There is a marvelous music documentary aired by the BBC in England this year called Songs Of The South. In such documentary, the host went down to places like Georgia, Louisiana or Mississippi, trying to capture the true spirit of the blues. When asked by the host what really is the Mississippi Hill Country Blues sound, the hugely talented Cedric Burnside answered: “We like also to call it Field Music. It is music that one cannot really write, that type of music that has got no 16 bars, no 12 bars, it is just field music that comes from the heart. I am a Hill Country Man and I will die a Hill Country Man”.
I do believe each word Cedric Burnside said in that occasion. The Grandson of the great R.L. Burnside, Cedric has now, for many years, ran the Cedric Burnside Project, in partnership with those great musicians named Trenton Ayers and Cedric’s uncle, Garry Burnside. Their new release, Descendants Of Hill Country, is a true testimony of the honesty and integrity of the blues tradition at its very best. The interchange between the musicians, all playing different instruments, is absolutely amazing and one can hardily work out where one musician ends and the other begins.
The record grabs the listener from the heart, that very heart that Cedric mentioned in the BBC Documentary, whilst describing his approach to music. Someone like Nile Rodgers would love for sure that powerful bass line in Don’t Shoot The Dice; Going Away Baby sounds like a perfect night out playing John Lee Hooker in the car. You Just Wait And See makes the listeners close their eyes and make them think of a beautiful sunset in Mississippi, sitting in someone’s front porch, having a drink and listening to a delicate stripped-to-the-bone acoustic blues track with some good friends.
To find a floor to the album is an almost impossible task; the trio of musicians manage to fuse each other’s sound in a perfect alchemy, which makes their project the trademark of authentic Mississippi (Hill Country) Blues.
Gio Pilato, bluebirdreviews.com