Friday, January 31, 2020

Lonnie Mack - The Hills of Indiana (1971 us, pretty laid back affair with plenty of roots country rock, 2003 remaster)

Probably due to the success of The Band, starting in 1970 a slew of rockabilly and rhythm and blues artists diverged from the sound that gave them a name in the 60s and released at least one kick ass roots rock album. File Hills of Indiana on the same shelf.

Lonnie Mack’s 1971 outing may not slay listeners the first time around like Bobby Charles or Link Wray, though it reels in that familiar mix of blues, soul, & country rock. Indiana finds Lonnie trading his guitar slinger/blues-instrumental persona for gentler roots rock with touches of gospel and even straight bluegrass – Uncle Pen is a faithful rendition of the Bill Monroe number. He shows good taste with versions of Bob Dylan’s Man In Me, Carole King’s A Fine Way To Go, and Mickey Newbury’s She Even Woke Up To Say Goodbye. There are five originals (cowrote with Don Nix) with some fine cuts in Motown-inspired trucker ode Asphalt Outlaw Hero, the low-key and orchestrally ornamented Florida, and album closers All Good Things Will Come To Pass and Three Angels.

The album’s production is a touch on the clean side, edging near schmaltzy, and closer to Dale Hawkin’s pro-studio approach than Wray’s chicken shack. This kills only a little appeal for this near classic record, still worth a spot in any Americana collection.
by Brendan McGrath 
1. Asphalt Outlaw Hero (Don Nix, Lonnie Mack) - 3:04
2. Florida (Don Nix, Lonnie Mack) - 3:08
3. Lay It Down (Gene Thomas) - 3:51
4. The Hills Of Indiana (Lonnie Mack) - 3:42
5. Uncle Pen (Bill Monroe) - 1:51
6. Bicycle Annie (Drew Thomason) - - 5:09
7. A Fine Way To Go (Carole King, Toni Stern) - 3:07
8. Rings (Eddie Reeves, Alex Harvey) - 3:12
9. The Man In Me (Bob Dylan) - 3:08
10.She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye (Mickey Newbury, Doug Gilmore) - 3:19
11.All Good Things Will Come To Pass (Don Nix, Lonnie Mack) - 3:27
12.Three Angels (Don Nix, Lonnie Mack) - 4:31

*Lonnie Mack - Guitar, Vocals
*Buddy Spicher - Fiddle
*David Briggs - Keyboards
*Lloyd Green - Steel Guitar
*Don Nix - Baritone Saxophone, Vocals
*Troy Seals - Bass, Vocals
*Barry Beckett - Keyboards
*Kenny Buttrey - Drums
*Tim Drummond - Bass
*Roger Hawkins - Drums
*David Hood - Bass
*Mount Zion Singers - Vocals
*Wayne Perkins - Guitar
*Norbert Putnam - Bass, Horn, String Arrangements

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

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