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Feel the beat: Award-winning drummer Cedric Burnside stops in Taos & Santa Fe

Cedric Burnside is putting together a new album to be released later this year.

Cedric Burnside is putting together a new album to be released later this year.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Despite his accolades, Cedric Burnside remains humble.

The award-winning drummer recently picked up the Memphis Blues Award for drummer of the year. It’s his fifth consecutive year to win the honor.

“I just try to remain humble in everything I do,” he says during a recent phone interview. “I’ve been working with music since I was 13 and it’s my life. It’s my gift I share with the world.”

Burnside is gearing up for some dates in the United States before he heads to Italy and Switzerland in a few months.

He’s also busy working with his guitar player, Trenton Ayers, on a new album of original work.

“It’s an awesome feeling with everything going on,” he says. “I have to say I’m loving every minute of it.”

One would expect Burnside to always practice and keep his skills sharp. But it isn’t so.

“I practice about three times a week,” he says. “I’ve got too much going on to just sit and practice. Right now, there’s writing going on and getting ready for tour. I would wear myself out.”

As far as writing goes, Burnside says he and Ayers have been working together and feeding off the energy each one brings. He says they’ve been working at his house in Mississippi.

“Sometimes we’ll sit in the front room and just work a song out,” he says. “The songs come in all different ways.”

Burnside says the new album will have a more raw sound that captures the live sound. So he and Ayers are recording it all live without any overdubs.

“The music will showcase what I’m all about,” he says. “It’s grittier and just has more of an edge to it. When you listen to it, I want the listener to feel what it’s like to be at one of my shows.”