Sir Mack Rice’s career dates back to the very genesis of modern R & B. He made his first recordings (with the Scalders) while still a high school student in Detroit; by 1956 he’d achieved national acclaim as a member of the Falcons, along with Eddie Floyd and Wilson Pickett. It was as a composer, however, that Rice made the most impact. He wrote “Mustang Sally” in 1965; later, as a house writer at Stax, he penned such classics as “Respect Yourself,” “Cheaper to Keep Her,” and the immortal “Cadillac Assembly Line”–all blends of rootsy blues and uptown funk. In live performance Rice is a soul man in the grand tradition: earthy yet dignified, capable of indulging in both the greasiest funk and the most elegant panache over the course of a single set–even a single song. He’s got a pocketful of new compositions to complement his classics, and if his traveling band is as hip as the aggregation on his current Blue Suit recording, Right Now, you’re in for a rare evening of musical and emotional explosiveness. Friday, 9:30 PM, Buddy Guy’s Legends, 754 S. Wabash; 427-0333 or 427-1190.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/John Rockwood.