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Cool Down

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Album Review

Cool Down is the first album the acoustic blues duo Cephas & Wiggins recorded for Alligator Records, and it ranks among their best. The spirit of the session is laid-back and eclectic, as the pair draws on everyone from Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Boy Fuller to Fats Domino and Merle Travis. There are also a half-dozen originals that might not be as captivating as the covers, but they certainly elicit engaging performances from the pair. Throughout Cool Down, John Cephas dominates the music but Phil Wiggins' harmonica steals the show whenever he pops through the cracks. Cool Down is the kind of album that demonstrates how some blues musicians simply get better with age.


Formed: 1984 in Bowling Green, VA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

The duo of acoustic guitarist John Cephas and harpist Phil Wiggins enjoyed a partnership spanning several decades, during which time they emerged among contemporary music's most visible exponents of the Piedmont blues tradition. Both were born in Washington, D.C., although Wiggins was a quarter century younger than his partner; they met at a jam session in 1977, and both performed as regular members of Wilbert "Big Chief" Ellis' Barrelhouse Rockers for a time prior to Ellis' death. Their music, rooted...
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Cool Down, Cephas & Wiggins
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