I've known Mack Stevns for at least 18 years; I've watched him release 45 records and CDs over and over again in a bid to gain some sort of immortality. He just recently released a new collection of hillbilly and bop recordings, all cut in Buenos Aires, Argentina over the last 4 years- it's some really good stuff. Anyways, here's some basic dirt on the Corsicana Wildman.
Mack was born a helluva long time ago in deep deep east Texas. He has unfortunately also given birth locations in Oklahoma, California (yeah, right) and Tennessee. He was raised by his Okie Dad who was a hot rodding hooligan and his mom who was one really cute kitten back in '55. There's a great picture of her with Nick Adams in '57. Mack has one brother, Jerry McClanahan, who is a noted Route 66 historian and artist.
He is married to the vivacious Karina from Argentina, whom he met, pursued, and married in a 2 month period back in '98. She didn't speak English and he didn't speak Spanish, so it worked out just fine. Nowadays her English is a lot better than his Spanish. Oh, well. They have a son together, Jesse Lee, and he is 9 years old and keeps Mack young (yeah, right). Mack also has 3 grown kids from his past life, and they are all sources of pride and joy (well almost).
Mack started out recording for Eagle records, a label from Germany. Mack claimed he had a band ready and the label claimed to know what they were doing. Both were lying.
After the Eagle LP, Mack decided to produce his own stuff and for quite awhile he did. 45s were issued fast and furoiously on Waterhole, then Mack's own Freedonia label, Japan's On The Hill, and even the legendary Cees Klop of Collector records bootlegged his "Ice Water" as "Ice Cold Water" by "Mr. Mack", claiming it was cut in 1957! Mack was flattered by this deception and all was well in his thinking.
Mack is hell on sidemen; his bands have mutated and re-formed many times over the years. He is a hard guy to please, especially when guitarists audition by doing imitations of Stray Cat stuff. Mack's a purist; he doesn't mind a blown note or mistake here and there, but he ain't a fan of the crameverynotepossibleintoeverypossiblenookandcranny school of guitar. He also hates thieves- he had a steel guitar "lost" by one forgettable sideman. Oh, well.
1998 was a banner year for Mack- he caught the ear of the legendary Rockin' Ronny Weiser of Rollin' Rock Records and began a 3 year association that produed 4 CDs. He also met the aforementioned Karina Luna at the first Viva Las Vegas (thanks, Barney) and quit his day job at the post office.
Oh yeah, Mack was a mailman. No shit. Quit the gravy train (he had bad knees and bad feet and a bad attitude) and went on the road. First year he tore up 2 vans and went broke.
Always a step ahead of the creditors, he moved at least 7 times in 10 years. Now, he and Karina and Jesse Lee seem to have settled down in the Dallas, Texas area, and the new releases appear periodically. He records mostly now for the French Hog Maw label and has several 45s and LPs out with them. His latest project with Hog Maw is gonna be dynamite...
Ol' Mack is an international cat- he has played in Finland, England, France, Argentina, and even Central Texas. He has had records issued in many countries as well, some of them even selling well into double figures. He has managed to shed most of his Southern Baptist upbringing (he did however, keep enough to energize his Brother Mack persona and Mack is indeed a licensed minister) and he claims to be very happy now.
Hope that happiness doesn't mess up his songwriting...just try to figure out some of his lyrics. Oh my Gawd.