Bobby Mack Press Kit
Key Facts about Bobby Mack
Vice President, Palindrome Records, Inc.
Co-Founder, BMS Music
Owner/Proprietor, Train Time Music, a Texas-based company specializing in production, publishing and artist management.
On stage since 1974 with Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Luther Allison, Willie Foster, Doyle Bramhall, Lou Ann Barton, Jimmy Rogers
CD distribution in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Europe.
Touring performances in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Scandinavia and the former Soviet Union.
Recording sessions with the Neville Brothers, Lonnie Mack and Doyle Bramhall.
“Highway Man” Bobby Mack, 1999
“Live at J&J Blues Bar” Bobby Mack, 1998
“Sugar All Night” Bobby Mack, 1996
“Honeytrap” Bobby Mack, 1993
“Red Hot and Humid” Bobby Mack, 1990
“Texas Guitars, Vol. 1–The Women”, Catherine Denise, Lin Touratsos, Lynne Campbell, Rosie Flores, 1996
“My Life”, Willie Foster, 1996
“My Place is Close to You” Tolo Marton, 1996
“Let Me Down Easy” Mark Goodwin, 1996
“I Found Joy” Willie Foster, 1995
What the Press is saying about Bobby Mack
“Those guys cook so good I think I actually put on weight while listening.”
Steve Keller – Buddy Magazine
“His fast opening number moved with the power and pace of a freight train and had this fan comparing the music to the exhilaration felt when I first put my head out of the window of a moving car.”
John Pilley, Rip It Up – New Zealand
“From Texas blues, to Rock n’ Roll, to searing slide guitar, Bobby Mack has joined the ranks of the world’s great guitarists.”
Scott Smith, Austin Music Critic
“Try Honeytrap and you’ll be glad you got caught.”
Jim Beal, San Antonio Express News
“Mack and his band play rhythm and blues and Texas-style rock which is a searing and at the same time sultry sound of hot Texas winds, steamy nights and smokey South Texas Road Houses.”
West Coast Blues Review, April/May 1996, No. 16
REVIEW OF: BOBBY MACK TEXAS GUITAR (HIGHWAY MAN) (BMS)
Guitarist Bobby Mack has been kickin’ around the Texas backroads and roadhouses for better than four decades, and if he hasn’t broken free of the glut of Lone Star stringbenders trying to be the next Stevie Ray Vaughan, it’s not for lack of trying. Born in Fort Worth, Mack was a teenager when he moved to Austin, where he quickly earned a reputation as a talented performer, backing up giants like Albert Collins and Luther Allison at legendary venues like the Armadillo World Headquarters and Antone’s.
Unlike the numerous SRV clones, Mack was a contemporary of Stevie and his brother Jimmie, the guitarist drawing deep from many of the same musical influences and sharing stages with a lot of the same players. While history has shown how their careers diverged, Mack is still walking that lonely road and cranking out some mighty fine music, as evidenced by his seventh album, Texas Guitar (Highway Man). A sonic and artistic upgrade of his 1998 European release Highway Man, this 2014 version features spiffed-up vocals and guitar. The studio upgrades can’t conceal the energy and passion that Mack brings to his performances, however, making one wonder why he hasn’t become better known than he has.
The album’s title track is a curious hybrid of Texas and Chicago-style blues, with the scorching guitar and wideopen arrangement of the former and the tight rhythmic groove of the latter. The traditionally-styled “Borrowed Time” is a hard-luck tale with plenty of jagged, mournful guitar licks while “Pourin’ Rain” could pass for a SRV outtake with soulful vocals and devastating fretwork. Mack’s “Doin’ Alright” is a scrappy roadhouse rocker designed to get the crowd on its feet, something that the raucous “Steppin’ Out” does to even greater effect. Mack successfully fuses Texas attitude with Southern rock style on the Leon Russell/Don Nix tune “Palace Of The King” and the swaggering “Pumpkin Pie” pairs an infectious Bo Diddley beat with a rockabilly heartbeat. A solid collection of blues and roots-rock, Texas Guitar is a great introduction to Bobby Mack, the best Texas blues guitarist you’ve never heard (but should).
– Rev. Keith A. Gordon
REVIEW OF: BOBBY MACK & NIGHT TRAIN, HONEYTRAP (Palindrome)
Texas keeps serving up hot roadhouse blues artists; last year it was Alan Haynes and Bert Wills, now this year (recording-wise, any-how) it’s Bobby Mack & Night Train. The usual winning Texas bluesman formula is her again– hot and sweaty guitar-pickin’ with that easily identifiable Texas flavor, natural smooth vocals, a killer band, and top notch original music. So, Mack has got everything he needs to be a bona-fide star; he can sing, play and write, and he’s been on the Texas scene for over 20 years. It sure sounds like his time is here. Palindrome has two releases so far and they’re both winners; the Wilie Foster CD (reviewed elsewhere in this Hot Discs section) and now this baby. Mack and band actually back up Foster on his CD and do a magnificent job. Besides Mack on guitar and vocals, we have Mark Goodwin on keyboards and vocals, Jimmy Pate on drums and Larry Lutz on bass with guest artist Kim Wilson on harp.
Of the 13 tracks, just 2 are standards (“That’s Alright” and “Easy Baby”) and the other 11 are either brand new of obscure enough to seem new. There’s a southern rock influence and certainly an unmistakable Stevie Ray Vaughan influence but Mack is smart enough to not let it get carried away. There’s enough standout tracks here to make this CD a genuine “Boot-to-the-head” surprise- “Honeytrap,” “Come Back Baby,” “Promise Me Love,” and Driving’ Sideways” are all convincingly tough workouts that almost guarantee Bobby Mack and Night Train an uphill future. Once again Texas tuns out another big-time guitarist and band. 4 bottles for a very enjoyable debut CD. More Texas dynamite.
Blueprint Magazine (UK), by Keith Fitton
REVIEW OF: BOBBY MACK & NIGHTTRAIN
SUGAR ALL NIGHT (PROVOGUE)
Bobby Mack has had a relatively tough time trying to achieve the kind of status some of his fellow Texan blues guitar merchants have realized. This time, his latest studio album, released on Provogue, is by a considerable distance his best yet and showcases an artist more at ease with himself, his identity and musical style. Always a technically gifted guitarist, Mack has occasionally in the past been guilty of over elaboration, but here the style is lean and mean with a reliance on phrasing and rhythmic invention.
The benefits are clear to hear. The mix and excellent production assures a rounded sound which maximizes the balance of instrumentation and allows the music to breathe nicely. The SRV influence is obvious. But here Bobby Mack is maybe more entitled than most to live in the great man’s shadow — hailing from Dallas and moving to Austin at the same time as Steve Ray. “Sooner Or later” has the same sense of southern urgency and vocal scat laced with fiery guitar that characterizes much of Vaughan’s work.
There are only two covers here. Both work well. A version of Charlie Rich’s “Don’t Put No Headstone On My Grave” sparkles with edgy tension and anticipation, whilst Chuck Berry’s “I Want To Be Your Driver” races along at a frantic Schumacher pace.
The self-written tracks have plenty of variety. The title track is an acoustic number with Sonny Boy harmonica by Paul Orta, “Lost My Way,” a Freddie King funk type number with classy drumming by regular band member Dan Frezek. In fact the ensemble playing is tight throughout with Mack using his stage band – Bret Coats pins the bass down and Mark Goodwin adds very useful keyboards.
“The Rest Of My Life” is a fine slow blues – tender without approaching pathos with a lovely solo from Goodwin. “Block Party” is a pure goodtime instrumental that shuffles a long with added handclaps and Texas groove. My favorite track is the catchy “Goodthing” which benefits from a nice soulful feel and backing vocals.
I was surprised by just how good this release is. It’s definitely well worth a serious listen and I am genuinely pleased for Bobby Mack. After all the hard work he’s put in touring these last few years he deserves a break. A mature product from a maturing artist.
• The Great British Blues Festival, Blackburn England
• Portsmouth Music Festival, Portsmouth England
• Burnley National Blues Festival, Burnley England
• Leicester City Blues, Leicester England
• Harvest Time Blues Festival. Monaghan Ireland
• Monaghan Rhythm and Blues Festival, Monaghan Ireland
• Moulin Blues Festival, Ospel Netherlands
• Breda Blues Night, Breda Netherlands
• Blues and Roots Festival, Netherlands
• Peer Blues Festival. Peer Belgium
• Delta Blues Festival, Italy
• Sundsvall Musik Festival, Sundsvall Sweden
• Nottoden Blues Festival, Nottoden Norway
• Lillehammer Blues Festival, Lillehammer Norway
• Trondheim Festival, Trondheim Norway
• Auckland Music, Auckland New Zealand
• Raglan Blues and Roots Festival, Raglan New Zealand
• Copenhagen Blues Festival, Copenhagen Denmark
• Kiel Musikfest. Kiel Germany
• Wuppertal Music Festival, Wuppertal, Germany
• Delta Blues and Heritage Festival, Greenville, MS
• Austin Aquafest, Austin, TX
• Pecan Street Festival, Austin, TX
• Blues on the Green, Austin, TX
• Oyster Bake Music Festival, San Antonio, TX
• Mardi Gras Festival, Galveston, TX
• Dickens on the Square Music Festival, Galveston, TX
• Sundance Square Spring Festival, Fort Worth, TX
• Marshall Mardi Gras Festival, Marshall, TX
• Luckenbach Blues Festival, Luckenbach, TX
• Texas Crawfish and Music Festival, Spring, TX
• Wimberley Crawfish Festival, Wimberley, TX
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