Cedric Burnside is the real deal. The two-time Grammy nominee still lives on several acres not far from the Holly Springs, Mississippi, home where he was raised by “Big Daddy” — his grandfather, the late singer/songwriter/guitarist R.L. Burnside. Cedric was literally born to play the blues, but if the blues has traditionally been about getting through hard times, his work offers the kind of deep baring of the soul that enables us to transcend oppression, whether in the 19th century or in the precarious present.
We caught up with him recently at the Shoals Theatre after his jaw-dropping performance at Songs of Love and the Lack Thereof, put on by our friends and neighbors at Single Lock Records. We asked him about the evening’s theme — love (and the lack thereof) — and about the South, about where he gets his inspiration, and so much more.
We started by asking where he gets his song ideas from. After all, his records blend traditional blues with original, insightful lyrics, the kind of thing that’s instantly relatable, whether it’s about an ordinary day or extraordinary passion. “Honestly, most of my songs are inspired by the trials and tribulations of my actual life,” he says. “It’s always been that way.”