LONNIE MACK R.I.P. 1941-2016

April 23, 2016 – 12:50 pm

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LONNIE MACK R.I.P. 1941-2016

Guitarist and vocalist Lonnie Mack, known as one of rock’s first true guitar heroes - and a major influence on Stevie Ray Vaughan - died on April 21 of natural causes at Centennial Medical Center near his home in Smithville, Tennessee. He was 74. His early instrumental recordings - including “Wham!” and “Memphis” - influenced many of rock’s greatest players, including Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Keith Richards and Jimmy Page. Guitar World said, “Mack attacked the strings with fast, aggressive single-string phrasing and a seamless rhythm style that significantly raised the guitar virtuoso bar and foreshadowed the arena-sized tones of guitar heroes to come.” Although the term “blues rock” had not yet come into common usage in 1963, “Memphis” and “Wham!” are now widely regarded as the earliest genuine hit recordings of the virtuoso blues-rock guitar genre.

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Click on the panels for a better view or to download jpg artwork.

Click here for the pdf artwork.

Boulder 1989 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO; August 24, 1989. Fairly good audience recording.

Thanks to phil_er_up for sharing the show at Dime.

phil_er_up noted:

This is what I remember. We were seated at a table and they were full bodied mics with the back end of mics on the table and used two ashtrays to elevate front of the mics to point toward the stage. Mics basically were pointed at each stack. With Metal tape the high end really comes through and you can hear Lonnie’s voice well and his guitar though the cymbals are loud too. Side A of the tape is smoking and, unfortunately, it cuts on Cincinnati Jail. Not much crowd noise. Crowd is way into the show though. Glad I left in all of Lonnie’s banter between songs so we can hear his voice.

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Picture posted at guitarworld.com.

Allen Mics > Sony D6 > Master cassette Maxell MX90
Table in back of dance floor
Nak > MC (Maxell MX90) > RME DIGI
Interface > Samplitude 6.0 > Flac 8

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Disc 1
Track 101. tuning 3:56 (6.6MB)
Track 102. Satisfy Susy 5:13 (8.8MB)
Track 103. Stop You’ve Got To Stop Hurting Me 9:21 (15.7MB)
Track 104. Rockin’ Pneumonia 3:14 (5.4MB)
Track 105. Further Down The Road 7:33 (12.7MB)
Track 106. Memphis Tennesse 4:18 (7.2MB)
Track 107. Wham! Double Whammy 4:54 (8.2MB)
Track 108. Drum solo 2:49 (4.7MB)
Track 109. Intro to Cincinnati Jail Drums/Guitar solo 0:19 (549k)
Track 110. Cincinnati Jail 6:15 (10.5MB)
48 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Camp Washington Chili Count Western Silly Goat? 11:33 (19.4MB)
Track 202. Things I Used To Do 10:52 (18.3MB)
Track 203. Piano solo 2:22 (4.0MB)
Track 204. Instrumental Jam 4:54 (8.2MB)
Track 205. Medley Oh Baby You Don’t Have To Go 10:23 (17.5MB)
41 mins

Click here to order Lonnie Mack releases.

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  1. 14 Responses to “LONNIE MACK R.I.P. 1941-2016”

  2. so glad to see this..prince has been getting all the press but personally I`m a lot more familiar with Lonnie`s music.Thanks bigo

    By dropkick sarge on Apr 23, 2016

  3. Just my own taste, but I’d rather listen to Lonnie burnin’ down the roadhouse anyday then the purple poser. Not sayin’ the purploid wasn’t talented in his own way, just my taste…

    By Happy Camper on Apr 23, 2016

  4. Blessings Big-O for noting the passing of Lonnie Mack. I’m blessed to have seen Lonnie many times, always a treat. Typically noted for his guitar playing but he was a great, soulful singer too. Tough week for music of all stripes.

    By kingpossum on Apr 24, 2016

  5. Whammy Bar- quote:
    In 1958, he bought the guitar he would become best known for, a Gibson Flying V, serial number 7, which he equipped with a Bigsby tremolo bar. (After the release of Wham!, the tremolo bar became known worldwide as a “whammy bar”.)

    You can hear Lonnie’s guitar solo on Roadhouse Blues preceded by Jim Morrison’s urgent ‘Do it, Lonnie! Do it!’

    By sking on Apr 24, 2016

  6. Happy Camper please listen to the “Holland Post” Big O’s offering just might change your mind on if Prince ever got the Blues. I was still listening to my favorites when Prince got going. But I have expanded my mind with age and Discovered what I have missed. Thank-You Big’O’ most appreciative. The Band only gets bigger in Heaven!

    By popa c on Apr 24, 2016

  7. popa, I will. thanx. If I had a nickel for every musician I discovered too late…

    By Happy Camper on Apr 24, 2016

  8. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lonnie Mack
    Raw Footage of The American Caravan
    The Orpheum Theater on Beale Street
    Memphis, Tennessee
    August, 1986


    By paul on Apr 25, 2016

  9. ..Thanks again, BigO, for this tremendous concert from the late, great Lonnie Mack!

    By Beega on Apr 28, 2016

  10. Hello, First of all, thanks for posting this. I just now came across it.

    I am the author of the Wikipedia entry on Lonnie, and we were close friends during the last 11 years of his life. I wanted to correct the titles of some of the songs. Track 103 is entitled “Stop”. Track 106 is entitled “Memphis”. Chuck Berry did a vocal entitled “Memphis, Tennessee” in 1958. Mack’s instrumental, “Memphis” (1963), was loosely (very loosely) based on the melody of Berry’s tune. Track 107 is entitled “Wham!”. It was referred to as “Double Whammy” only on dueling-guitars versions with other guitarists, including Stevie Ray Vaughan and Danny Gatton. Track 201 is entitled “Camp Washington Chili”, after the chili made famous by a restaurant in Cincinnati. Track 205 was an exemplar of a medley of multiple songs. As I recall, he combined a version of this with “Camp Washington Chili” on his final, live album, “Attack of the Liller V”. Thanks again.

    By Steven Paine on Dec 12, 2016

  11. I should have added to the post above: Track 109 is simply the intro to 110, “Cincinnati Jail”. It is not a separate track in any way.

    Also, replying to the comment of sking, above, please see the footnote on this in the section of the Wikipedia article on Mack entitled “1968-1971: Elektra Years”. The upshot is that, based on published material, while several people (including one or two seemingly on Lonnie’s behalf) have tried to claim that Lonnie is playing guitar on that record, there is no documented proof that he did. However, I did ask Lonnie about it. He told me that he did not know if it was him or Ronnie Krieger, who he both liked and respected. Lonnie was asked to lay down a lead guitar track similar to that Ronnie had already recorded, using Ronnie’s guitar. He did so. Ronnie did several more recordings of it after that. Lonnie had no idea whose track was chosen in the mix-down, had no reason to believe it was his, and did not care whose it was. As indicated in the Wikipedia article footnote, he claimed only to have played bass on the track, and that’s all he was credited with. That was fine with him.

    By Steven Paine on Dec 12, 2016

  12. Hello Steven

    Thanks for the feedback and keep up the good work. Cheers.

    By bigozine2 on Dec 13, 2016

  13. Steven, it’s ROBBIE Krieger playing guitar with The Doors, not “Ronnie”.

    By mrbelette on Dec 14, 2016

  14. I have a cd called From Nashville to Memphis by Lonnie, 26 tracks of great stuff from his old Fraternity record label days.

    By dropkick sarge on Dec 14, 2016

  15. Mrbelette,

    Thanks for the correction…I knew that but somehow it came out wrong.


    By steven paine on Jan 12, 2017

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