Saturday, July 18, 2009

"That Memphis Man"

Happy birthday Lonnie Mack who turns 68 today.

Lonnie Mack is a pioneer of the blues-rock guitar solo, laying down landmark tracks before and influencing the likes of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman and the rest. He's from a magical place and time, the Memphis area of the 50's, the true crux of the country where and when all the American styles of music flowed together and met along the Mississippi and were fused by electricity.
In 1959 "the music died" and the first big "pop scare" swept the nation. Buddy Holly was dead, Elvis was in the army, Jerry Lee Lewis was scandalized by a marriage to his underage cousin, Chuck Berry was incarcerated for violating the Mann Act...sheesh. The airwaves were filled by the likes of Fabian, Bobby Vee and Bobby Vinton...ugh. Lonnie Mack and folks like Duane Eddy were trying to be heard, but it wasn't until the British Invasion came along that music was resuscitated.
Lonnie was finally acknowledge in the late 80's by Stevie Ray Vaughan who pointed out just how cool his versions of "Memphis", "Strikes Like Lightning" and "Wham" were and how they laid important ground-work.
Hell, Lonnie may be the only person ever who made "The Flying V" guitar look cool.
Here's a seasoned and recognized 50 year old Lonnie, showing us all what happens when serious music has fun.

Let the music speak for itself. I want a cookie.

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