Back to the Shack
Jack Mack & the Heart Attack Horns are veterans of the LA scene with a classic Memphis-Muscle Shoals soul sound. with New Orleans native Mark Campbell handling the vocals, on this new recording the backing includes Tony Braunagel on drums, Andrew Kastner on guitars, Bruce Atkinson on bass guitar, and Carlos Murguia on keyboards with an impressive horn section that includes Les Lovitt on trumpet, Bill Bergman on saxophones. Special guest Lee Thornburg arranges the horns and is on trumpet and trombone on 'Aint No Way" while Mike Finnigan adds his Hammond B-3 and vocal to “Somethin’ In The Water.” Nine of the ten tracks are originals with the exception being Carolyn Franklin's “Ain’t No Way,” that Aretha originally waxed for her "Lady Soul" album.
Andrew Kastner, an original Jack Mack member plays the hard-edged, screaming guitar on the opening track “Standin’ Before The King,” a tribute to the B.B. King with an impassioned vocal from Campbell with Melanie Taylor adding her voice. "Something in the Water" is a funky number with Finnigan adding his voice to enhance Campbell's lead. The medium tempo easy rocker "Don't Let Her Go," is some soulful advice with punchy horns and Bergman's strong booting sax solo. The driving groove of the bluesy "Never Too Late," is followed by a lovely bluesy ballad "Somebody To Trust," with Finnigan again guesting on Hammond B-3 while Campbell displays his range as his voice soars here.
"Serves Me Right" is a terrific number that evokes Muscles Shoals in the backing and horns, while the funky JB's feel of "Bad Habit," should get listeners up and dancing. The lilting ballad, "Change My Ways," which opens with Bergman's sax, like "Never Too Late," exhibits the warmth in which Campbell can put forth a lyric and then after this Memphis sounding gem, we get another gem with his heartfelt delivery of the Franklin song. The closing rocker, "Let Me In," is a bit frenzied perhaps, but the backing is tight and the breakneck tempo doesn't phase Campbell's singing.
Mark Campbell is a terrific singer that suggests Otis Redding, Joe Tex and Wilson Pickett but places his own stamp on the songs here. The backing is terrific and the recording is excellent. This is an impressive album full of soulful music.
I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is a video of Jack Mack & The Heart Attack Horns.