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Cedric Burnside's fuel for the soul

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

By Arne Sjostedt

You don’t choose the blues. The blues chooses you. And fans will be in for a rare delight when the accomplished Cedric Burnside lands in Canberra tomorrow night to bring his special brand of guitar driven fuel for the soul.

Burnside says he promises to bring a night of high energy Hill Country Blues, that will tear up the The Playhouse and give it the feel of a rocked up juke joint.

“It’s a very raw sound from North Mississippi. Some people say that it’s very hypnotic and hopefully they enjoy it and are ready to dance,” Burnside says.

Son of drummer Calvin Jackson, with two Grammy nominations under his belt for albums Benton County Relic and Descendants Of Hill Country, Burnside grew up at the knee of his Big Daddy, R.L. Jackson, the iconic blues artists from Mississippi.

“Just being around my Big Daddy and experiencing different things, I learned many lessons,” Burnside says.

A natural guitarist and lauded drummer, Burnside has been named Drummer of the Year four years in a row at the Blues Music Awards.

Though it will be his guitar work on show during this tour.

“This style of music definitely takes practice but I have been around it my whole life so it is a part of who I am. That is a big reason why I started learning the guitar because it lets me be me and I can play the music as I hear it in my head,” Burnside says.

A master of tone, where the six string really lets you know your blood is burning, he is elusive about the ingredients that go into creating that magic Hill Country sound.

“I would just say that my heart is the key ingredient. I don't use a pic and I really just play from the heart,” Burnside says.

It’s blend of instrumentation that soars as much as it shines, bred from tradition and interpreted for the modern stage by a master who was born into the craft.

“Hill Country Blues is a unique style where the guitar plays the lead and the bass at the same time. It can be very complicated at times, but I thank God for the talent.”

Catch Cedric Burnside for a unique performance of the very best of the blues - at The Playhouse, 8pm Friday 6 March. Visit for more information.


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