These 19 Flying V-soaked sides pack the same punch and hail from the same mid-'60s timeframe as Mack's seminal LP Wham of That Memphis Man. He unleashes his vibrato-drenched axe on the torrid "Soul Express," "Lonnie on the Move," "Florence of Arabia," and an astonishing instrumental version of "Stand by Me" that'll send aspiring guitarists' jaws crashing to the floor. For a change of pace, "Men at Play" mines a jazzy walking groove to equally satisfying ends.
With a passel of familiar faces in the cast (ex-James Brown bassist Tim Drummond, pianist Dumpy Rice, harpist Rusty York), the reclusive Mack rocks up some memorable dusties his way – the Falcons' "I Found a Love," and Bobby Bland's "Share Your Love with Me," Little Walter's "My Babe," and Jimmy Reed's chestnut "Baby What You Want Me to Do," along with his own "Gotta Be an Answer".
The third and last album that Lonnie Mack recorded for Elektra in his brief stint with the label in the late '60s and early '70s, The Hills of Indiana must have surprised quite a few listeners familiar with his earlier work. There were little of the blues-rock-R&B-oriented guitar fireworks that many of his earlier recordings had boasted. In contrast, it was a pretty laid-back affair with plenty of roots rock, country-rock, and early-'70s singer/songwriter influences. Steel guitar and fiddle augmented the usual rock lineup, string and horn arrangements were devised by Norbert Putnam (who played bass on much of the record), and there were liberal touches of gospel in the songwriting, singing, and occasional background vocals.
Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble formed the most impressive blues act of the 1980s, which made Vaughan's death in a helicopter crash at the start of the '90s all the more tragic. He grew up in Dallas, the younger brother of Jimmie Vaughan (cofounder of the Fabulous Thunderbirds). Stevie began playing in clubs at 12, and by 17 had dropped out of high school and moved to Austin. There followed years of struggling until April 23, 1982, when Vaughan and his group, Double Trouble, played a private audition for the Rolling Stones in New York. The gig led to an invitation to appear at the Montreux Jazz Festival, at which Vaughan was seen by David Bowie, who hired him to play guitar on his Let's Dance album, and Jackson Browne, who offered the free use of his recording studio. Vaughan took up that offer after being signed by legendary talent scout John Hammond to Epic, recording his debut album, Texas Flood, in the fall of 1982…
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. George Benson's first LP for Columbia – a hard, heavy, soul jazz slammer that bears no resemblance to his overproduced work of the 70s! The album's a real cooker – recorded hot on the heels of Benson's classic work on Prestige with the Jack McDuff group, and sounding a lot like McDuff's hard wailing organ jazz of the same time. George is working with a group that features a young Lonnie Smith on organ, plus Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Ronnie Cuber on sax, and Charlie Persip on drums – all tightly coming together, and jamming hard on the album's short cooking tracks. Tracks include "Clockwise", "Jaguar", "Hello Birdie", and "Bullfight". Plus, the CD adds five bonus tracks, including "Sideman", "Minor Chant", and the previously unreleased "J.H. Bossa Nova" and "Clockwise (Alternate Take)".
This five-disc set, contained in a cardboard sleeve that bundles standard jewel cases, consists of Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes' four albums for Flying Dutchman – Astral Traveling (1973), Cosmic Funk (1974), Expansions (1974), and Visions of a New World (1975) – along with their first for RCA, Reflections of a Golden Dream (1976). Some of the albums were intermittently elusive, at least when it came to the CD format, throughout the years, so this was a convenient – and affordable – way to get them in one shot. However, it went out of print quickly after its 2009 release.