Artist Spotlight: Kent Burnside & The Flood Brothers

-Kerry Souder, Roots N Blues Intern

What happens when you combine the grandson of legendary blues artist R.L. Burnside with the distinct, bumping rhythms from two talented musicians from Hannibal, Missouri? Musical euphony.

After performing on the road together for over a decade, Kent Burnside and the Flood Brothers finally released their first joint album together late last year. The new team wove together their styles of rock, folk and juke joint blues to produce a lively and captivating sound. You can check out the album here.

For Burnside, pursuing music meant continuing his family’s line of great musicians. Raised in Mississippi with a horde of musical influences, he thrived at a young age and never stopped moving forward. Burnside’s grandfather began teaching him to play guitar was he was just 9-years-old and gave him a piece of important advice: “You gotta take a groove and just keep on driving it ‘til you come up with your own style.”

And that’s what he did. Burnside has created his own form of music that some have labelled as the new generation of blues music, and he is known for his high-energy shows. His style is influenced by collaborations with many great artists, including Buddy Guy, North Mississippi Allstars and Jimbo Mathus.Through all the collabs, Burnside has still remained very much his own. One his idiosyncrasies is that he doesn’t use a guitar pick, creating a unique sound with each strum of his thumb on the strings.

Overall, Burnside has a rather nonchalant attitude toward music, which fell in line with his grandfather’s mentality, too. “Even if you don’t make it in music, the least that you want to be able to say is that you tried it,” R.L. Burnside had once told his grandson.

The Flood Brothers’ came from humble beginnings, starting in a basement in the early 2000s. Members Gabe Meyer and Jacob Best had their first “big break” when they became the unofficial house band of “The Packer’s Roost,” a rowdy dive bar in rural Montana. When they returned home that they teamed up with Burnside, and by 2006, Kent Burnside and the New Generation were playing regularly at a variety of popular venues.

After 2010, Meyer and Best helped out different members of the Burnside family with whoever needed a musician, but eventually pursued their dream of becoming their own two-man band. The Flood Brothers are now based out of Columbia, Missouri where they will play with Kent Burnside at the 2017 Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival!

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