The music Cedric Burnside plays is expressive, sexy, real and almost dead.
Burnside has been a working bluesman since before he was old enough to obtain a driver’s license. He started out drumming for grandfather R.L. Burnside, whose ’90s Fat Possum Records albums helped make the blues alluring to younger listeners again.
Now 40, Cedric is several records into a solo career.
His latest LP “Benton County Relic,” released by Muscle Shoals-area imprint Single Lock Records, evokes the scruffy-cool of R.L.’s Fat Possum releases, such as “A Ass Pocket of Whiskey,” but executed with sharper focus.
Trunk-junk shaking opening track “We Made It” could fit on a playlist between a Kendrick Lamar rap tune and Jason Isbell country-rocker. The song sounds in the present, even though the blues form by definition is a history book. “It’s more the raw style of where I come from, just like my Big Daddy, R.L.,” Burnside says of “Benton County Relic,” also referring to the Hill Country blues style his grandfather and Junior Kimbrough popularized among “Odelay”-era record-store-clerks.