Sometimes musicians sprout up without any ties to other musicians and seemingly come out of nowhere, like our own Joe Bonamassa. Sure, he was tied with B.B. King at an early age, but there were no other notable Bonamassa musicians in the scene. On the flip side, there are those musicians with a rich musical background and family with one or more members who are known on the scene. One modern bluesman that fits this description is Cedric Burnside.
Cedric Burnside has been in the professional music world since about 1991, but his ties to blues music in particular stretch much further than that. It all starts with his notable grandfather, R.L. Burnside. R.L. was known for playing in the Mississippi Delta region and for playing traditional blues. But, he also reached outside the box and began playing punk and garage rock music to try and appeal to younger audiences. That shows the dedication to his craft that R.L. possessed. He definitely passed this trait onto his grandson Cedric. Burnside’s father also played blues as a drummer and taught his son everything he knew.
By 13, Cedric was playing in his grandfather’s band and would “eventually replace his father on drums.” I imagine that was a little awkward for everyone involved. Basically, the entire Burnside family plays music in some capacity, which is somewhat rare but amazing!
Cedric Burnside has taken all the lessons he learned from his grandpa and dad and translated them into his contemporary blues sound. To date, he has 8 studio albums, with his 2015 release Descendants of Hill Country gaining him a Grammy Award Nomination in 2016. His most recent album, Benton County Relic was released on September 14, 2018. The album features modern dirty blues-rock with low-fi vocals and stomping tunes as well as old-style traditional blues songs of his grandfather’s time.
Hope you enjoy this week’s Blues in Motion video!