CD Richmond Blues * (CD 1322523),
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Richmond Blues *

  • 1. Richmond Blues
    2. Going to the River
    3. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby
    4. Black Rat Swing
    5. Mamie
    6. Crow Jane
    7. Dog Days of August
    8. John Henry
    9. Pigmeat Crave
    10. Prison Bound Blues
    11. Key to the Highway
    12. Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
    13. Careless Love
    14. Great Change
    15. Reno Factor
    16. Step It Up and Go
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 740179

  • Credits
    ProducerBarry Lee Pearson; Barry Lee Pearson
    EngineerBill McElroy; Bill McElroy

    Cephas & Wiggins: John Cephas (acoustic guitar); Phil Wiggins (harmonica).
    Audio Mixer: Pete Reiniger.
    Liner Note Author: Barry Lee Pearson.
    Author: John Cephas.
    Arrangers: Phil Wiggins; John Cephas; Carl Martin.
    Guitarist and singer John Cephas and harmonica player (and songwriter) Phil Wiggins have been playing together as an acoustic duo since they met in 1976, releasing their first recording in 1981, and throughout that long association they have been faithful to the Virginia Piedmont blues tradition, a tradition that owes more to the local Appalachian foothills than it does to the Mississippi Delta. A gentle mesh of ragtime, gospel, and string band reels, with traces of pop, country, and R&B as well, the Piedmont version of the blues is as easy to recognize as it is hard to accurately define. It is, in a nutshell, the folk music of Appalachian blacks from two generations ago, and this duo's mission has been to preserve and represent it. Richmond Blues is fairly typical of how Cephas & Wiggins have done that since they joined forces, and it is an easy flowing listen, steady as an Appalachian breeze, with no jarring moments. Among the high points are a gently pulsing take on the folk nugget "John Henry," a moving version of "Careless Love" (the perfect example of how a non-blues ballad with blues themes ends up being a blues song when all is sung and done), a solid "Going to the River" (originally recorded by Fats Domino in 1952), and Wiggins' own composition, "Dog Days of August." There's nothing new or revelatory about anything here. It's just Cephas & Wiggins doing what they've always done, sticking to their roots, and that's a good thing, and undeniably affirming and pleasant. ~ Steve Leggett

  • Critic Reviews
    Dirty Linen (p.41) - "Cephas' bass-thumb and melodic-finger acoustic-guitar playing is punctuated on each tune by Wiggins' imaginative cross-harp playing."
    Living Blues (p.51) - "A punchy 'Step It Up And Go' brings the album to a satisfying close. For good-time acoustic blues, listeners won't come up disappointed with this release."
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