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Lonnie Mack

American blues singer

Died when: 74 years 278 days (897 months)
Star Sign: Cancer

 

Lonnie Mack

Lonnie McIntosh (July 18, 1941 – April 21, 2016), known as Lonnie Mack, was an American singer-guitarist.He performed and recorded in a broad range of popular genres, including roots-rock, blues, R&B, country, gospel, bluegrass, and soul.

He is most widely recognized, however, as an influential pioneer of blues-rock music and rock guitar melodic soloing.Mack emerged in 1963 with the LP, The Wham of that Memphis Man.

The album earned him lasting renown as both a blue-eyed soul singer and a rock guitar innovator.In the album's instrumental tracks, Mack introduced "edgy, aggressive, loud, and fast" blues melodies and runs to the chords-and-riffs format of early rock guitar.

These tracks elevated the standard for rock guitar proficiency and led early in the electric guitar's rise to the top of melodic soloing instruments in rock.

As the 1960s progressed, Mack's guitar style served as a prototype for lead guitarists of two new genres, blues-rock and its stylistic cousin, Southern rock.

Shortly after the album's release, however, the massively popular "British Invasion" hit American shores, and Mack's career "withered on the vine".

He marked time until 1968, when Rolling Stone magazine rediscovered him and Elektra Records signed him to a three-album contract.He was soon performing in major venues, but his multi-genre Elektra albums downplayed his blues-rock appeal and record sales were modest.

Mack left Elektra in 1971.He spent the next fourteen years as a low-profile country music recording artist, roadhouse performer, sideman, and music-venue proprietor.

In 1985, Mack resurfaced with a successful blues-rock LP, Strike Like Lightning, a promotional tour featuring celebrity guitarist sit-ins, and a concert at Carnegie Hall with guitarists Roy Buchanan and Albert Collins.

In 1990, he released another well-received blues-rock album, Lonnie Mack Live!Attack of the Killer V, then retired from recording.He continued to perform, mostly in smaller venues, until 2004.


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