The Amazing Rhythm Aces - Stacked Deck (1975)

The Amazing Rhythm Aces are an American country-rock band originally formed in the early 70s.

Singer/guitarist Russell Smith, bassist Jeff 'Stick' Davis and drummer Butch McDade originally got together in Knoxville, Tennessee in the late 60s. By the early 70s they had left Knoxville for Memphis and become The Amazing Rhythm Aces, with the addition of lead guitarist Barry 'Byrd' Burton, pianist James Hooker and keyboardist Billy Earheart III. Together they produced a fusion of rock, country, soul and other roots music forms. Their debut album, Stacked Deck, came out in 1975, and showcased this wide range of styles they had at their fingertips, perhaps what could only be called 'American music'. Russell Smith proved to be a fantastic singer, his voice bridging the gap between country and soul, and also a very talented songwriter, writing most of the material on the album (the two cover being the traditional gospel tune "Life's Railway To Heaven" and a brilliant reading of Charlie Rich's "Who Will The Next Fool Be"). Barry Burton meanwhile contributed not only guitar but mandolin, dobro and pedal steel, adding to the group's instrumental versatility, and he also produced the album.
It produced two hit songs - "Amazing Grace (Used To Be Her Favorite Song)" was a #9 country hit, and "Third Rate Romance" got to both #11 on the country charts and #14 on the pop charts.

|> Too Stuffed To Jump (1976)

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