Born and raised around Holly Springs, Mississippi, Cedric Burnside, grandson of legendary R.L. Burnside and son of drummer Calvin Jackson, has been playing music all his life. He has developed a relentless, highly rhythmic charged style that takes the blues to another level. This six-time winner of the prestigious Blues Music Award’s Drummer of the Year (2010-2017) is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world and has begun to make a name for himself as a traditional blues guitarist, as well.
Growing up at his grandfather’s side, he began touring at age 13 playing drums for “Big Daddy” on stages around the globe. “I write about my life, my kids, and everyday things. I try to stick to the truth,” Cedric says. He recalls growing up without a radio or a TV. “My granddad used to play out on the porch, and we’d have house parties every weekend. Johnny Woods would come over and blow harmonica, and he’d drink two or three gallons of corn liquor. We just stomped up dirt.”
In addition to “Big Daddy,” Cedric has also played and recorded with countless musicians, including, Junior Kimbrough, Kenny Brown, North Mississippi Allstars, Burnside Exploration, Widespread Panic, Jimmy Buffett, T Model Ford, Bobby Rush, Honey Boy Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, Galactic, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, among many others. In 2006, he was featured in Craig Brewer’s critically acclaimed feature film Black Snake Moan, playing drums alongside Samuel L. Jackson. (The film is a loose tribute to R.L. Burnside, and gives many nods to the late bluesman.)
In 2010, Cedric collaborated with his younger brother, Cody Burnside, and his uncle, Garry Burnside, to create The Cedric Burnside Project. They endeavored to keep the love and admiration for Mississippi Hill Country Blues alive by honoring the past while blazing a path towards the future. The Cedric Burnside Project has brought new life and energy to the blues and it’s no wonder why it’s loved by fans around the world. Following the untimely and tragic death of his brother Cody, Cedric has kept the flame burning, recording and touring the world with guitarist and lifelong friend Trenton Ayers. Cedric Burnside Project’s latest album, Descendants of Hill Country, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Blues Album of the Year. Cedric is a member of The Recording Academy, Americana Music Association, Blues Music Association, and Mississippi Arts Commission.