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I love blues but I'm not going to let it ruin my life - Steve James, Blueprint interview

Author Topic: John Cephas  (Read 7561 times)

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Offline Roscoe

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2009, 06:53:24 AM »
must have been the first year he started playing taylors, i was at a namm show in the taylor booth and he was sitting in a chair playing. dont think many folks knew who he was. i sat down and we talked and picked for a long while. he was a good guy and fun to pick with.
roscoe

Offline uncle bud

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2009, 02:10:31 PM »
Washington Post obituary for John:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/05/AR2009030503418.html

And some additional archival material, including an article from when he received the National Heritage Fellowship.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postrock/2009/03/rip_piedmont_bluesman_john_cep.html
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 02:15:47 PM by uncle bud »

Offline oddenda

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2009, 06:16:19 PM »
Now that's more like it... thanks.

Peter B.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2009, 07:09:18 PM »
Sorry that I never got to meet him. Really good player & singer. A real loss.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline lindy

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2009, 09:53:19 PM »

The quote generator does it again. When I was getting ready to write this message it was showing the quote, "I ain't killed nobody, my picture ain't in the post office - John Jackson, in a workshop with Orville and John Cephas, 1998." I submitted that quote a few years back, and I regularly visit that memory of the three of them up in The Juke, introducing themselves and talking about their music, playing a few tunes to give examples of what they were talking about. After John Jackson made that comment, I remember looking at John Cephas, who was just chuckling away with that little "heh-heh-heh-heh" laugh of his.

I think it says something when I equate those two Johns as far as their demeanor and way of living are concerned, two black men growing up and surviving in the Jim Crow south and coming out of that experience with enormous grace and dignity. Both patient teachers, willing to answer the same questions again and again to help newcomers who were just feeling their way around the music. There was one year when I spent most of my workshop time with John Cephas, after that I made it a point to take one class from him every summer, didn't matter if it was a Skip James song that I had heard him teach three times before, I just wanted to be in the room when he talked about mashing two strings with one finger or told stories about the environment where Skip got his lyrics. There's going to be a big empty space at the workshop this summer. As old and tired as it might sound, it's true that I got as much out of just being around John Cephas (and John Jackson) as I did learning songs from them. I'm really grateful.

Lindy

Offline oddenda

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2009, 12:52:52 AM »
If You look up the word "gentleman" in my personal dictionary, you'll find pictures of John Cephas, Tarheel Slim, and John Jackson. As lindy says, amazing how one can be that under such circumstances. But they did. I miss them all... friends are hard to come by. I have asked Jeff Harris to put up a couple of Cephas' pieces from his first ever (and solo) session done for me at Big Chief Ellis' apartment in DC back in the day. He's better at this than I!

Peter B.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 05:40:02 PM by oddenda »

Offline jharris

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2009, 08:02:29 AM »
As requested by Peter here are the unreleased John Cephas numbers:

When I Grow Too Old To Dream

Naylor Rag

-Jeff H.

Offline Slack

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2009, 10:23:47 AM »
Copied over from Facebook:
Today at 11:13am

Hi, it's Judy here

I'm writing on Phil's behalf to help him stay in touch with folks during this difficult time.

Phil is doing ok and deeply appreciates the outpouring of love and kindness coming his way. Thanks so much. The loss is hard for so many of us - but the music will live on and bring the healing we need.

There will be a memorial service/life celebration for John later this month in the DC area; now waiting to hear about venues available to set a date. Phil willl get the word out very soon. Take care till then.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2009, 11:09:43 AM »
As requested by Peter here are the unreleased John Cephas numbers:

When I Grow Too Old To Dream

Naylor Rag

-Jeff H.

Thanks for posting those Jeff and Peter. That first one'll choke you up, won't it.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2009, 11:27:04 AM »

Offline Lwoodblues

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2009, 08:22:27 PM »
 With tears in my eyes I realize what a loss of my friend this is. There is no replacment. There will only be one John Cephas..............
lwood

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2009, 06:07:34 AM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/arts/music/08cephas.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=cephas&st=cse

Obit in today's NY Times. Pretty much the same one it seems to me but now its in "The Paper of Record".
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline JohnBrownsDream

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2009, 03:39:24 PM »
This is a terrible loss. I am sorry i'd never been to PT and met him and learned from him. Great music for sure, RIP!

Offline metalgitar

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2009, 09:43:51 PM »
A great loss of a really fine person and good friend I'm proud to say. I saw John last at NAMM '08 and he was holding court, as you would expect. He drew an enormous crowd that hung on his every note. What a contrast his playing was to the drone of electrified NAMM.

There is a video on YouTube that's well worth checking out: This is posted by the Library of Virginia and I presume it's his last interview, fifty minutes of John at his most eloquent. The man was a class act in every respect ....

-R 

Offline SitkaMando

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Re: John Cephas
« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2009, 04:21:26 PM »
My first contact with John was a non-musical moment. We played ping pong before lunch one day at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop. His game was like his guitar playing and the way he carried himself...smooth and stylish. He will be missed.

Ted Howard

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