We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.



Cephas & Wiggins pay homage to the Piedmont Blues by penning material that is both original in composition and anachronistic in vocabulary and theme—which means they often end up lampooning rather than honoring the roots music they play. Cephas’ lyrics (various people write the music) take a cut-and-paste approach to composition (modified tunes, old chestnuts for topics) and cover well-worn ground: walking real, real far to get some jelly roll; what a drag it is to follow a mule-drawn plow. In short, he uses a vocabulary that has lost currency to bemoan problems he almost certainly has never had. It’s kinda sad, because Cephas & Wiggins are pretty engaging when they allow themselves decent material, such as the blues standards “Trouble in Mind” or “Me and My Chauffeur.” The two perform at 8 p.m. at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church, 3215 Powder Mill Road, Adelphi. $14. (301) 263-0600. (Jandos Rothstein)