“[He] carries the mantle – the joy and the burdens and the history of North Mississippi hill country blues…” – The Bitter Southerner
The son of blues drummer Calvin Jackson and the grandson of blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist R.L. Burnside, it can be said that the blues are genetically woven into the fabric of Cedric Burnside’s life. By the time the Memphis native was thirteen years old, he was already touring with his grandfather’s band as their drummer. Over the next few years he appeared on multiple R.L. Burnside albums and played drums for other artists such as the North Mississippi Allstars, Jessie Mae Hemphill, and John Hermann, among many others. For nearly a decade he released collaborative records with other artists, including the Grammy-nominated Descendants of Hill Country (2015), featuring Garry Burnside and Trenton Ayers. Burnside’s first solo work came three years later with the Grammy-nominated Benton County Relic (2018), followed by the critically acclaimed and Grammy-winning album, I Be Trying (2021). His work holds the legacy and future of North Mississippi’s sound stories, telling ancestral blues stories that honor the region’s heritage and ensure its future. These stories, monumental and everyday, at once African and American and Southern and Mississippian, document the human condition and the Black American experience, from the genre’s birthplace.