UNION — A Mississippi musician’s unannounced visit to Union turned into a treat for local fans of live music.
“You never know who you might see at Shady’s on a Tuesday night,” said musician Freddie Vanderford, who performs at Shady’s each Tuesday.
Vanderford — who has been recognized for his work in preserving the Piedmont blues genre — performs along with master guitarist Brandon Turner each Tuesday during “Wing Night” at Shady’s. Vanderford often invites special guests to sit in while he performs. Guests often include locally-based musicians such as Fayssoux McLean, David Ezell and Kym McKinnon, and occasionally, guests from out-of-town stop in for Vanderford and Turner’s weekly gigs. Legendary Texas-based singer/songwriter Eric Taylor stopped in for Wing Night earlier this year.
“Where else can you have this much fun on a Tuesday night in Union County?” Vanderford often asks the Shady’s audience over the microphone.
Last Tuesday, Vanderford welcomed the Mississippi-based Cedric Burnside Project (Cedric Burnside and Trent Ayers) to the Shady’s stage to perform. Vanderford said he was honored for Burnside and Ayers to attend the gig.
“These guys are the real deal,” Vanderford said.
Burnside is the grandson of Blues Hall of Famer R.L. Burnside. Cedric often played drums with his grandfather, and he is the four-time winner of the Blues Foundation’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award. Aside from his grandfather, Burnside has also performed and recorded with Jimmy Buffett, T Model Ford, Bobby Rush, Honey Boy Edwards, Widespread Panic, and John Spencer Blues Explosion.
Ayers grew up with Cedric in North Mississippi, where he is known for his deep knowledge of the blues genre, and skills on both guitar and bass. Like Vanderford, Burnside and Ayers are dedicated to preserving the traditional music around which they grew up.
“I just met Freddie at a gig in Columbus, N.C.,” Burnside said at Shady’s. “We had a lot of fun, so we came to check out his performance here at Shady’s.”
Vanderford said his style of blues meshed well with Burnside and Ayers’ sound.
“Mr. Freddie is the man!” Burnside said on the microphone before playing a few traditional blues songs with Vanderford and McKinnon.
Erv Robinson, a blues fan who travels from Lancaster to Union most Tuesdays to hear the performances, said he was amazed to see The Cedric Burnside Project in Shady’s.
“I’m a big fan,” Robinson said. “I used to go see Cedric’s grandfather perform when I was in college. Freddie’s right; you never know who you might see in here.”
For more information about The Cedric Burnside Project, visit www.cedricburnside.com. For more information about Vanderford, search “Freddie Vanderford” or “Freddie Vanderford, Piedmont Blues Harp” on Facebook.