R. L. Burnside was one of the most famous musicians in the blues tradition of the North Mississippi Hill Country, and many of his children and grandchildren have carried on that great tradition, including Cedric Burnside, a grandson of the late R.L. who is accomplished on both the guitar and the drums. After coming to prominence as part of a duo with another Mississippi bluesman, Lightning Malcolm, he more recently has formed a band called the Cedric Burnside Project, which is really just him on drums and Trenton Ayers on guitar (I suspect that Trenton Ayers is kin to the older Marshall County bluesman Little Joe Ayers). On Saturday June 21, Cedric brought his music to the Levitt Shell in Memphis’ Overton Park, and an overflow crowd despite hit and run showers early in the evening. Beginning on acoustic guitar, Burnside soon switched to drums, and performed most of the Hill Country standards, including “Coal Black Mattie”, “Don’t Let My Baby Ride”, and even the late Junior Kimbrough’s “Meet Me In The City.” It was a great evening of great Mississippi blues.
The late Hill Country bluesman R. L. Burnside was a much-beloved fixture at Memphis music festivals, and his legacy is continued by his grandson Cedric Burnside, who is both a first-rate guitarist and an amazing drummer. If you’re a fan, visit http://www.cedricburnside.com/, or like him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cedric-Burnside-Project/168919959805998.
Cedric Burnside carries on the legacy of his grandfather, legendary hill country blues guitarist R. L. Burnside. But what is unique about Cedric is first of all his amazing talent as a singer, a guitarist, a songwriter and a drummer. Even more impressive is how effortlessly he adapts the trance-like hill country style into the grooves of modern funk and rock-and-roll. The Hi-Tone, with its walls lined with multi-colored lights and old Memphis posters and album-covers, provided the perfect juke-joint ambiance for Cedric’s electrified hill-country stomps. An unexpected reunion with Lightning Malcolm capped the night’s festivities, coaxing the crowd out of their seats and onto the dancefloor.