Monday, October 27, 2008

Updating R.L. Burnside

Northern Mississippi Hills guitarist R.L. Burnside tried to make his mark as a blues artist in Chicago during the heyday of Chicago blues in the 1950's but left a broken hearted man. It wasn't that his music talent when unrecognized. It was because while in Chicago, Burnside's father, brother and uncle all were murdered within a month of each other. R.L. decided to get out alive. He left the big city and returned home to farming. But he never stopped playing his guitar, and his influence on generations of other hills blues guitarists is legendary.

Now here it is 2008 and Burnside's grandson has released his own brand of blues. Count a Boston Globe music reviewer as a fan of the Juke Joint Duo Cedric Burnside and Lightin' Malcom. In a Boston Globe review of the new CD "2 Man Wrecking Crew" reviewer Tristram Lozaw writes:

If there was any doubt about the inspiration for this debut, it's dispelled in the album's first track, an ode to legendary Delta bluesman R.L. Burnside. Working in memory of the electric gut-bucket blues of Big Daddy, drummer Cedric's granddad, this Mississippi duo casts its own heady spell of juke-joint blues stripped down to the fuzz and guts. Schooled in supporting roles for R.L., Junior Kimbrough, T-Model Ford, Otha Turner, Hubert Sumlin, and others, the young Burnside and guitarist Lightnin' Malcolm add a wonderfully ragged and Hendrix-like rhythmic crunch to the entrancing circular moans of their Hill Country blues teachers.

You don't have to take Lozaw's word for it. If you want to see and hear for yourself what the new generation of R.L. Burnside blues sounds like here's your chance. Cedric and Malcom, who perform as "The Juke Joint Duo" will be playing Martin's in Jackson on Saturday November 1st at 10 p.m.

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