Monday, February 22, 2016

Lonnie Mack - Whatever's Right (1969 us, marvelous soul blues roots 'n' roll, 2003 Sundazed remaster)

By 1968 guitarist Lonnie Mack had been playing professionally for a decade. Ironically, it took a lengthy article in Rolling Stone magazine to finally capture the attention of major record labels.

Signed by Jac Holzman's Elektra Records, Mack finally seemed poised for the big time.  Produced by Russ Miller, 1969's "Whatever's Right" is the resulting mix of blues, gospel and country genres was clearly souped up to appeal to a rock audience.  While the spotlight was clearly on Mack's Gibson Flying V (and his speed of light whammy bar), to my ears the biggest surprise here was Mack's singing. 

As exemplified by tracks like 'My Babe, 'What Kind of World Is This?' and his cover of Bobby Womack's 'I Found a Love' the guy actually had a great voice.  Interestingly, the two best songs here are also the only two Mack originals.  'Mr. Healthy Blues' was a killer instrumental that showcases how fast this guy could play, while Elektra marketing executives should have been fired for not having pulled 'Gotta Be An Answer' as a single.  
1. Untouched By Human Love (Norman Simon, Dick Roman) -  3:40
2. I Found A Love (Wilson Pickett, Willie Schofield, Robert West) -  3:34
3. Share Your Love With Me (Deadric Malone, Alfred Braggs) -  4:12
4. Teardrops On Your Letter (S. Scott) -  4:14
5. Baby What You Want Me To Do (Jimmy Reed) -  2:53
6. Mt. Healthy Blues (Instrumental) (Lonnie Mack) -  6:50
7. What Kind Of World Is This? (Troy Seals) -  4:05
8. My Babe (Willie Dixon) -  2:36
9. Things Have Gone To Pieces (Leon Payne) -  2:55
10.Gotta Be An Answer (Lonnie Mack) -  2:43

*Lonnie Mack - Guitar, Vocals, 6-String Bass
*Rusty York - Harmonica
*Jack Brickles - Harmonica
*David Byrd - Keyboards
*Roy Christiansen - Cello
*Tim Drummond - Bass
*Ron Grayson - Drums
*Timothy Hedding - Organ
*Jerry Love - Drums
*Denzil Dumpy Rice - Piano
*Leslie Asch, E. Brenden Harkin - Horn Arrangements
*Sherlie Matthews - Vocals

1969  Lonnie Mack - Glad I'm In The Band (2003 Sundazed remaster)

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