Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm: R.L. Burnside
2 Man Wrecking Crew (Delta Groove 127)
Bekka Bramlett (background vocals), Etta Britt (background vocals).
Composed by Cedric Burnside.
Recorded: Nashville, no date given (CD released in 2008)
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
For better or worse, the blues world increasingly looks to the children and grandchildren of the great departed to carry on the spirit of the music. But what big frets to fill when you aim to continue the tradition passed on by the late R.L. Burnside, one of the greatest guitarists the blues world has ever known. Cedric Burnside, his grandson, pays tribute on this track, and along with guitarist Lightnin' Malcolm manages to capture some of the raw energy and unbridled drive that distinguished the departed artist's work. This is an odd combo for a blues recording, without bass or keyboard or rhythm guitar to support the groove. No matter, this duo is in absolute lockstep, and don't need anyone else to point the way. Malcolm is definitely a guitarist worth checking out—his sense of the pulse is riveting; and Cedric Burnside adds some serious gunpowder to the usually tepid world of blues drumming. Keep an eye out for these musicians, who have the potential to go far.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia