Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cephas & Wiggins 2006 Shoulder To Shoulder (LL)

Genre: Blues
Rate: 274 kbps VBR / 44100 from lossless source!
Time: 00:51:14
Size: 100,31 MB

United States

For nearly 30 years, John Cephas & Phil Wiggins have been a premier combination. They are skilled in performing Piedmont Blues. This melodic and acoustic brand of blues came from the tidewater region of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. It was popularized by Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Blake, and more recently Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Cephas, a former carpenter, wrote six new originals for the album. There are also a half-dozen cover songs from the likes of Sleepy John Estes, Blind Boy Fuller, Skip James, and Sonny Boy Williamson. On them, it is daunting how the venerable duo transports you to the past while not allowing you to become trapped.

These thoroughly enjoyable 51-minutes are all about the songs, not the solos. With a baritone voice, 76 year old Cephas delivers smooth and clear lyrics. His guitar work is gentle while Wiggins adds heavy harmonica. It is rejuvenating on Ain't Seen My Baby. If he was plugged in, 52 year old Wiggins - who learned to play by listening to recordings of Sonny Terry, Little Walter, and both Sonny Boys - would single-handedly create an electrical storm. With a natural feel, their music is simple and complex.

Unlike their many other releases, this CD features Ann Rabson and Daryl Davis as guest pianists. Recorded live earlier this year at The Democratic Club in Washington, D.C. (where Cephas & Wiggins were born), The Blues Three Ways features Davis' trembling treble hand while I Did Do Right reveals Rabson's boisterous keyboards. On I Won't Be Down and Seattle Rainy Day Blues, the partners are accompanied by piano and Andrew Volpe's chugging bass. The arrangement on the former is a treasure piece. Urban polish is added to rural muck on the standout track All I've Got Is Them Blues. Throughout, Cephas' finger picked guitar is constantly subtle. As on Catfish Blues, you never know where Wiggins' free-roaming harp is going to travel. When it starts to stray, the guitar acts like a faithful sheepdog and reels it back in. Cephas' nonchalant and unpretentious voice is the perfect companion for the distressing lyrics of Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

On Shoulder To Shoulder, Cephas & Wiggins perform a style of endangered blues in a stress-relieving and contenting fashion. Although acoustic blues can be mistakenly declared dull and boring, Cephas & Wiggins brighten this fading American art form. Why don't you allow them to give you a new, or renewed, lease on country blues? (Tim Holek)


01 - Ain't Seen My Baby 03:23

02 - I Did Do Right 03:35

03 - Catfish Blues 05:52

04 - Suzie Q 03:12

05 - All I Got Is Them Blues 02:48

06 - Dirt Road 04:25

07 - Broke And Hungry 05:02

08 - Three Ball Blues 03:37

09 - Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? 02:27

10 - I Won't Be Down 05:21

11 - Seattle Rainy Day Blues 04:12

12 - The Blues Three Ways 07:20

Gamble for more Cephas & Wiggins:


No comments: