2016 – SSR Freeroll Records
By Phillip Smith; Jan. 7, 2017
There’s a big, bodacious, and retro sound imbedded in Back to the Shack, the latest release by the Jack Mack and the Heart Attack Horns. Front-man Mark Campbell invigorates each song with his powerful and soulful vocals as the band tops them off with rhythm, blues, and copious amounts of brass. It’s impossible to miss the Stax and Motown influences which seem to be deeply rooted in the music.
Guitarist Ed Berghoff artfully introduces “Before the King” on acoustic guitar. The track, which features the talented guest backup vocalist Melanie Taylor, soon turns into a smokin’ blues number complimented with smooth horns, a snappy piano accompaniment, and blazing guitar from Andrew Kastner. Keyboardist/vocalist Mike Finnegan also makes a guest appearance on this album, serving up some of his finest splashes of sound on the swaying blues ballad, “Somethin’ in the Water”. I love the funky bassline and James Brown inspired singing on the mucho danceable “Bad Habit”. Bad habits lead to bad decisions, which happen to be the theme of “Serves Me Right”, a funky little mix of soul and country with a nice twangy delivery from Kastner. “Never Too Late” hits big and hits hard, showing positive proof just how tight of a band this is. Campbell sings with dedicated conviction on this hot electric blues tune immersed in a sea of horns and keys.
Jack Mack’s Back to the Shack is a sure-fire hit in my book. It is an immensely enjoyable listen.
For more about Jack Mack and the Heart Attack Horns, visit their website http://www.jackmack.com/