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Posted at 2:17 PM ET, 03/ 6/2009

Get the Blues This Weekend

By Fritz Hahn

Bluesman John Cephas died Wednesday in Richmond, Va. He was 78. (Tom Radcliffe/Courtesy of Alligator Records)

Piedmont blues guitarist John Cephas passed away Wednesday -- read Post Rock's tribute and the Post's obituary -- and while memorial details are still being worked out, blues fans can honor his memory at a pair of events this weekend.

Cephas was known to drop by the weekly jam sessions at a Northeast barbershop owned by fellow blues legend Archie Edwards, where veterans and newcomers alike would spend afternoons reveling in the beauty of acoustic blues. Edwards's barbershop on Bunker Hill Road was sold last year, but the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation has leased space in a former bookshop in Riverdale and will keep the Saturday tradition running. The music runs from 2:30 to 6 p.m., and everyone is invited to bring a guitar or harmonica and join in, or just sit back and soak in the music. There's no cover charge, though donations are accepted.

Back in 1987, Cephas co-founded the D.C. Blues Society, the non-profit that sponsors the annual summer blues festival at Carter Barron, works to bring blues music into public schools and promote the idea that everyone needs the blues. (Until his death, Cephas served as honorary director of the organization.) On the second Sunday of the month, the Blues Society runs an acoustic jam session at Bangkok Blues in Falls Church. This week, there are actually two chances to play: An acoustic jam from 4 to 7 p.m., then an electric jam hosted by the Idle Americans, an excellent local group, from 7 to 11 p.m. Bring your instrument, get up and dance, or just hang out at the bar and listen. Admission is free, and the Thai food is great.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | March 6, 2009; 2:17 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Music  
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