The Joe Mack Band gets great reviews. Check these out.

  • Local guitarist jams with Steve Vai      SOMERVILLE JOURNAL – Thursday, December 2, 1999           Musician Joe Mack recently received the thrill of a  lifetime. The former Somerville, now Saugus resident was invited to  share the stage with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai during a concert at the  Avalon in Boston on  November 19th.               

              Mack, a St. Clement's graduate, turned out to be the lucky  winner of a contest, sponsored by WAAF and Guitar Center in Brookline,  in which local musicians sent in a disc or tape of their own music. The  winner would earn the right to jam on stage with Steve Vai.  

              Generally regarded as a guitar virtuoso, Vai has astounded  critics and fans alike with his incredible playing style. From his days  as the 19-year-old prodigy of FrankZappa, to his guitar hero status  with David Lee Roth and Whitesnake, Vai’s riffs have earned him legions  of fans from around the world.               

              The Howard Street resident was one of over two dozen  guitarist who submitted a disc in hopes of winning the contest. After  listening to all the entries, Vai personally selected Mack’s disc ‘

"When  I Think About Love," as the winner.               

              “It was funny, when I entered the contest the salesman  said not too many people have entered because everybody’s so scared of  him,” said Mack. “I said ‘What are they scared of, you’re not going to  give the guy any competition.’ I wasn’t worried about that. You just get  up there and do what you do, so that’s basically what I did.”               

              Later that evening, midway though his set, Vai called Mack  out, in front of a sold out Avalon Ballroom crowd. The local guitarist  then led the band through a rousing rendition of Jeff Beck’s “Freeway  Jam,” trading licks with the guitar legend.               

              "It felt great,” said the 46-year old Mack. “I was  surprisingly enough pretty comfortable. I’ve been playing a long time  and I know in these kind of situations that you have as much fun as you  can. It was a big thrill for me, but I’m sure on his agenda it was just a  little bit of the show, but we had fun.”               

              When he’s not jamming with guitar gods, Mack can be found  performing with the Joe Mack Band, playing venues such as The Blue Note  Lounge and Celley’s Pub in Lynn.             

  • Joe Mack - "When I Think About Love" - 12-song CD 
  • Review by Todd Crosby of "Boston Soundcheck Magazine"             

              They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well  on his new CD Joe Mack flatters the hell out of some of the best to  ever pick up a guitar. All originals here, but the influences are clear.  Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Joe Satriani, and too many  more to name, come shining through on this brilliant CD from the local  bluesmaster.               

              The flavor may come from the influences, but the cooking  is all Joe Mack. And cook he does. From tracks 1 to 12 and everywhere in  between, Joe Mack plays the blues with an unbridled enthusiasm and  ability seldom found north of the Mason-Dixon line.               

              The opening guitar lick of "They Say" is like a fish hook  embedding itself into the base of your skull as it slowly reels you in.  The title track "When I Think About Love" with Joe's raspy vocals  accentuated by the backing vocals of Teisha Sawyer and Bethany Wright.  The lighthearted "I Used To Have A Brain (Then I Got Married)" with its  classic line "since I became Mr. Right, everything I do is wrong." The  depressing "Peace of Mind" conjuring up images of a smoke-filled,  darkened blues hall, an aging man at the end of the bar sipping his  bourbon, contemplating life's mistakes. The exotic "Song For Jeanne,"  reminiscent of Stevie Rays' "Riviera Paradise." Beautifully written and  performer. 

              The all out jam of "Joes' Boogie". The foot stomping  "Turnup Joe Zamp" (get it?) and the funky drive of "You Ain't What You  Wear." "Hen House Blues" is a throwback to the way the blues used to be,  while "Desperate" (I love this song) incorporates the best of  everything the blues has become. "Mean Old Woman Blues" truly is as mean  as a junkyard dog and the acoustic instrumental "Peppermint Stick"  closes the CD with dramatic flair.

               I really can't say enough about this guy's playing or this  CD. If you're a fan of the blues, the electric guitar, or just plain  good music pick up this CD.  No collection should be without one.    

Joe Mack - "When I Think About Love"          

Review by Karl Russo of "Performer Magazine"  

              It is great to hear someone who is a master at playing the  blues. Guitarist/vocalist Joe Mack does this on this powerful  recording. He possesses a classic blues style characteristic of a  stripped down Stevie Ray Vaughn style. Mack's tasty blues melodies bring  a warm but aggressive feel to the songs on this record.               

              Each note he plays makes sense and he never runs out of  musical ideas. This is especially evident on "Song for Jeanne." After  hearing gritty blues tracks from the beginning of the disc, Mack brings a  heart-felt, soothing instrumental to the song selection. With the next  track, he takes another abrupt turn and offers the hard rocking  instrumental, "Joe's Boogie," a rock/blues tune characteristic of Joe  Satriani that almost sounds like a spin-off of "Satch Boogie." It's here  that Mack shows off his technical abilities as well as some meaningful  songwriting. Mack's meaty and sometimes raspy voice compliments the  music perfectly.               

              Joe brings an element of belief to the listener even on  the disc's ballads. His versatility as a guitarist and singer make this  album the great work that it is.   

Joe Mack Productions


Joe Mack - "When I Think About Love"