The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, January 9, 2009, Music

Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm

2 Man Wrecking Crew (Delta Groove Music)

Under the tutelage of grandfather R.L. Burnside and fellow North Mississippi players Otha Turner and Junior Kimbrough, Cedric Burnside learned at a young age that you "Don't Just Sing About the Blues." You gotta live them. On his latest, 2 Man Wrecking Crew, the method's ancient, but the full-bodied singer/drummer teams with Delta guitarist Steve "Lightnin'" Malcolm for 14 original tracks that put a spin on the blueprint. While Cedric lays out childhood folklore ("R.L. Burnside"), Malcolm picks with a minimalism that cuts through Dan Auerbach-ian drone ("So Much Love"). "Stay Here in Your Arms" swings evenly on a backbeat. Three tracks pit the axe-man on Dobro vs. the haunted wailing of Bekka Bramlett and Etta Britt on the Burnside-penned "She's Got Somethin' on Me." Like grandfather, like grandson, this 2 Man Wrecking Crew proves there's no sense messing with a good thing. (Burnside & Malcolm headline the Continental Club Friday, Jan. 9.)


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