Not strictly a blues record, "Lone Star Shootout" brings together Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter and Phillip Walker for 63 minutes of blues, R&B, soul, rock n' roll, and a little bit of pop. And while "Lone Star Shootout" may be lacking in deep social messages, musically it is a true treat.
There are three numbers where all three go full tilt together, sharing lead vocals; the rest of the material varies in personnel, group and solo emphasis. Lonnie Brooks takes three solo lead vocals and a number of solos, Phillip Walker is the sole lead vocalist on four songs, and Hunter gets three. Guest star Ervin Charles plays lead guitar and sings on the slow soul/blues number "Born Down In Louisiana", and he shares lead vocals with John Hunter on a sturdy rendition of Muddy Waters' "Two Trains Running".
There are a number of slow blues and soul tunes here, but most of the fifteen songs are mid-tempo or faster. The highlights include a very obvious (but very good) Guitar Slim-pastiche titled "A Little More Time", a driving "Roll, Roll, Roll" sung by all three guitarists, the utterly charming 50s soul number "This Should Go On Forever", and the swaggering "Bon Ton Roulet", which features a great horn chart and Marcia Ball rolling the ivories.
Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff plays terrific harmonica on Lonnie Brooks' original "Feel Good Doing Bad", and Marcia Ball provides the wonderful piano solo on the funky New Orleans-R&B of "I Can't Stand It No More". And if this take on Lonesome Sundown's joyous piano boogie "You're Playing Hooky" doesn't make you want to dance, you might very well be dead.
Co-producer Bruce Iglauer's excellent liner notes deserve praise as well, and huge props go out to these three magical sixty-somethings. Blues musicians just seem to get better with age, don't they?