John Cephas, R.I.P.
Sad news coming across the wire this morning.
A nice appreciation in today’s Washington Post here.
Of course, it gets tiresome adding another name to list of indelible artists whose departures leave us shaken, and much worse off without them (here, here, here, all in the last year) . When it comes to John Cephas, we are not only losing great voice, we are losing a type of language, a way of communicating that, once gone, will never come back. This is not something to unduly or excessively mourn, it is (to invoke an odious but inevitable cliche) the proverbial cycle of life. It is a facet of evolution; of course it has happened going back as far as people have created. But it still hurts. And it seems right, or at least respectful, to selfishly want more while being grateful for what we already received.
Here is Cephas, along with his partner Phil Wiggins doing an incandescent take on Skip James’ classic “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues”.