Highway Heavy / Dave Mack (New Album Alert!)

Daddy B. Nice's #266 ranked Southern Soul Artist

Portrait of Highway Heavy / Dave Mack (New Album Alert!) by Daddy B. Nice

Highway Heavy / Dave Mack (New Album Alert!)

June 1, 2024:


Buy Highway Heavy's new Highway Heavy Presents Dave Mack album at Apple.


1. 15 Minutes

2. Edible

3. Hard On Me

4. Last Night

5. Holiday

6. It Is What It Is (feat. Omar Cunningham)

7. Missing You

8. Lil' Girl Games

9. Nookie & Tongue

Daddy B. Nice notes:

I was always puzzled as to why Highway Heavy hooked up with Dave Mack. Highway Heavy is a Baton Rouge guy. Dave Mack was a Jackson, Mississippi guy. His "13 Days" was a Jackson locale, just as Highway Heavy waxes romantic on Louisiana's capital city. The collaborations on the singles they did were okay but Mack's vocals always came off a little thin, even as they emanated sincerity and passion. But I stand down. This collection featuring their singles (more than a few new) has an incredible impact. All the tentativeness of Mack's vocal style is rendered moot. It's like his true solo album debut---a tour de force of Charles Lewis (aka Highway Heavy) song highlights---and Dave Mack's voice comes off as their perfect expression.

A treat is the inclusion of the previously released "15 Minutes," "Holiday" and the exquisite "Missing You," and they sound so damned good. They're elevated to major southern soul anthems for anyone who just "liked" them before. Omar Cunningham occasionally guests, which is interesting because he gets all the southern soul songwriting accolades while the incredibly talented Charles Lewis receives none. He's also a tremendous producer, his instrumental tracks routinely superlative.

Dave Mack's first and (for many years) only album, 13 Days, was published in 2005 on the Mabrey (Big Yayo) label through CD Baby. Mack hasn't recorded since, excepting 2014's RETURN OF THE MACK. Although Mack doesn't tour much, he was a fixture of the Jackson, Mississippi southern soul scene and is now a fixture of the Baton Rouge southern soul scene, along with Heavy, Pokey, Tyree Neal, Robert Butler, Johnny James and Adrian Bagher. You can read more about Dave Mack's early years in Daddy B. Nice's original artist guide to Dave Mack.


Listen to all the tracks from Highway Heavy's new DAVE MACK album at Spotify.

Listen to all the tracks from the new HIGHWAY HEAVY PRESENTS DAVE MACK album on YouTube.

Read Daddy B. Nice's original Artist Guide to Dave Mack.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

DBN notes: Date lost. Guessing around 2010, give or take a couple of years.

Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique of Dave Mack:

I don't think I've ever been as nonplussed by a song as I was by Dave Mack's "13 Days," which first appeared on Jackson, Mississippi's radio station WMPR in the autumn of 2004.

Did I like it? No way. Few revampings of classic songs have offended me more. Mack slowed down the tempo of Smokey Robinson's "The Tracks Of My Tears."

If anyone else remembers real turntable records any more, it was the equivalent of taking the speed down from an old 40's era 78 rpm to the 45 rpm of a 50's-60's single.

And that wasn't all. Mack drained all the soft, stylish, top-forty-geared beauty and romance from Robinson's ballad, replacing it with a harsh, bluesy sound. He changed the key, rendering his message in a minor-sounding chord structure that took all the blues in "Tracks Of My Tears" and presented them in an unremittingly bleak arrangement comparable to Ann Peeble's "I Can't Stand The Rain."

Listen to Dave Mack's "13 Days" on YouTube while you read on.

Well, your Daddy B. Nice is here to tell you that was a long time ago. I've heard "13 Days" so many times since then that I no longer hear Smokey Robinson. And as I've become accustomed to the song, so have I made peace with Mack's taciturn tenor, which I've belatedly grown to appreciate for its strength, simplicity and honesty.

"People say I'm the life of the party,
Because I tell a joke or two.
They don't know that my heart's really breaking
And it's all because of you."

I'm not sure that Smokey Robinson has ever come to terms with this slow-motion-horror-house version of his classic, but as Dave Mack branches out into his personalized version--

"I'm sitting at home
By my telephone,
Waiting for a call from you.
I can't be strong.
I can't move on.
What the hell am I gonna do?"

--an amazing residue of genuine despair disseminates like a fine but potent mist. The more you hear it, the more "13 Days" cuts a legitimate notch in the bluesy side of contemporary Southern Soul.

The other factor driving Dave Mack's regional popularity is the competence of the supporting tracks on his "13 Days" CD. Although the album is comparatively slim, totaling eight tracks, one or two of which are reprises, the CD's six or seven base songs are virtually hype/filler-free: solid, substantial songs of a texture with the title track.

"Something Just Ain't Right" is a raw but catchy slice of authentic rock and roll, and "Part Time Lover" is an impressively evocative ballad.

Listen to Dave Mack's "Part Time Lover" on YouTube.

"Swing Out" is another rocking jam, lifted by Mack's always believable, rough-cut tenor.

"Save Some Of Mine" is a blues rant, intense and punkish in attitude, and another tune in which the vocal is at first off-putting but on repeated listenings credible and even to some extent appealing.

Dave Mack has never recorded another album, nor to my knowledge another single. And yet, by the strength of his music on 13 Days and the air play it continues to rack up years after its release, not to mention Mack's steady regional gigs and his propensity for mixing (he's often photographed with Southern Soul luminaries), Dave Mack remains a viable chitlin' circuit act.

Read more in Daddy B. Nice's original Artist Guide to Dave Mack.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

--Daddy B. Nice

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