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CD: ACES & EIGHTS – No Fluff Added

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.
for Country Music News International

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