RECORDED AT CEDAR CREEK RECORDING, AUSTIN,TEXAS
GENE LAWSON and STEVIE MENDELL, Engineers
MIXED AT AUSTIN RECORDING STUDIOS, AUSTIN, TEXAS
RICHARD MULLEN, Engineer
and STREETERVILLE RECORDING STUDIOS, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
JUSTIN NIEBANK, Engineer
COVER DESIGN BY XENO/CHICAGO
COVER PHOTOS BY LONE STAR SILVER, AUSTIN, TEXAS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: BRUCE IGLAUER
ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: MINDY GILES
STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN APPEARS COURTESY OF EPIC RECORDS
THANKS TO CAROL MC INTOSH, EVERYONE AT MT. VIEW LODGE in SPICEWOOD, TEXAS, CHESLEY MILLIKIN, EDIE JOHNSON, and SUSAN J. BLACKWELL
VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO BEN SANDMEL, WITHOUT WHOSE CONSTANT ENTHUSIASM THIS ALBUM WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED.
LONNIE MACK , Guitar and Vocals
STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN , Guitar
BILL MC INTOSH , Guitar
STAN SZELEST , Keyboards
TIM DRUMMOND , Bass
DENNIS O'NEAL , Drums
GENE LAWSON , Drums
THE CROQUETTES, Vocals: Lisa Gilkyson, Karen Kraft, Gwen Newsome
Anyone who loves sizzling guitar solos has enjoyed Lonnie Mack's fiery legacy. Twenty-two years ago, Lonnie burst onto the national Top 10 with an instrumental version of Chuck Berry's Memphis. Beyond its rich chording and strong groove, the record featured a classic, groundbreaking solo.Lonnie's wild-yet-fluid phrasing and screaming, single-note climaxes brought expansive new concepts to early '60s rock. When Memphis was followed by Wham! and Chicken Pickin', Lonnie emerged as one of rock guitar's first modern masters.
Lonnie's innovations helped set the stage for such psychedelic blues-rockers as Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield and Duane Allman. His then-new ideas have maintained all their punch, inspiring current guitar heroes like Stevie Ray Vaughan. What's more, Lonnie was among the first modern players to perfect a seamless, authentic blend of black and white roots music. His picking drew on T-Bone Walker, Chuck Berry and Merle Travis, while his gutsy vocals merged his two favorite singers, country's George Jones and Bobby "Blue" Bland. Besides propelling lead guitar into the '60s and beyond, Lonnie's blues/country blend marks him as a founding father of Southern rock. Lonnie has kept at it continuously since his one brief burst of stardom. During the past two decades he's crisscrossed the country countless times, cut eight albums of his own, and played on records by James Brown, Freddie King and The Doors. He's performed at big arenas and obscure backwoods bars, and worked on the production staff of a major record label. There've been lean periods as well as limelight, and Lonnie's covered a wide variety of styles, from orchestrated country to raw rhythm and blues. Now Strike Like Lightning brings back this brilliant pioneer at full rocking strength. Stevie Ray Vaughan is his latest stellar disciple, but the torch has yet to be passed. It's still in Lonnie Mack's hands, burning just as brightly as ever.
-- Ben Sandmel
Ben Sandmel is a Cincinnati-bred, New Orleans-based drummer and a regular contributor to Musician, Down Beat and The New Orleans Times Picayune
"I love working with Lonnie! We really fire each other up. He's always been a big idol of mine, and a big influence on my playing. A lot of people don't realize how big an influence he is on rock guitarists in general. Lonnie and I went for his original sound and feel here. I think this is the perfect time for Lonnie's type of music - which he's really the king of - to be heard again. It's time for people to realize what they've missed.
-- Stevie Ray Vaughan
"Stevie plays his ass off! Daggone, that son of a bitch makes me nervous! It's been great, man, it's really been fun."
It's not hard to tell that both Stevie and Lonnie are tickled to death with this blistering new album. Lonnie's 1963 debut set - The Wham! Of That Memphis Man - was the first record that Stevie ever bought and the two have been itching to work together since their initial meeting seven years ago. Last December they finally got their chance.
Strike Like Lightning is Lonnie Mack's first album in eight years. He's using the occasion to reaffirm his roadhouse rock roots, which stretch back to the mid-'50s and the tri-state border of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. "This album here is the funky Cincinnati blues and rock groove," Lonnie says in a proud reference to the town where he first recorded. In that spirit, Lonnie reunited his old Cincinnati gang to celebrate and record together.
Tim Drummond--bassist in demand for Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Ry Cooder and J. J. Cale --first met Lonnie in the '60s. Lonnie was working sessions for Cincinnati's King Records while Tim held down an historic gig with the label's top artist, James Brown. Over the years, Tim has played on almost all of Lonnie's albums. Drummer and engineer Gene Lawson played on Lonnie's biggest hit Memphis, and now runs his own studio in Nashville, while drummer Dennis O'Neal has cut two records with The Michael Stanley Band. Bill McIntosh-- Mack's younger brother and ace second guitarist - has toured and recorded with Lonnie for nearly a decade. Stan Szelest's diverse keyboard credits include Jackson Browne, Maria Muldaur, and an early incarnation of The Band, in the pre-Dylan days when the group backed Ronnie Hawkins. Stan also sparkled on Lonnie's last two albums. Stan and Stevie are the only players here who don't share the "Cincinnati connection."
Though scattered across the country, these busy pros gave this session top priority, and Lonnie was touched by their loyalty. "I believe in keeping the family together," he says with deep affection. "It helps get that good thing, that good energy in the studio."
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