Give It Away
Plantation One Productions/Burnside Distribution
Mac Arnold was born in Ware Place, South Carolina in 1942. He was raised on a sharecropper’s farm. He and his brother Leroy used to make guitars from gas cans, wood and wire. Arnold’s first band was J. Floyd and The Shamrocks which also included a young James Brown on piano. Arnold moved to Chicago where he worked with A.C. Reed before joining Muddy Waters in 1966. The Muddy Waters band at the time included Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, guitar; Sammy Lawhorn, guitar; Frances Clay, drums; Otis Spann, piano; Arnold, bass, and Muddy. As a result Arnold also played with Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop.
Arnold formed the Soul Invaders and opened for B.B. King and The Tempations. He also played bass with King, with Otis Redding, and with Tyrone Davis. Arnold appears on Spann’s “The Blues is Where It’s At” and on John Lee Hooker’s “Live at Cafe Au Go Go”. Arnold played bass on the theme song of the television show “Sanford and Son”. He also played in the studio band for “Soul Train”.
Arnold retired from the music business in 1990 only to make a comeback in 2005 when he started his own band “Plate Full O’ Blues” and released “Nothin To Prove”. The follow up album was 2008’s “Backbone and Gristle”. In 2009 Arnold released two additional albums “Country Man” and “Blues Revival: Live At The Grey Eagle” featuring guest artists Kim Wilson, Bob Margolin and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. The original “Plate Full O’ Blues” band is still together and they are Arnold, bass, gas can guitar and vocals; Austin Brashier, lead guitar and vocals; and Max Hightower, harmonica, keyboards, bass, and vocals. Sitting in is Scotty Hawkins on drums and percussion.
The three songs that open the album were written by Arnold. His voice is rich with nuance and soul. The songs are autobiographical. “Nickel and Dime” is about being on the road. “Don’t Burn My Cornbread” is about sittin’ in the kitchen with his wife and nephew. “Uncle DeWitt’s Café” is about a juke joint owned by his uncle. Brother Leroy built the gas can guitar played on this track.
Hightower and Brashier are family. Hightower has authored six of the tracks while Brashier contributes two of his own. Both Hightower’s harp and keys, and Brashier’s guitar are fabulous throughout the recording. Also covered are Brook Benton’s “I’ll Take Care of You” and country singer Jerry Reed’s “Amos Moses”.
Arnold is seventy-four years young and has nothing left to prove. As a way of giving back to the blues you may, for a limited time, download this new album for free at www.macarnold.com.
Thank you Mac. Love to you and your wife.