NPR: UM blues curator mentioned in Cedric Burnside article

Grammy-Nominated Blues Musician Cedric Burnside Remembers His Roots


Growing up poor in Mississippi, Cedric Burnside didn’t have running water.

It’s a fact he highlights in the first song on his Grammy-nominated album, Benton County Relic.

In the upbeat, soulful song, titled “We Made It,” Burnside croons verses like, “I came from nothing, I done been lower than low” and “Walk 3 miles every day, to have water in the house for another day.”

Burnside grew up in his grandfather’s house, along with many of his cousins. It wasn’t until he was 12 years old that they finally got running water.

“When you don’t have running water and you finally move in a place that has running water … y’done made it,” he said, speaking to the title of his first song.

This is a style that strips the music to the bone, according to Greg Johnson, a blues curator at the University of Mississippi.

“The emphasis is really on the rhythmic drive of the piece,” Johnson said. “You get a little riff going, a little groove going in the guitar. A lot of times you won’t change to another chord.”

Read the full story here.