Words/Photos Wal Reid
American electric blues drummer, guitarist, singer and songwriter Cedric Burnside has Blues written all over him. He was literally born with the genome running through his Mississippi veins.
The son of Blues drummer Calvin Jackson and grandson of Blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist R. L. Burnside, it was Auckland’s turn to experience the hypnotic Deep South sounds he wrangled out of his beat up guitar, alongside slide guitar/drummer virtuoso Brian Jay.
Amongst many others, Burnside is no slouch in the drums department also. Having either live or on record, bashed the skins for legends Jessie Mae Hemphill and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. But tonight he played songs off his latest album Benton Country Relic, his voice a refined raspiness while picking a flurry of pentatonic notes – it was pure sonic bliss.
“If John Lee Hooker was right and “Blues is the healer”, then Cedric Burnside administered just the right dosage to leave the Kiwi audience wanting more. “
He was in fine form tonight, his Southern drawl almost tailor-made to the carefully crafted set including some traditional Muddy Waters before hamming it up with Jay accompanying him on slide guitar, the pairing added a fantastic funky groove to the night while the music resonated with the full house audience, punters intent on having a good time.
Every time he belly laughed “Well, well, well.” It was followed up by an equally impressive intro, like into Hard To Be Cool or Death Bell Blues the music transporting the listener to the rich Delta Blues heritage he harkens from. The night was divided between Burnside and Jay taking turns swapping instruments, as they closed out their generously timed set to a spent and satisfied crowd.
If John Lee Hooker was right and “Blues is the healer”, then Cedric Burnside administered just the right dosage to leave the Kiwi audience wanting more. Fantastic