Daddy Mack Blues Band

Since their first release fifteen years ago, the Daddy Mack Blues Band has garnered critical acclaim for their authentic brand of Memphis blues. Blues Central, the band’s sixth CD, features the same lineup now as it was then, with the exception of its current drummer Eddie Lester (William Faulkner died while on tour with the band in 2011). Brothers James and Harold Bonner continue to provide an infectious groove as rhythm guitarist and bassist behind lead singer/guitarist Daddy Mack Orr. Accolades of note in recent years include 2009’s Mississippi Blues Trail marker ceremony honoring Daddy Mack Orr alongside Mississippi Fred McDowell; AARP Magazine’s feature story celebrating Daddy Mack’s musical successes later in life, and most recently, the Tennessee Crossroads broadcast featuring an in-depth look at the iconic bluesman.
The new CD captures the organic intensity of these four seasoned musicians. A very special cast of guest artists is also featured on this recording including Beale Street’s Eric Hughes on harmonica, 2014 Blues Music Award winner Paul Brown (Bobby Rush) on organ, Ghost Town Blues Band’s Matt Isbell on guitar, Israeli blues guitarist extraordinaire Ori Naftaly, and singer Candice Ivory, first cousin to the Bonner brothers and heiress to the Memphis Fieldstones’ blues legacy. From beginning to end this CD has a little something for anyone who is a fan of blues or American roots music. Opening with the gritty groove of “Blues Doctor,” the tone of the CD is set for a bluesman confident in what he has to say. Featuring Naftaly on lead guitar, the energetic “Hard On Me” allows Daddy Mack to have fun with the idea of having achieved a level of stardom in his mid-sixties. “Doorman’s” raw-electric, one-chord stomp precedes the grinding “Daily Blues,” a song that explores the impoverished urban landscape through the eyes of its singer. A nod to ‘70s soul is evident in both “On the Rebound” and “Finish What You Started,” the latter featuring Candice Ivory’s amusing dialogue and seductive background vocals. “Memphis Gives Me the Blues” is a sentiment often expressed among musicians in the music Mecca, framed with a musical motif reminiscent of Muscle Shoals. For a slow, simmering, twelve-bar blues, Daddy Mack delivers convincingly both vocally and musically on “Almost Left You,” a song about faded love and resignation. While this band may play a few blues anthems, you won’t hear “Mustang Sally.” Instead, they prefer the straight-ahead funk blues of “Sensational Sally,” a new spin on an old concept. The sometimes humorous Daddy Mack delivers a vivid ditty on “Sharp Dressed Daddy” while maintaining his composure on “Watermelon Man,” which laments the loss of his woman, but not as much as the loss of the man with whom she runs off. “Everybody Have Fun” is a sure-fire crowd pleaser and becoming a fan favorite as the band continues to tour the U.S. and Canada. A lesser known side of Daddy Mack’s musical vocabulary is heard on the minimalist final track “Lonesome Train Blues.” A one-hour band performance is being aired on the internationally syndicated Beale Street Caravan radio program in June to coincide with the release of Blues Central.

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