Phil Wiggins

b. 8 May 1954, Washington DC, USA. Though partnered since 1976 by fellow Washingtonian John Cephas, Wiggins first developed his harmonica style playing with street singer Flora Molton. Having learned…
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Artist Biography

b. 8 May 1954, Washington DC, USA. Though partnered since 1976 by fellow Washingtonian John Cephas, Wiggins first developed his harmonica style playing with street singer Flora Molton. Having learned the basics on a plastic harmonica, he appropriated his sister’s instrument and, having watched Molton play, the 14-year-old Wiggins went to her house to jam. Through her festival appearances, he met musicians like Johnny Shines and Wilbert ‘Big Chief’ Ellis. He first met Cephas in 1974 and the pair joined up with Ellis to form the Barrelhouse Ramblers, a band that lasted until Ellis’ death in 1977. Cephas and Wiggins have worked as a duo ever since, touring throughout America and Europe on a regular basis. Although he claims to have learned from most of the musicians with whom he has played, Wiggins attributes particular importance to Sonny Terry’s complex style. Both Dog Days Of August and Guitar Man won W.C. Handy Awards in their respective years.