Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm

The grandson of late guitarist R.L. Burnside, Mississippi-born drummer Cedric Burnside has been collaborating with guitarist Lightnin' Malcolm as the "Juke Joint Duo" for quite a few years, and the chemistry they have developed is evident on sophomore CD 2 Man Wrecking Crew. Together, they combine the punch of old Delta blues with funk, hip-hop and rock influences; one can hardly believe that this was actually recorded live in the studio with just two musicians. "Malcolm normally plays through two amps," explains Burnside over the phone. "He turns the bass amp up a little bit just to bring up the bass strings on the guitar, so that's pretty much all we do with the guitar and the drums."

Whenever Burnside and Malcolm perform, audiences are always surprised that there is no bass player — but once the duo gets onstage, they finally get it. "When we get done, they'll come up to us and say, 'I know I asked you guys about a bass player, but you guys don't need a bass player," Burnside says. "But we've been doing it just like that for a while, and we enjoy it and the people enjoy it, and as long as we keep enjoying it we're gonna keep on doing this, you know?

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Ernest Barteldes