Friday, May 24, 2024

Cedric Burnside shares his Hill Country Love

Yes, OK Cedric Burnside is the grandson of the blues genius R L Burnside but he’s never tried to ride on those coat-tails and, over ten albums and numerous guest appearances he has consistently proved he is a very talented musician in his own right.

If you needed further proof, then get hold of his latest release, Hill Country Love. Recorded in a wooden shack with producer Luther Dickinson providing the equipment and playing bass alongside Cedric on guitar and vocals and backed ably by Artemas LeSueur on drums and Patrick Williams on harmonica. The album epitomises what hill country blues is about and somehow still sounds new… this is partly due to his songwriting skills and the rawness and live feeling the album is imbued with. The fourteen tracks were recorded in just two days with some delightful conversation captured as the tape kept a rollin’. 

Opening with gorgeous guitar before the rhythm section and harmonica join in, ‘I Know’ is a blues lovers must have and illustrates how to write brand new ‘old’ music. The title track follows in a similar vein with a song structure that will be the envy of all composers regardless of genre. It gets even better… ’Shake ‘Em On Down’ has a Son House feel as Burnside’s voice guitar and bottleneck join together in a delectable slice of blues.

The quality never lets up: ‘Juke Joint’ is just that, ‘Comin Real to Ya’ works so well through its many layers. ‘Thank You’ brings some funk to the party, ‘Love You Music’ has a brilliant rolling drum backing as the song weaves its spell. ‘You Got To Move’ has a more genius acoustic slide and vocal with empathetic harmonica recreating gospel-derived blues superbly. 

The album closes with a cover of one of his grandfather’s songs, ‘Po Black Mattie’ is reverential, honest and a great tribute while still carrying Cedric’s own character.

This is a simply brilliant hill country blues album for the modern day, any blues lover will love it and, so will many other people if they give it a close listen. Lose yourselves in the clever guitar playing and the great way the past is preserved in a brand new way.

Hill Country Love is out on 5th April 2024 via Provogue.

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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Yes, OK Cedric Burnside is the grandson of the blues genius R L Burnside but he’s never tried to ride on those coat-tails and, over ten albums and numerous guest appearances he has consistently proved he is a very talented musician in his own...Cedric Burnside shares his Hill Country Love