Lonnie Mack

The Wham of That Memphis Man!

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This is a reissue of Mack's first album for Fraternity in 1964, the one thousands of guitarists cut their teeth on. Muddy Waters once sang, "The blues had a baby and they named the baby rock & roll." This is the album that proves it. Instrumental versions of R&B hits ("Memphis," "Susie Q," "The Bounce") rebound against heartfelt soul numbers ("Farther Down the Road," "Why?") right next to dazzling fretboard blues romps both slow and fast ("Wham!," "Down and Out"). Mack sings his rear end off, the band -- with saxes and Hammond organ and pumping soul bass -- is right in there and Mack's vibrato-drenched guitar stings, wounds, and amazes. It remains his defining moment.

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