Steve Azar is releasing a new track, “Coldwater,” today (Aug. 20) from his upcoming album My Mississippi Reunion. The newly-recorded track is a collaboration with friend and fellow Mississippian Cedric Burnside.
Burnside is the scion of a family that has been tremendously influential in the blues field. His grandfather was the legendary R.L. Burnside who shed light on North Mississippi’s idiosyncratic hill country blues style, and his father was noted drummer Calvin Jackson. Burnside is the recipient of four Blues Foundation Awards and has been nominated for two Grammys.
“I admire Cedric for everything he represents, not just because he’s a world class musician,” reveals Azar. “He’s a sterling human being and I’ve respected him for years. You’ve got two Mississippians coming together during these times in song. There’s nothing more powerful.”
My Mississippi Reunion includes songs Azar has written and recorded over the years that were inspired by his native state, and is due out Oct. 23. Every song on the album relates to a locale or aspect of the state, and more than a few take their titles from towns including “Midnight,” “Rosedale,” “Flatlands,” “Rena Lara,” “Greenville,” and “Indianola.” Azar wrote “One Mississippi” at the request of Governor Phil Bryant in 2017 as the state’s official bicentennial song, and the state also recognized him with the installation of a Mississippi Country Trail Marker in Greenville at the same time as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Jimmie Rodgers were similarly honored.
Azar organizes and promotes the Mighty Mississippi Festival, a yearly celebration of roots music. This year’s festival, slated for the weekend of October 1, is moving from Greenville to Clarksdale where it will take place on land where Muddy Waters lived before he moved to Chicago.
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