Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Hills of Indiana - Lonnie Mack

Album : The Hills of Indiana (Elektra)
Artist : Lonnie Mack
Year LP Issued : 1971
Year CD Issued : 2003
Genre : Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, you name it
LP Length : approx. 42 minutes
Rating : 9*/10
Lonnie Mack is first and foremost a great blues guitarist. But back in the late 60's Elektra tried to present him as a rockabilly artist. The Hills Of Indiana was his third album for them. I don't think it sold worth a hoot, but Elektra did pitch it a bit by putting one of its tracks on a triple-LP album - The Garden Of Delights, which had just a poopload of great-but-unknown artists on it. One of these days I'll have to convert that as well.
What's To Like...
There is some great guitar work by Lonnie. He also shows off on the fiddle on Bill Monroe's Uncle Pen. The slow ballads and spirituals are good as well. Some of the songs are Mack-penned; but quite a few were written by others.
The Best of the Bunch...
Lay It Down (the track that Elektra put on GOD). Uncle Pen (there is no such thing as bad bluegrass). Asphalt Outlaw Hero (awesome guitar lick). The Man In Me (a Bob Dylan song, but I will always think of Al Kooper when I hear it). Three Angels (co-written and co-sung by Mack's friend, Don Nix).
Why Convert The LP...
Based on Lay It Down, I special-ordered this album in the early 70's. Then for some reason, I parted with it. Not rock-and-roll enough? Too country-ish? It's hard to remember.
Later on, I deeply regretted no longer having it. I watched for it for years at the used-LP shops, and finally found it a couple years ago. This disc is only in fair condition - lots of scratches, and one annoying skip that I finally circumvented. Still, it's great to hear it again, and I've been playing it a lot on the way to, and at, work. It has recently shown up as a CD on Amazon, but no one has yet written a review of it. I guess it still isn't selling.
Which is a shame, really, because The Hills Of Indiana is a great album from top to bottom. If you come across it, snatch it up. Nine Stars.
Complete Track Listing...
01. Ashpalt Outlaw Hero (3:02).
02. Florida (3:08).
03. Lay It Down (3:50).
04. The Hills Of Indiana (3:40).
05. Uncle Pen (1:48).
06. Bicycle Annie (5:10).
07. A Fine Way To Go (3:06).
08. Rings (3:10).
09. The Man In Me (3:09).
10. She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye (3:20).
11. All Good Things Will Come To Pass (3:27).
12. Three Angels (4:39).

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