Lonnie Mack

Lonnie McIntosh (July 18, 1941 – April 21, 2016), known as Lonnie Mack, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He was an influential trailblazer of blues rock music and rock guitar soloing. Mack emerged in 1963 with his breakthrough LP, The Wham of that Memphis Man. It earned him lasting renown as both a blue-eyed soul singer and a lead guitar innovator. In the album's instrumental tracks, Mack added "edgy, aggressive, loud, and fast" melodies and runs to the predominant chords-and-riffs pattern of early rock guitar. These tracks raised the bar for rock guitar proficiency and helped launch the electric guitar to the top of soloing instruments in rock. They also became prototypes for the lead guitar styles of blues rock and Southern rock. Shortly after the album's release, however, the massively popular "British Invasion" hit American shores, and Mack's recording career "withered on the vine". He regularly toured small venues 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 lead guitar and blues rock appeal and record sales were modest. Mack left Elektra in 1971. For the next fourteen years he was a low-profile multi-genre 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 Carnegie Hall concert with Roy Buchanan and Albert Collins. In 1986, he went on "The Great American Guitar Assault Tour" with Buchanan and Dickey Betts. 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 small venues, until 2004.

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