The Western Maryland Blues Fest is this weekend. Ashley and I attended the first two years we were together and had a great time, but have not gone back since due to not having the money, or the time, or just not feeling like it. The first year we went, we were lucky to see a life performance of the great Piedmont blues duo of John Cephas and Phil Wiggins. I was converted into a Cephas and Wiggins fan on the spot, and had a stack of their CDs within a few days.
Today (just now, in fact) I read the sad news that John Cephas is dead. He died in early March, and I never heard a word about it until a few minutes ago, though the New York Times did publish a nice obituary at the time.
Cephas and Wiggins played old school Piedmont blues, with John on the guitar and singing, and Phil doing inhuman things on the harmonica. They were the highlight of our first Blues Fest, and, I am quite sure, of every other show they ever played. If you have never had the pleasure of hearing the music of John Cephas, get yourself one of his records and give it a listen. Or stick around here a few minutes, and check out this video of John and Phil at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2007:
And this one, of them performing one of my favorites: