Cedric Burnside: “It was a bunch of fun”

- What are your memories of recording Tell us about where you recorded the new album. INTERVIEW: JON DALE

Congratula­tions are in order, for the Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence.

Thank you, man. It was such an honour. I’m very humbled.

What does that kind of recognitio­n mean to you?

I have to say, it means a lot to get recognised by the governor, as well as other people who are members of the society that loves blues, and the politician­s’ side of things. It was really great. I enjoyed the ceremony, I love the award, and I thank the lord that people around the world love my music, and people right here in Mississipp­i like it as well. I didn’t think the governor even knew who I was! (laughs)

“I grew up in the juke joint; it was a big part of the whole community”

Hill Country Love? Oh man! (laughs) I can remember just about everything! I remember Luther coming in, us loading all the equipment from Zebra Ranch. We got a bunch of snacks, and whatever we wanted to drink. It took us three days to record the album. It was a bunch of fun; we cracked a lot of jokes. We ate snacks, drank a little bit and just started recording music. We had people stop by, because they heard the music from the outside, and they was thinking they could come in. They was thinking we were throwing a party or something! But we had to let ’em know, we was in the middle of recording! (laughs) It was a really good time.

It was one of the oldest buildings in Ripley, I think it was 150 years old, and it was an old lawyer’s o†ce. Her name was Diane Pulse; she passed away, unfortunat­ely, several years before I got the building. I was gonna make the building my juke joint, but that didn’t happen the way I wanted it to. It was taking a little too slow, with the process of getting it open, a lot of work needed to be done. So, me and the landlord couldn’t really see eye-to-eye.

What did it mean to you to be thinking about having your own juke joint?

I grew up in the juke joint, from a very young age; it was a big part of my life. it was a big part of the whole community that was around us; the people from miles around would love to come to Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint, when he had his juke joint going. So, it was something I grew up with. I loved the fact that we had a place to go and listen to that authentic hill country blues, and just really take a load o‘ and have fun. Drink a little moonshine, eat a little food! (laughs) There’s not many juke joints in North Mississipp­i anymore, so I kinda wanted to bring that back and give the community something to look forward to again, as well as myself. Because it was such a big part of my life, growing up. I miss it.

I imagine you played in a lot of those places growing up – you started drumming at age 13 with your grandfathe­r, RL Burnside. So how did the album come to be recorded in that building?

Before I le“ the building, I found out it had great acoustics, and I got a chance to play my guitar in there, and I was like, “Wow, the sound in here is amazing!” I talked to my brother from another mother, Luther Dickinson, and he was like, “Man, do you wanna record in there?” I was like, yeah, I’m ready to record another album, and this building would be great. I thought we was just joking, but it turned out it did have great acoustics, and Luther was willing to record me in there. He went to his studio, brought all his equipment out, brought it to the building, and the rest is history.

What’s your working relationsh­ip with Luther?

Me and Luther, we’re just really great together. We come up with great ideas, and we work well together. So I’m always looking forward to working with Luther any way I can, whether it’s a project that he has, or a project that I have. We’ve been knowing each

other a long time, he’s de˜nitely my brother from another mother, him and his brother Cody, and it’s something I think we’re gonna do for a long time to come.

What do you think you bring out of each other, when you work together?

I de˜nitely think that I inspire Luther, as well as him inspiring me. I love to write, and Luther’s always been inspired with my writing, the way I compose my songs. He always tells me, “You know, it’s real cool recording with you, because your hill country blues is real hill country blues.” Luther always inspires me from his guitar playing, and especially his slide. And he’s such a good person to work with, he’s very humble. And he always lets me know his idea on the song. If I need to add more of this, if I need to take out that, he’ll always speak up and let me know, and that’s something I really like.

 ?? ?? “It took us three days to record”: Burnside on a simple creative process
“It took us three days to record”: Burnside on a simple creative process
 ?? ?? “We’re really great together”: Burnside’s right-hand man Luther Dickinson
“We’re really great together”: Burnside’s right-hand man Luther Dickinson

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