It's in the soil as well as the blood: Duwayne Burnside will always be from the hill country of Mississippi. Channeling the spirit of his daddy, R.L. Burnside, as well as neighbors Mississippi Fred McDowell and Junior Kimbrough, Burnside delivers a signature ramshackle rattle. When he plays the slide-guitar-fueled style endemic to the region (which existed in near obscurity until championed by Fat Possum Records in the '90s), his primitive, highly rhythmic country blues shudders and shakes like a tarpaper shack in a hurricane. On Burnside's studio debut, Under Pressure
, Albert King's "I Got the Blues" gets a sweaty workout, highlighting the Chicago blues and Memphis soul that occasionally creep into his songs.
A two-year stint as a sideman for the North Mississippi All Stars seems to have solidified Burnside's touring and artistic resolve. "I want to keep it growing; it's still going to be hill country, but it's going to be a new hill-country kind of thing," says Burnside. "I'll give it the Duwayne Burnside spin!"