Video Premiere: Cedric Burnside “Hill Country Love”

Photo credit: Jim Arbogast

“When you ever in the ‘Sip, come by and juke a little bit.”

Cedric Burnside is back, for all of you AUK listeners with an ear towards some traditional blues, with his new song ‘Hill Country Love’ in crisp visual form in this official music video release.  Due out April 5, via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group, Burnside brings out yet another solid bluesy riff, doing what he obviously loves, in a most-authentic way.  This music is part of his DNA.  Literally.

Now, before you watch/listen to ‘Hill Country Love’, please keep in mind, Burnside was a Grammy winner in 2022 for “Best Traditional Blues Album” beating out the likes of Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite, Blues Traveler, Guy Davis and Kim Wilson.  No easy feat.  There really is nothing like this particular raw form of the blues.  No going overboard with any production techniques.  Letting the real deal shine through is what this bit of genuine Americana is all about.  It’s the feel.  And, with all that said, see and hear it for yourself here on AUK.  It’s an invitation to visit.  As truthfully, ‘Hill Country Love’ was recorded in an unconventional location – an old building in the small town of Ripley, Mississippi.  Check this out – the space shown, was initially earmarked to be Burnside’s new juke joint, and created, “an authentic and resonant sound environment,” according to the record label folks.  Further, the album’s 14 tracks were completed in an extraordinary two-day session (2 days??!!), highlighting the spontaneous and raw energy of Burnside’s “hill country” music.  Just plain impressive, given the days and times we are creating in, in most of the professional recording world.  Even Nashville, many say, is producing a great deal more of the slick, overly-hyped tracks, that once were only thought to emanate from Los Angeles or New York City studios.  Pop music.  Too much over-produced, digital schlock has sadly seeped its way in, even into our beloved Americana, and honestly, the authenticity heard on this Burnside release is just really so very splendid to my fatigued ears.  Well, that’s definitely not a concern here – and that’s not what Cedric Burnside is about, nor any of his hill country music family.

If ‘Hill Country Love’ inspires you to dive deeper into Burnside’s repertoire and the rest of his catalog, know that you can open a clandestine door to a true extended family of musical torchbearers.  The “heroes of your heroes” as I once heard Tim Easton say.  You must be at least a little curious if you’ve read this far, so here it is:  Cedric Burnside’s father was the late, great drummer Calvin Jackson (by the way, Cedric plays drums too) – who, played drums with the great R.L. Burnside (wait for it) and gets some shared credit for developing the “hill country blues” sound.  He also played with the great Junior Kimbrough, among others.  In fact, R.L. and Kimbrough were essentially musical partners, family and neighbours – extended hill country blues family, which has now been accepted and acknowledged by many A-list music industry celebs as a “hallowed ground” of sorts in the spirit of truly American music.  We’re talking Alan Lomax kind of stuff, honestly.  (Please see the somewhat obscure documentary titled ‘Deep Blues’ if you can find it).  These guys heavily influenced the likes of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Black Keys, even the Beastie Boys! Lots of big names in rock n’ roll, Americana, blues, etc. have made the so-called pilgrimage to these hill country juke joints.  Books have and will be written.  And so it goes, Cedric Burnside’s father was Calvin Jackson (the aforementioned drummer), and his mother was R.L. Burnside’s daughter, Linda.  So there you have it, he’s R.L Burnside’s grandson.  Need we say more?  Cut hard from the true and very intimate cloth of a life deep in these hill country blues of north Mississippi.  Perhaps Cedric Burnside said it best upon his acceptance of his Grammy in 2022 when he told the audience, “When you ever in the ‘Sip, come by and juke a little bit.”  Do it.  Well, if you can.  Check it out here, for now.  Ironically, from your favourite digital device.

Lastly, I do detect a little ‘Steve Cropper’ vibe in this repeating guitar lick. It’s a great, bluesy guitar riff. But, then again, I’ve been on a real Booker T. and the MG’s kick for several weeks now.  Kindred spirits from the American south.  Again, authenticity.  And, I will one day write about the time I played Junior Kimbrough’s ‘Lord, Have Mercy on Me’ 20 times in a row at a party in Los Angeles.  Check that song out too, if you haven’t.  Thank me later, here at Americana UK.


About Mike Robbie 7 Articles
From California, with UK family roots. An aspiring songwriter, and part-time musician, who also enjoys freelance writing and spends far too much time in hotels. A member of the Americana Music Association (USA) as well as Nashville Songwriters Association. Currently enjoying the latest releases by Son Volt/Jay Farrar and Jack Broadbent ...
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