Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm
2 Man Wrecking Crew
Although this Van Nuys-based label concentrates primarily on West Coast blues artists, they’ve gone a bit further afield with this CD, and you could be pardoned for thinking that the music here is the kind of Delta blues associated with men like Charlie Patton or Robert Johnson, the most famous of the Mississippi Delta bluesmen. It’s Mississippi music all right, but with a difference. Drummer Cedric Burnside is the grandson of Mississippi hill-country guitarist R.L. Burnside (1926-2005), who gained fame when, in his late ’60s, he began recording for the Fat Possum label. The music, characterized by droning, emphatic rhythms and powerful beats, is hauntingly hypnotic, and Burnside and guitarist Lightnin’ Malcolm have added a few elements of their own by fusing it with doses of funk, soul and hip-hop. They both sing and write their material, with Malcolm contributing five of the 14 songs, among them the peppy “Fightin’” and the lament “World Full of Trouble” (“Seems like God don’t know my name”). Burnside switches to guitar on his “She Don’t Love Me No More” with Malcolm on drums and harp player Jason Ricci guesting. It’s almost like being in a hill-country juke joint!