After Muddy’s death, Mojo performed as a leader and also with other blues legends, serving a spell with James Cotton as vocalist after Cotton lost his singing voice. His last performance was with Cotton and guitarist Hubert Sumlin at Yoshi’s in San Francisco this past July. Shortly after returning to Minneapolis, he had heart surgery from which he never fully recovered, and he died on October 12 of heart failure. He was survived by nine children.
|James Cotton and Mojo Buford at 2006 Pocono Blues Festival. Photo © Ron Weinstock|
Ironically I had uploaded two of his albums to itunes on my Mac computer a few weeks ago. These were Still Blowing Strong, a 1996 recording originally issued on Blue Loon, and Champagne & Reefer, the live Fedora CD I have mentioned. Both recordings are solid efforts that show him to be influenced by Muddy Waters as a vocalist and a capable harmonica player in the Little Walter vein with a fat, crying tone. Both of these albums are currently available.
Information in this review was based on Bill Dahl’s biography at allmusic.com and the obituary in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Bob Corritore, who produced Champagne & Reefer, has an appreciation of Mojo Buford on his website, http://www.bobcorritore.com/WhatsNew.html. It is an entry dated October 11, 2011.