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Burnside to join concert series in Pine Bluff

by Special to The Commercial | May 21, 2023 at 4:22 a.m.
Kent Burnside, who has toured all over the world, performed for actor Samuel L. Jackson to help Jackson prepare for his role in Black Snake Moan in 2007, according to a news release. (Special to The Commercial/Christofe Losbereger)

The Blues By Budweiser concert series will feature Kent Burnside at 8 p.m. June 3 at RJ's Grill & Bar, 128 S. Main St. The doors will open at 7 p.m.

Port City Blues Society members are admitted free. Admission is $5 for others. The concert series is being sponsored by MK Distributors.

Burnside was born in 1971 at Memphis, Tenn., and spent his early years at Holly Springs, Miss. He is the oldest grandson and one of the closest pupils of the legendary R.L. Burnside, according to a news release.

The artist first heard the blues while watching his grandfather R.L. Burnside perform on the family farm to the locals. The younger Burnside used to sell sandwiches to audience members for a dollar a piece during these performances.

The first lesson R.L. Burnside taught Burnside was that to be a bluesman one has to find their own rhythm on the guitar.

"You can't play someone else's rhythm -- as rhythm comes from your heart," he said.

Burnside got his start in the music business playing with Jimbo Mathus (Fat Possum Records) and going on tour with Buddy Guy in the early 2000s.

"That was when he started developing his signature style of blues: dark, hypnotic, inviting and very dance-able," according to the release.

Burnside performed for Samuel L. Jackson to help Jackson prepare for his role in Black Snake Moan in 2007. He has also worked on The Blues Brothers' stage shows with Dan Aykroyd, who is a fan and supporter of Burnside's work, according to the release.

Burnside has spent decades performing at festivals and has toured all over the world. He has performed at the Blues Rules Festival in Switzerland, and played a two week tour of Australia with The New Savages. Kent Burnside regularly performs at Festivals around the U.S. with The Flood Brothers.

Port City Blues Society, who promotes the blues series, is an affiliated member of The Blues Foundation. It seeks to preserve and promote blues music, the culture of Delta blues, and educate the public about the history of the blues in the region. Port City Blues Society also hosts a free blues jam every Wednesday from 8-11 p.m. at RJ's Grill & Bar where area musicians converge to play live blues.

For details on Blues By Budweiser and Port City Blues Society, visit or their Facebook page at

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