Mack Stevens - Tales from Ol' George's Farm.
Released April 2023 Reviewed 14th May 2023 by Rockin Rebel
Tales from Ol' George's Farm is the debut album for Swamp Hunter Records. Originally From Streetman Texas, now living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mack is a well-established rockabilly artist with a range of musical taste. For this release you get to hear Mack doing what he calls Hick country. The cover was created by Swamp Hunter Records and was produced by Mack and Alex Petrauskas. originally recorded at Balch Springs, Texas.
Member Mack Stevens - Playing the guitar and Harmonica himself.
Review Starting his musical journey when he was around 16 years old singing at every chance with local musicians, he released his first album in 1993 on the Eagle Records label based in Germany in 1993 and now has over 45 different releases to his name which are still available through contacting Mack directly.he is known around the world as the Wildman of rockabilly. Mack now produces the majority of his work and has built his own studio at his home in Argentina, where he plans to write and record more tracks. His love for the old country hick styled music and his influences from such artists as Harmonica Sam, who was an early Singer, guitarist, harmonica player and session musician at sun studios in Memphis.
Track by track: Old George Two eery riffs sets the tone for this self-penned track telling the story of evil within a town, great writing and a single acoustic backing brings the feeling to life. The story is based on a true character and a dream. Great opening track even if it’s a sad tale.
Sitting on Top of the World Not to be confused with the Al Jolson version of “I'm Sitting on Top of the World “from 1925. This version is an old country blues song composed by Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon. Matt captures this song nicely keeping the optimism of the track true to form. Kicking the track off with a spoken word then chucking some great vocals that are backed by some great harmonica bluesy rhythms.
Highway Another self penned cracker from Mack. The story of being told to go when he really wants to stay. Once again just backed by a single guitar. Clearly hear the tremor and emotion behind the lyrics whilst the music sets a trance to your mind. Finishing with a high powered vocal.
Sometimes Once again Mack displayed the greatness of his writing skills. Starts off with that country humming. The tone reminds me of some country greats. The tone of Jim Reeves and the vocal of Hank Williams blended to give us a vocal. Great track.
Sneaky Pete Fast paced harmonica setting the rhythm for the track. Sneaky Pete? Could be a friend or somebody from downtown? No, it’s a drink that just cannot be beat. I would say Mack has tried a few of these and wrote the track from experience. Saying that we all have, but we can’t play the harmonica this good. Get your dancing boots on for this one. Originally sung by sonny fisher on the starday label back in 1955.
Altar of Blood. Country cult styled song with what could be disturbing to some listeners with explicit lyrics. This album does say, ” you never thought you would hear Mack like this”, and its the first country song to deal with the subject.
I Wish it Were Yesterday Woes and its troubles that come with loving somebody. Simple lyrics backed with a heart-breaking guitar riff. Sadness fills Mack's vocals especially on the sorry full monologue ending. This is how country blues was originally defined and sung.
Broke Ass Man. Great intro with that sublime harmonica filling the room with a fast-paced country beat. The story of a high classed lady and he isn’t hangin’ around no more. The harmonica really gives this song its heart and rhythm with its toe tapping beat. Great song for a fast paced ballad.
Hicky Dicky Doo Mack sets the pace with some great acoustic guitar with just a hint of the harmonica slipping in behind the backing. Another great dancing track. get yourself down to the hicky dicky doo.
Jailer, Give My Belt To Me Prisoner asking for mercy rather than face the crowd and the hangman. This brings us to the end of the album with the last all being written by Mack. Displaying his talent both musically and lyrically although a little bit dark in places. An enjoyable album.
Summary: As I said in the beginning, Mack is credited as one of the best all round rockabilly singers going today. But here he shows us how much other genres influence him and the overall performer.