Cedric Burnside is the grandson of the legendary R.L. Burnside and renowned as one of the best drummers in the world. If you are looking to revisit R.L. Burnside’s performances, his presence is undeniably on stage with the Cedric Burnside and his band, The Cedric Burnside Project. The Cedric Burnside Project is a collaboration of Cedric Burnside, his “little, big brother” (Cody Burnside) and talented guitar and bass player (Trenton Ayers). The Cedric Burnside Project introduces a new and original genre of music by infusing Mississippi Hill Country Blues, Funk, R&B and soul that will keep you on the dance floor all night long. This electric combination of North Mississippi musicians that were raised playing Hill Country Blues on the front porch does not allow one to wonder about what blues was or what direction The Cedric Burnside Project will take it next. Cedric, who began playing drums in his grandfather’s band at the age of thirteen, has taken his music to a whole new level by adding his new set of guitar solos to his performances. Cedric showcases his mastery of his open tuned guitar to warm you up for the treats he is planning to amaze you with when he steps behind the drums. Cedric’s original music along with songs that he played with his grandfather transports you to the small town in Mississippi, where Cedric grew up surrounded by Hill Country Blues pulsing from R.L. Burnside’s or “Big Daddy’s” front porch.
The brand of Hill Country Blues that The Cedric Burnside Project performs is distinctive from what’s typically known as the “Delta Blues.” North Mississippi Hill Country Blues is the stuff of juke joints, with its raw driving beats, tight rhythms, and R.L.’s signature “Burnside Style” of playing. R.L.’s music influenced everyone from The Black Keys, The North Mississippi Allstars, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion to, naturally, The Cedric Burnside Project.
The Cedric Burnside Project’s album, “The Way I Am”, pays homage to the blues styling of Cedric’s grandfather, R.L. Burnside, and debuts Cedric’s family inspired musical innovations. Cedric’s collaboration with his younger brother (Cody Burnside), his uncle (Garry Burnside), and other New Orleans musicians were all part of the unbridled music that created this album. Cedric showcases his mastery of his “open” or “Spanish” tuned guitar in the first track on the album, entitled “Holly Springs”. The first track, “Holly Springs” provides a starting point, from which you can gage the music’s progression throughout the album. The following tracks infuse Mississippi Hill Country Blues with rap and soul. The combination of the Cedric’s family (Garry and Cody Burnside) along with talented musicians Eudora Evans and Jesse Hiatt casts an original spectrum of songs from the funk tinted “Put It On Me” and “That Girl is Bad” to the blues shaded “The Way I Am” and “Sweet Thang”. There are foot-stomping, hard-hitting songs like “Firecracker” that personify beautiful strong willed women. And not to ever be forgotten, “Big Mamma”, a homage to Cedric and Cody’s grandmother. Regardless of which end of the spectrum is presented, neither you nor Cedric will stop smiling when you hear this music performed live.
Cedric began drumming and touring with R.L. Burnside, whom Cedric called “Big Daddy” in 1991, traveling all over the United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan. After R.L. Burnside passed away in 2005, Cedric continued to play and tour. He first joined his uncle Garry Burnside in “Burnside Exploration”. In late 2006, Cedric teamed up with blues guitarist and vocalist Lightnin’ Malcolm to form “The Juke Joint Duo”. Together with Lightnin’ Malcolm, Cedric recorded “The Two Man Wrecking Crew,” and went on to collect “Best New Artist Debut” at the Blues Music Awards in 2009. Cedric followed it up the next two years by winning “Best Drummer” in both 2010 and 2011.