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Somebody Told the Truth

Cephas & WigginsAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 2006 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2002 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Stack And The Devil 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Railroad Bill 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Last Fair Deal Gone Down 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Sick Bed Blues 4:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Pimp In The Pink Suit 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Burn Your Bridges 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Darling Cora 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Forgiveness 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Bowling Green Strut 4:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Darkness On The Delta (Live) 4:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Reno Factory 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Somebody Told The Truth 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Something Smells 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Cephas & Wiggins Store


Image of album by Cephas & Wiggins


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Almost immediately after guitarist/vocalist John Cephas joined forces with harmonicist/vocalist Phil Wiggins in 1978, the blues community took them to heart. Critics and fans proclaimed them as the new champions of the East Coast Piedmont style of blues, a style of music first popularized by artists like Blind Boy Fuller, Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Willie McTell and Blind Blake. They have ... Read more in Amazon's Cephas & Wiggins Store

Visit Amazon's Cephas & Wiggins Store
for 12 albums, 3 photos, and 6 full streaming songs.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 17, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alligator Records
  • ASIN: B00006J3VL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,474 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

About the Artist

John Cephas was born in Washington, D.C. in 1930 into a deeply religious family and raised in Bowling Green, Virginia. His first taste of music was gospel, but blues soon became his calling. After learning to play the alternating thumb and fingerpicking guitar style that defines Piedmont blues, John began emulating the records he heard by Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Blake, Rev. Gary Davis and other early Piedmont artists. Aside from playing blues, John worked early on as a professional gospel singer, carpenter and Atlantic fisherman. By the 1960s, he was starting to make a living from his music. Since hooking up as a duo with Wiggins in 1977, he has performed all over the world, serving as an ambassador of this singular American art form. Among his many endeavors, John serves on the Executive Committee of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, and has testified before congressional committees. He is also a founder of the Washington, D.C. Blues Society. "More than anything else," says John, "I would like to see a revival of country blues by more young people…more people going to concerts, learning to play the music. That's why I stay in the field of traditional music. I don't want it to die."

Phil Wiggins was born in Washington, D.C. in 1954. He began his musical career with some of Washington's leading blues artists, including Archie Edwards and John Jackson, and attributes his style to his years spent accompanying locally noted slide guitarist and gospel singer Flora Molton. His harmonica sound developed from listening to piano and horn players, as well as the music of Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy Williamson I, Little Walter, Big Walter Horton and Junior Wells. Phil also apprenticed with Mother Scott (a contemporary of Bessie Smith). Phil first met John in 1976 at the Smithsonian National Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. Along with pianist Wilber "Big Chief" Ellis and bassist James Bellamy, John and Phil formed the Barrelhouse Rockers. A year after Ellis' death, the duo of Cephas & Wiggins was born. Besides being a renowned harmonica player, Wiggins is also a gifted songwriter and singer whose material has helped define the duo's sound.

Product Description

Because both Cephas and Wiggins were born in Washington, D.C., they bring an urban sophistication to the traditionally rural blues they perform. With their new album (and third for Alligator), SOMEBODY TOLD THE TRUTH, Cephas & Wiggins' spirited and seamless mix of both original and classic material sheds a bright light on Piedmont blues. Of the album's 13 songs, Cephas wrote or co-wrote three and Wiggins wrote two. With the solid mix of brightly played music fueled by Cephas’ gently rolling guitar and vocals and driven by Wiggins’ freight train chugging harmonica, Somebody Told The Truth is the antidote for anyone who still thinks blues music is a soundtrack for sadness. According to Wiggins, "People automatically think of sadness and depression when they think of blues. But the blues is uplifting music, music to rejuvenate you, to nourish the spirit. When you get down, the blues will pick you up again."

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sheer joy October 11, 2002
Format:Audio CD
As a rule John Cephas and Phil Wiggins aren't dark-night-of-the-soul bluesmen, or even bluesmen in the strict sense. Which is to say that other kinds of traditional Southern genres also grace their repertoire, including ballads (e.g., "Darling Cora," rarely covered by African-American performers) and gospel (Wiggins's touching original "Forgiveness"). "Reno Factory," first recorded on a Flying Fish album in the 1980s, puts rarely heard lyrics to the often-heard, Reconstruction-era folk song known variously as "Reuben's Train," "900 Miles," and more.
The fun these guys are having through it all is palpable, and it's infectious. This is African-American roots music at its most extroverted and celebratory. I have no doubt that Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, two giants of Piedmont music and Cephas and Wiggins's most direct inspiration, would have loved it. The tradition, it is clear, remains in good hands.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and good! January 6, 2003
By Mark
Format:Audio CD
In today's overproduced, overhyped world of music, it is refreshing to hear two really talented guys play acoustically. I love the combination of old chestnuts like "Stack and the Devil," "Railroad Bill," "Last Fair Deal," and "Darling Cora" combined with new, refreshing stuff like "Pimp in the Pink Suit" and "Forgiveness." This is great roots music that doesn't try to hard for that studio sound, but at the same time shows some excellent musicianship. The great ones always make it look so easy...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great talent and nice recording February 18, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
These guys are fantastic, and this recording does a great job of capturing their partnership. Every track on this CD is strong, and it's a good one to start with if you don't own any of their other material. You can't go wrong buying this CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent modern blues February 7, 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is excellent modern acoustic blues, and the issue of authenticity doesn't enter the picture at all. Upbeat, fun, well-played and (the boon of many modern blues) with good lyrics as well.

However, I must stress that, despite what several reviewers have said here and on C&W's other albums, this is most definately NOT Delta blues. The performers are not from the Delta nor do they immitate its style. There is a Robert Johnson on this set but it's performed very much in the Piedmont style.
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