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Memphis Wham!, CD (£11.50)
The term "influential" is applied to almost anyone these days but there's still a case for saying that the massively popular blues-rock guitar genre can be traced way back to the strength, power and emotional passion of Lonnie Mack whose classic Fraternity album, The Wham Of That Memphis Man, was the first record to dent a hole in the pocket money of a ten year old Stevie Ray Vaughan. Mack's convincing distillation of blues, gospel and country also pre-figured the roadhouse booze 'n' boogie movement, inspiring a fresh generation of Southern country rockers. This familiar Hoosier guitar legend hype isn't what every Lonnie Mack admirer wants to hear though. It doesn't cut much ice with the pre-metal fan who prefers the 60s Lonnie Mack, the spontaneous purveyor of ratcheting rock'n'roll instrumentals and the untutored singer of blue-eyed soul in excelsis. That's the Lonnie Mack for me and, happily, it's the Lonnie Mack which Ace now bring to you.
Memphis Wham! is the long-awaited follow-up to LONNIE ON THE MOVE (CDCH 352). That was the rest of, so prepare yourself for the best of. The line-up features Mack's classic Fraternity album The Wham Of The Memphis Man, plus 13 extra tracks consisting of rare singles and eight previously unreleased sides, all in terrific sound.
By Bill Millar