Lonnie McIntosh, 18 July 1941, Harrison, Indiana, USA. Lonnie Mack began playing guitar while still a child, drawing early influence from a local blues musician, Ralph Trotts, as well as established figures Merle Travis and Les Paul. He later led a C&W act, Lonnie And The Twilighters, and by 1961 was working regularly with the Troy Seals Band. The following year, Mack recorded his exhilarating instrumental version of Chuck Berrys Memphis. By playing his Gibson Flying V guitar through a Leslie cabinet, the revolving device that gives the Hammond organ its distinctive sound, Mack created a striking, exciting style. Memphis eventually reached the US Top 5, while an equally urgent original, Wham, subsequently broached the Top 30. The Wham Of That Memphis Man! confirmed the artists vibrant skill, which drew on blues, gospel and country traditions. Several tracks, notably Ill Keep You Happy, Where Theres A Will and Why, also showed Macks prowess as a soulful vocalist, and later recordings included a rousing rendition of Wilson Picketts I Found A Love. The guitarist also contributed to several sessions by Freddie King and appeared on James Browns Kansas City (1967). Mack was signed to Elektra Records in 1968 following a lengthy appraisal by Al Kooper in Rolling Stone magazine. Glad Im In The Band and Whatevers Right updated the style of early recordings and included several notable remakes, although the highlight of the latter set was the extended Mt. Healthy Blues.
Mack also added bass to the Doors Morrison Hotel (1970) and undertook a national tour prior to recording The Hills Of Indiana. This low-key, primarily country album was the prelude to a six-year period of seclusion that ended in 1977 with Home At Last. Mack then guested on Michael Nesmiths From A Radio Engine To The Photon Wing, before completing Lonnie Mack And Pismo, but this regeneration was followed by another sabbatical. He re-emerged in 1985 under the aegis of Texan guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who co-produced the exciting Strike Like Lightning. Released on the Alligator Records label, a specialist in modern blues, the album rekindled this talented artists career, a rebirth that was maintained on the fiery Second Sight (1987) and Live! Attack Of The Killer V (1990).
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.