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The Amazing Rhythm Aces

A mainstream country-rock band similar in execution (if not commercial success) to the Eagles, the Amazing Rhythm Aces were formed in Memphis in 1974 by bassist Jeff Davis and drummer Butch McDade, who had earlier recorded and toured with the great singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester. After striking out on their own, Davis and McDade enlisted vocalist/guitarist Russell Smith, keyboardist Billy Earheart, Dobro player Barry Burton, and pianist James Hooker to develop a sound composed of equal parts pop, country, and blue-eyed soul.

Stacked Deck, the Amazing Rhythm Aces' debut album, appeared in 1975; it produced two significant crossover hits, "Third Rate Romance" and "Amazing Grace (Used to Be Her Favorite Song)," the group's lone Top Ten country single. A year later, the hit "The End Is Not in Sight (The Cowboy Tune)," from the LP Too Stuffed to Jump, won the Aces a Grammy for Country Vocal Performance by a Group. Following the release of 1977's Toucan Do It Too, Burton left the group, and was replaced by Duncan Cameron.

In 1978, the Aces released Burning the Ballroom Down, followed a year later by a self-titled effort featuring cameos by Joan Baez, Tracy Nelson, and the Muscle Shoals Horns; both were met with critical approval, but sold poorly. They released one final record, How the Hell Do You Spell Rhythum?, before disbanding. While Smith went on to become a successful songwriter, Earheart joined Hank Williams, Jr.'s Bama Band, and Cameron joined Sawyer Brown -- a group that, ironically enough, would find significant chart success in the 1980s with a sound similar to what the Amazing Rhythm Aces had created a decade earlier.

After a hiatus of some 15 years, the Amazing Rhythm Aces re-formed in 1994. The Aces, now comprised of Smith, Davis, McDade, Earheart, Hooker, and new guitarist/mandolinist Danny Parks, marked their return to duty by releasing Ride Again, a collection of newly recorded renditions of their biggest hits. In addition, they also began composing new songs for a projected comeback album; although McDade's cancer-related death on November 29, 1998, temporarily halted that plan, Chock Full of Country Goodness finally appeared in mid-1999. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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By far the best group to listen to while doing a little Uncle Toms sassafras
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Best ever band...Happy memories cruising into unknown world of adulthood... T h i s band helped the journey.
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How about Brisbane Australia in the old Festival Hall about 1974 and then across the road with the boys at the Pancake Manor to finish up. Great great band
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My all time favorite group. Got to see them twice many years ago. Their music brings back many fine memories.
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Ride Again Is GREAT! Anybody Like Commander Cody? Check Them Out.
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I've followed them since Third Rate Romance came out back in the early 70's. When I moved to Memphis I got to see them a few times. Really great band with great songs and great musicians. Glad to know they are back together and making music again. Check out Russell Smith on his own stuff.....lo t s of great music there!
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My uncle bought the first album right after it came out. The Aces became my favorite band from that day on. Love me some ARA !! : )
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My ALL TIME FAVORITE band EVER!!! Remembering my parents and growing up listening to it, and now I can relate as an adult!!! I always ask people if they know ARA but NOPE....hard l y ever do I meet any....?
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My all time fab group esp Two stuffed to Jump
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Have u ever took a boat ride down the Mississippi
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happymouth been lovin them since day one of their existence
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carterv56
My roommate turned me on to this awesome band while stationed in the Canal Zone.I first heard it on 8-track in his toyota pick up,I was hooked.
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Truly an underrated but brilliant band. Toucan Do It Too is my favorite album. All their tunes make me happy and keep my toes tapping.
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oomanopt
One of the best live shows I have ever seen. At the Catatyst in Santa Cruz. The othre band that night was the Texas Tornatoes. Can you believe that? I have acquired all their old CD's. And I ditto Elliot. They are so good they were bound not to be as popular as they should have been. Music comes from the heat and not commercial success. God bless the Amazing Rhythum Aces.
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I don't know how anyone could call them, mainstream. One of those bands that was/is so good they were destined to have limited success. Too Stuffed To Jump brings back a rush of memories but all of their albums are great.
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Awesome band, smoked doobies with them at the Little Bear in Evergreen Co. In 1981 love that band
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Way too much talent to be so unrecognized . I have all of their albums, and they are all excellent. Russell Smith's solo albums are worth obtaining as well. He sings with so much feeling.
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Amra,Ozark Mountian Daredevils,F l y i n g Burrito Brothers,Nit t y Gritty Dirt Band are My Fav of this Country style rock, ( i hate Labels on music), they each have their own niche and style! Great music!
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one of my all time favorites group since the beginning.I have had to many Third rate romances. great mix of all styles in their music
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Used to play at my bar in Knoxville TN at UT. Great band.
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rana is right about the subdudes..mu s t listen if you like the aces
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saw them in san francisco in middle seventies..b e e n a fan since
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These guys are awesome. We saw them in Springfield Mo twice, 1978, and maybe 5 years ago. Russell Smith can still sing the tunes. Out in the Snow?? I think, that is the right title name.... is a great cut also
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my all-time favorite band that no one knows.check out Dancing the Night Away, it's a sexy dance real close kind of tune.
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Russel Smith has done some great work. I agree check them out. He wrote songs for Alan Jackson and the idiot Charlie Daniels.
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Git your redneck fix. Sounds better than the 8 track. Aces are so good.
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rana4002002
If you're a new Aces fan, check out Russell Smith's solo work. You might also like John Martyn (sort of british folk). I also like Kevin Welch, the Subdudes, and John Hyatt.
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yogs
Real
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ahzeiler
I still love listening to the "Aces" early stuff. No mention here of Hooker's extensive playing with Nanci Griffith. I love "Gulf Coast Highway" where he duets with her on the "Winter Marquee"vers i o n .
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hansford173
they one of best on the planet-I love their songs- also joan baez should have been my team point woman in our lrrp team - 173 airborne -bruce hansford 404 north main - somerset, ky. 42501-606-67 9 - 4 6 5 5 - a l s o she should have had a slack of nancy sintra.
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the Amazing Rythem Aces wow I guess I have been missing out Third Rate Romance kinda turned me off a long time ago I will need to listen to some more of their newer stuff
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Jessie, I am real sure I have a cut of that. I'm in the process of moving, but I am sure I have everything The Ace's ever did. When I was a Musician (starvin') in Nashville they were my heroes. When I settle down I'll tell ya bout my meeting with Russell, it is somewhat humorous. Groovin'jr
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does anyone have a copy of the beautiful lie that you can post on face book ? I would love to hear it again Thanks Jessie
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Saw them in Brookings, SD in early '70s, "End Is Not In Sight" is an fabulous tune and Too Stuffed To Jump is really memorable.
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I saw these guys in Telluride in 1979. What a show.
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magruver
I just love this BAND.
ENJOY ALL THEIR SONGS
Thanks Sambo Thanks Pandora .
Love GOOD MUSIC !!!
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i am 37 and have listened to these guys since i was 4.
just rediscovered them.
i absolutely f'ing adore this band.
just amazing work, takes me back to my youth, but does not sound dated one SINGLE bit.
amazing work.
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I listen to lots of tunes and after 30+ years of the Aces...they are still at the very top of my list !!!! Thanks guys !!!
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Dang, forgitted to lump my crust up!
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My last comment was about the this group and I sadly forgot to mention and give props to this GREAT station and all the folks that make it such a GREAT success AWSOME job guys THANKS AGAIN!!!
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Great group Third rate Romance has always been a real favorite of mine
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I have loved every song this super group has recorded,gre a t vocals,all very talented,"Da n c i n g the night away" is one of their best.this group has so many great songs..can`t find one song that is a clinker,thei r "Last letter Home" is a great song,"Dancin g with the one you love" and "Third Rate Romance" was one of their very best..keep them alive Pandora...
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i've listened to this band since the late '70's they are my all time favs, i told my kids, if i'm ever in a coma, these guys will bring me back to life, if there is one for me to live; my kids know all the words to all of them; they are now all college grads and doing wonderful things; when they come home it's the 'ara' they want to hear; it's real music! and a little Latin mix,colombia n , el salvadoran sons-in-law sweet! pandora ,what a concept! lynzi5's mom
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under rated. spanned little feat, foster and lloyd, and lyle lovette.

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