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Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm - 2 Man Wrecking Crew

Delta Groove Music

Cedric Burnside is the grandson of Mississippi blues legend and patron saint R.L. Burnside and is just about as authentic as a man can be. His style is hill country blues, which is quite different from the more well-known Chicago, West Coast, and Texas blues genres and is more groove and vocal-based, eschewing the extensive soloing of those styles in favor of feel, vibe, and mojo.

Burnside is considered to be one of the best drummers working today and, along with his partner Lightnin’ Malcolm on guitar, proves just how much music can pour out of two men on their latest release 2 Man Wrecking Crew. They filter the blues through the same minimalist aesthetic that inspires rock duos like The White Stripes and The Black Keys and add in touch touches of soul, funk, and hip hop to arrive at a unique sound that is at once true to the primitive beauty of old-school blues and very much of the current moment.

As one would expect in a two-man band with no bass player, songs and grooves are the important thing here and Burnside has plenty of both to spare. From the opening cut, a tribute to his grandfather called, fittingly, “R.L. Burnside”, Cedric and Malcolm are hypnotic in the best possible way and pull their listeners deeper into their world with every song. One of their best is the sweet soul number “Stay Here In Your Arms”, but all the tunes presented here succeed and the album goes down well from beginning to end.

This is definitely one of the more unique blues efforts on the market today and one gets the sense while listening to it that maybe everything that can be done with this music has not been done yet and there are still some new things left to say.

Review by Mike O'Cull

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