Monday, February 29, 2016

CD: ACES & EIGHTS - No Fluff Added

ACES & EIGHTS
No Fluff Added
     This is an audition CD, and even though I don't have the 'list' of tunes recorded, I'm also reminded this CD is not finished yet.  Some of the songs still have to receive royalty release, so I'll not name any of the songs that might be in that category, however being a fan of old-time country 'story' songs, I can tell you this is one of the most remarkable ones I've heard in quite a long time.  Aces & Eights (sometimes known as the 'Deadman's Hand' from Wild Bill Hitchcock's days and death in Deadwood, SD) is a very gifted duet made up of Kim Bachman and Harland Allen who make their home near the 'Badlands' of South Dakota.  Kim plays mandolin, and Harland plays a very nice sounding acoustic rhythm guitar.  "Aces & Eights" is also the opening song on this very listenable CD.  This duo is taking the music right back to the 'roots' where the most impressionable and certainly the most vividly sincere music occurred during the founding of its birthing.  They sometimes add an old-time banjo to their repertoire, but do not tell us who is doing the playing.  "Love Hurts" is remarkably well done with banjo.  I remember Roy Orbinson's version of this song, and was quite impressed with 'Aces & Eights' doing such a nice rendition.  All of their playing is right in that 'traditional' vein, and very enjoyable to listen to. One of their objectives is making a contribution to keeping that very early 'roots' sound alive.  Many of the songs on  this CD are old familiar tunes, ones you will recognize, and if you like classic country, or perhaps better said, traditional country music, you will find it here in the hearts, hands, and voices of Aces & Eights.  Some Hank Williams, Sr., songs certainly make it an astonishing contribution to America's traditional music scene.  Another nice 'attraction' of this CD is the very mild and magical combination of voices.  No outrageous attempt at difficult harmonies, just beautiful singing with two voices 'matched' without effort.  I love it.  For those readers of this column that might be living in Germany, or Europe in general, who are looking for the traditional sound of America's country music 'before' it turned into something unrecognizable, please do try to find Aces & Eights somewhere on the internet, I know you will not be disappointed, knowing this especially from my own experience of the many tours and concerts I performed in Europe myself.  This CD will also be sent along to the Rural Roots Music Commission, and I have a 'gut feeling' concerning their deep care and respect for America's traditional music and how they will listen so closely to this project.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International
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