Daddy Mack Blues Band

Fix It When I Can

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The album title refers to Daddy Mack's (aka Mack Arthur Orr) day job as an auto mechanic, but if he applies as much soul to his car repair business as he does his vocals and laid-back guitar work, he might be able to quit that gig. While he's not attempting anything unique or even doing it in an unusual way, Mack and his three-piece backing band personify Memphis soul/blues in a consistently satisfying set of mostly original (if highly derivative) tunes. Whether rewriting Albert King's "I'll Play the Blues for You" as "I Don't Understand You Baby" or laying into a jaunty, upbeat shuffle on the appropriately titled "Daddy Mack Shuffle," Mack effortlessly finds the heart of his R&B-laced blues. His fluid guitar lines are smooth and unruffled, yet create a powerful groove. Along with a sympathetic band, Mack's low-key riffing and easy, unvarnished voice on "Get Your Act Together" define the concept of a chugging Memphis feel. The disc's closing instrumental cover of Donny Hathaway's "The Ghetto" reworks the song's tough riff into a blues format with Mack's most forceful, almost acidy guitar work on the disc, and is one of the album's highlights. Tight yet graceful, this music defines the late-Stax Memphis style by honing a greasy, classy approach, perfectly mixing soul and blues with loose precision.

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