rocked the deep blue sea on a Caribbean Cruise.
Dubbed "King Cotton" by George Harrison of the Beatles ,this is a truly "don't miss" performance, and fans continue to rave about the caliber of this man's genius talent.