Southern Rock Legend Lonnie Mack Dies at 74

Southern rock legend Lonnie Mack died April 21st, 2016 at age 74 of natural causes near his home in Smithville Tennessee. Known for his transformative guitar solos, Mack was hailed as a rock guitar pioneer due to his impeccable phrasing, rhythm and style.

Born in Indiana in 1941, Mack got his start as a music professional early on, when he dropped out of school and began performing live shows at age 13. By the late ‘50s, Mack had formed a band of his own, performing tunes with roots in rockabilly and blues-soaked rock.

Mack then went on to become one of the most influential rock-guitar soloists of the genre. In blending different playing styles, like straight rock, blues, fingerstyle and more, he became the godfather of the wild and expressive blues-rock solos that became so prevalent in the ‘60s and beyond.

Beloved songs like “Wham!” and “Memphis” shine in Mack’s 13-album discography, lending inspiration to a whole host of renowned and celebrated guitarists and even bassists. Players like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Duane Allman, Ted Nugent and Bootsy Collins looked up to Mack, using him as a stylistic influence and motivator. Mack’s impact on the genres of rock, blues, southern rock and beyond are innumerable, his virtuosic creativity having led the way for some of this era’s most famed guitarists to follow in his footsteps.


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