A true blues man at heart, Corey Mac has been making a name for himself on the Nashville music scene for close to a decade. During that time, he has managed to hone his craft; sharing the stage with some of the greatest blues artists to ever breeze through Music City. Corey Mac has had the honor and privilege to play along side such world renowned performers as: Bobby Bradford, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Jerry Preston (Bass for Maceo Parker), Kenny Neal, Roguie Ray Lamontagne (Legendary country/blues harmonica player), Jack Pearson (of the Allman Brothers), Reese Wynans (keys/organ for Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble), Nick Nickson, Stacy Mitchhart, Waldo Weathers (Sax man for James Brown) and Jelly Bean Johnson (of Morris Day and The Time), just to name a few. In only a few short years, Corey Mac has managed to become a house hold name synonymous with the Blues in Nashville.
Mac began his illustrious carrier, listening to country music in the back seat of the car while riding along with his mother; but it was at a very early age that Corey was introduced to the three biggest musical influences of his young life: Michael Jackson, Marty Mcfly, and Elvis Presley.
“These where very dramatic, powerful performers, who sang tunes that painted such a vivid picture, that it left you thinking about the song for days. And I had the thought then, that this was something I could see myself doing. Some of the first songs that stuck in my head were songs like “Daddy’s Hands” or my mom singing “The Night the Lights went out in Georgia”. Elvis movies were always on TV in the form of a rerun, and my hero, Marty Mcfly made me want to play guitar. One of my best memories of being a kid was being in the room that my mother and I shared, while living at my grandmothers house. I remember singing Michael Jackson’s “Bad” into this yellow and blue plastic micro phone, while moonwalking around the room in my tighty whiteys.” (Mac)
Around his 9th Christmas, his father gave him his first acoustic guitar. Instead of learning to play, he pretended to play, while singing into an aerosol can he had wedged in the top dresser drawer.”This was in the middle of the country music revolution of the 90’s” said Mac. “It was back when country music was retro fitted, with Rock and Roll lead guitars, Blues bass lines, and R&B vocal runs. I loved all the Blues based country stuff like Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, etc. Those guys caught a lot of flack because they were changing the game, but they taught me how to sing, and breath.” It would be another 10 years before he really took up the guitar.
In 2004, at age 21, Mac bought his first Fender guitar. Three months later, he got on stage and performed for his first time, at the local Thursday night Blues Jam. “My knees where shaking so bad that I know people could see”, said Mac.
For three years he worked on his blues. Shedding for hours on end, listening to the innovators of blues guitar such as Clapton, SRV, Hendrix, B.B.King, and Robert Johnson. “But Freddie King was the man!” Mac would go on to say.
“Freddie was the difference in blues. Everyone else decided that Blues was strictly 1 of about 4 ways. Freddy opened the door to the world of Rockin/Funk Blues. He brought being a bad ass back into the Blues! He sang with such ferocity, and such power, that I was instantly hooked. I knew after I heard Going Down for the first time that, this was how I wanted to sing. This is the kind of vocalist I want to be.”
In 2007, Corey Mac was invited to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, as a representative of Nashville. While there, Mac was invited to play at many different venues on Beale Street such as, B.B. King’s, Club 152, the Hard Rock Cafe, and many more. Each time, in each club, Mac was ushered to the stage by patrons that had seen his act at the aforementioned clubs. Locals would get Mac on stage with other local house bands in Memphis, which would in turn, produce some of the best blues music of the festival. Corey Mac was unforgettable, and left a lasting impressions through-out the hearts & minds of the people of Beale Street.
One of Mac’s most notable, and like wise talked about compliments, came one night while playing his house gig at the Preston Hotel. Listening in that night, from a private section in the back dinning room, was country music super star, Alison Krauss. With her, sitting to her right, was none other than rock legend, and lead singer of the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin, one Mr. Robert Plant was in attendance. Mr. Plant was residing at Hotel Preston while in town recording a new album with Ms. Krauss. Staying till the end of the show, Mr. Plant commented that not only did he like what he was hearing, but thought the band was, “truly fantastic”.
Corey Mac has been afforded the opportunity to play great clubs all across the southeast, with an eye set to the rest of the country in the near future. And it is with great modesty and compunction, fortitude, and vigor, that this young man will achieve all the goals that he sets for himself…. Even if it kills you, the reader.