The Grammy-nominated blues artist and renowned drummer Cedric Burnside will return to the Proud Larry’s stage with the Cedric Burnside Product tonight to showcase this merging of music cultures.
The Cedric Burnside Product combines the past of blues culture with the newer sounds and energy of the modern blues interpretation.
“We consider (Cedric Burnside) family,” Scott Caradine, the owner of Proud Larry’s, said. “He has played here many times, and we look forward to his return at Proud Larry’s.”
Burnside grew up in Holly Springs, where he was first submerged in the blues music that has run through the veins of three generations of his family. He is the grandson of famed blues guitarist R.L. Burnside and the son of Calvin Jackson, a drummer. Burnside learned about music at his grandfather’s side and began touring and playing drums as early as 13 years old, according to his band’s website.
With no radio or TV, his grandfather entertained him. They often threw house parties at which his grandfather would play music on their porch. Johnny Woods, a family friend and a fellow Mississippi singer and harmonica player, accompanied R.L. on blues sessions.
Burnside wanted to help put Mississippi’s Hill Country Blues on the map and continue in the music industry, so he collaborated with his brother Cody Burnside and his uncle Gary Burnside in 2010. The end product was the Cedric Burnside Project. Its tracks aim to rejuvenate classic blues of north Mississippi for a younger audience.
Leigha Coke, a blues fan from Pearl, said blues holds a special place to her, so she is thrilled the Cedric Burnside Project is performing in town.
“Growing up, my family always listened to blues around the house,” Coke said. “I remember my parents having an album belonging to R.L. Burnside, so I’m really looking forward to hear some of his music, especially in Oxford.”
Coke said she believes Cedric Burnside could help promote more blues and R&B music in the area.
“I’m so excited to see more blues shows in Oxford to provide variety, which might help encourage future artists to come to Oxford and perform,” Coke said.
After the death of his brother Cody, Cedric continues to play the music they loved. He invited his lifelong friend Trenton Ayers to accompany him and the band on their tour.
Cedric Burnside Project’s newest album, “Descendants of Hill Country,” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Blues Album of the Year. The infusion of Mississippi Hill Country Blues, Funk, R&B and soul will leave blues fans wanting more.
Burnside has played with Junior Kimbrough, Bobby Rush, North Mississippi Allstars, Jimmy Buffet and more. In 2006, he played drums alongside Samuel L. Jackson in Black Snake Moan, a critically acclaimed film that gave tribute to many late blues musicians, including his grandfather.
Burnside writes and sings about what is true to him, like his children and everyday life. He created his own style of rhythmic tunes that fosters charged blues ballads and leaves music lovers wanting more.
The combination of his experience and skills on the drums has garnered him the Blues Music Awards’ Drummer of the Year four times. Burnside has made a name for himself as one of the genre’s best drummers. Now, he hones himself as a classic blues artist, as well.
The Cedric Burnside Project will be perform today at Proud Larry’s. Doors will open at 8 p.m., and the show will start at 9.