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Interview:
Cedric Burnside at Callahan's, 3 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Cedric Burnside is Mississippi Hill Country Blues royalty.



His grandfather was the iconic R.L. Burnside, one of the creators of that regional sound. His father, Calvin Jackson, was a drummer who worked with R.L., Junior Kimbrough and others. Cedric took his father's place in R.L.'s band during the 90s and has worked with many others -- including Jimmy Buffett, Widespread Panic, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Jessie May Hemphill.



He's won several Blues Music Awards as a drummer, but the youngest Burnside, 40, has been releasing his own album since 2016 under a variety of monikers. His latest, "Benton County Relic" -- the follow-up to 2015's Grammy Award-nominated "Descendants of Hill Country" -- is his first strictly under his own name and finds him branching out in ways he hasn't shown before...



"I have been playing music my whole life," Burnside says by phone. "I started at the age of seven wrote my first song at 12 and did my first tour at 13. I began my music career playing in juke joints with my Big Daddy (R.L. Burnside) and Jr. Kimbrough. For many years I watched and learned from them along with Paul Wine Jones, Robert Cage and T-Model Ford. Through this experience, I developed my own unique style of playing and writing music. I always do my best to stay loyal to the authentic style of the true Mississippi Hill Country Blues musicians that came before me -- raw, unorthodox, and with lyrics true to life."



Burnside says that "Benton County Relic" "is definitely more different from anything I have ever written or recorded in the past. Not many people have heard me play the electric guitar, let alone the guitar in general. As long as I am able to play music I will stay true to the foundation that was laid by the legends of Mississippi Hill Country Blues, especially my Big Daddy, but this album is the beginning of a testament of what Mississippi Hill Country Blues feels like in my heart. That is where my style comes from and my style of playing is just that -- my style, and I'm going to keep it pushing!"



Burnside recorded "Benton County Relic" with drummer/slide guitarist Brian Jay in Jay's Brooklyn home studio. The sensibility is decidedly down-home -- and, in fact was the product of Burnside woodshedding back home in Mississippi before taking the songs north. "As life happened, I would go outside on my front porch and use my guitar and pen to paint a picture of what was going on in my life," he says. "A friend and I came up with the name of the album, which represents where I come from both physically and musically."



Cedric Burnside with North Mississippi All Stars Luther and Cody Dickinson, and Tino G opening, plays at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Callahan's Music Hall, Auburn Hills. $20 and $15. 248-858-9508 or visit atcallahans.com.

Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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