Cedric Burnside
Cedric burnside-14.jpg
Background information
Birth nameCedric O. Burnside
Born (1978-08-26) August 26, 1978 (age 43)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresElectric blues
Hill country blues[1]
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, guitar, vocals
Years active1991–present
LabelsSingle Lock Records
Associated actsR. L. Burnside, Lightnin' Malcolm

Cedric O. Burnside (born August 26, 1978)[2] is an American electric blues guitarist, drummer, singer and songwriter. He is the son of blues drummer Calvin Jackson[3] and grandson of blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist R. L. Burnside.[4]

Amongst many others, Burnside has played drums, either live or on record, with R. L. Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill, John Hermann, Kenny Brown, Richard Johnston, Jimmy Buffett, T-Model Ford, Paul "Wine" Jones, Widespread Panic, Afrissippi, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.[5][6][7][8][9]

Early life and education

Burnside was born in Memphis, Tennessee, United States,[4] to Calvin Jackson and Linda Burnside,[10] and raised in Holly Springs, Mississippi,[11] in the house of his grandfather, R. L. Burnside, and the extended family. By the age of 13, he began to tour with his grandfather's band, as a drummer.[11] He had overlapped his father's time in the band, and would eventually replace him on the drums.


In 2002, Burnside played on Richard Johnston's debut album, Foot Hill Stomp.[12] Burnside followed this two years later by playing percussion on Johnston's Official Bootleg #1 album.[13]

A short-term partnership of Cedric with Garry Burnside (his uncle two years elder) in 2006, saw them record The Record, billed as Burnside Exploration.[14] They had tour dates as opening act and jam partners for Widespread Panic.[15][16]

Later in 2006 in Clarksdale, Mississippi,[17] Burnside teamed up with Lightnin' Malcolm, and they both toured and recorded the Juke Joint Duo album.[11] In 2008 they released Two Man Wrecking Crew,[18] on which Jason Ricci played harmonica and Etta Britt performed backing vocals.[19] It won a Blues Music Award for 'Best New Artist Debut' in 2009.[18] The duo also toured with the Big Head Blues Club, a collaboration which led to them jointly recording the album, 100 Years Of Robert Johnson in 2011, to mark the centennial of the birth of Robert Johnson.[18]

Another collaboration followed, this time with his younger sibling, Cody Burnside, plus his uncle, Garry Burnside, which created the Cedric Burnside Project. From 2011 he recorded and toured with Trenton Ayers. In 2011, The Way I Am album was released.[20] Burnside's brother, Cody, died in 2012,[11] and their father followed in 2015.[21]

In late 2012 he recorded the album Allison Burnside Express with Bernard Allison, released in 2014.[22]

Burnside's 2013's Hear Me When I Say,[23] and the later Descendants of Hill Country (2015), were issued under the Cedric Burnside Project name and using the guitar playing of Ayers. The latter was funded using a Kickstarter campaign.[24]

In 2013, Burnside won the Memphis Blues Award as 'Drummer of the Year' for the third time.[11]

Burnside has had cameo appearances in three films – Tempted and Big Bad Love (both 2001), and Black Snake Moan (2006).[3][25]

Burnside has performed with Lightnin' Malcolm at Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival (2008), Memphis in May, Notodden Blues Festival (both 2009), and Voodoo Experience (2010).

In 2018 he released the album Benton County Relic, which he recorded with Brian Jay of Pimps of Joytime. Benton County Relic was nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019.[26]

Awards and honors

Burnside won his fourth overall, and third consecutive Blues Music Award in May 2014, in the category of 'Instrumentalist - Drums'.[27] He won the award again in 2019,[28] and 2020.[29]

The album Descendants of Hill Country, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016 for Best Blues Album.[30]

Benton County Relic was nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019.[26]

He is a recipient of a 2021 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States government's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.[31][32]


YearTitleRecord labelAccreditation
2006The RecordHarvest Media GroupBurnside Exploration
2007Juke Joint DuoSoul Is CheapCedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm
2008Two Man Wrecking CrewDelta Groove ProductionsCedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm
2011The Way I AmCD BabyCedric Burnside Project
2013Hear Me When I SayCD BabyCedric Burnside Project
2014Allison Burnside ExpressJazzhausCedric Burnside and Bernard Allison
2015Descendants of Hill CountryCedric Burnside ProjectCedric Burnside Project
2018Benton County RelicSingle Lock RecordsCedric Burnside
2021I Be TryingSingle Lock RecordsCedric Burnside


See also


  1. ^ "STLBlues Reviews :: Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm – 2 Man Wrecking Crew". Stlblues.net. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  2. ^ Jefferson interview. Issue 141, March 2004. Swedish original, via Google Translate
  3. ^ a b "Cedric Burnside - Lightnin Malcom". Delta Groove Productions. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  4. ^ a b Geraldine Wyckoff (2012-01-09). "Cedric Burnside: Real deal hill country blues". The Louisiana Weekly. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  5. ^ "Cedric Burnside | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  6. ^ "The Cedric Burnside Project performs at Shady's". Uniondailytimes.com. Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  7. ^ "San Francisco Blues Festival: 2004 Festival Archives". Sfblues.com. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  8. ^ Dave "Doc" Piltz (November 2002). "Richard Johnston CD Review". Mnblues.com. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  9. ^ Wes Freeman (April 2010). "Afrissippi, merging two continents". Perfect Sound Forever. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  10. ^ "Cedric Burnside interviewed by Jonny Meister". WXPN Mississippi Blues Project. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2015-05-05.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Cedric Burnside Project". Cedricburnside.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  12. ^ Piltz, Dave (November 2002), "CD Review: Richard Johnston Foothill Stomp", Blues on Stage, The Blues Foundation, retrieved 7 March 2010
  13. ^ Bill Mitchell. "Blues Bytes What's New". Bluenight.com. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  14. ^ William Ruhlmann. "Burnside Exploration | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  15. ^ "Widespread Panic Initiates Burnside Exploration". Jambands.com. 2005-10-06. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  16. ^ "Widespread Panic Concert Setlist at Mud Island River Park Amphitheatre, Memphis on October 5, 2005". Setlist.fm. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  17. ^ "Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm Music, Lyrics, Songs, and Videos". Reverbnation.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  18. ^ a b c "Artist Profile: Cedric Burnside". Mississippi Blues Project. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  19. ^ "2 Man Wrecking Crew - Cedric Burnside,Lightnin' Malcolm | Credits". AllMusic. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  20. ^ "Cedric Burnside | U.S. National Whitewater Center". Usnwc.org. Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  21. ^ "RIP Calvin Jackson". North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic's twitter. 11 February 2015.
  22. ^ "Allison Burnside Express". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  23. ^ "Postcard from the Soul: An Interview with Cedric Burnside". Bluebird Reviews. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  24. ^ "Help Keep the Mississippi Hill Country Blues ALIVE!!!!!". Cedric Burnside Project / Kickstarter.
  25. ^ "Cedric Burnside". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  26. ^ a b "Cedric Burnside". GRAMMY.com. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  27. ^ "2014 Blues Music Awards Nominees and Winners". Blues.about.com. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
  28. ^ "2019 Blues Music Awards Winners Announced". Antimusic.com. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  29. ^ McKay, Robin. "BLUES MUSIC AWARDS". Blues.org. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  30. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2016: See the Full List of Nominees". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  31. ^ "NEA National Heritage Fellowships 2021". www.arts.gov. National Endowment for the Arts. n.d. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  32. ^ Ehrgott, Anna (June 16, 2021). "Mississippi Hill Country Blues Musician Cedric Burnside Named NEA National Heritage Fellow". Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  33. ^ "Cedric Burnside | Discography". AllMusic. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2014-08-26.

External links and further reading