Rate: 320 kbps CBR / 44100
Size: 96,03 MB
Review by Lindsay Planer
Although the Amazing Rhythm Aces remained firmly in touch with their country and Southern rock roots, they began shedding their twang in favor of some harder and edgier material, which they matched with equally aggressive execution.
The airy and slightly calypso "Never Been to the Islands (Howard and Hugh's Blues)" -- which opens their third long-player, Toucan Do It Too -- demonstrates that the Aces had not strayed too far afield. Both "Living in a World Unknown" and "Who's Crying Now" provide a contrast with solid, propulsive rockers led by the dual electric fretwork of Russell Smith (guitar/vocals) and Barry Burton (dobro/guitar/mandolin/pedal steel/slide guitar/vocals), who left the band shortly after the Aces recorded their follow-up to this disc. They recall the sunny and carefree southern California sound of the Eagles, and blend that force with their trademark country-rock leanings.
The Aces could also pull off lean blue-eyed soulful numbers, such as the midtempo "Never Been Hurt," featuring some tasty keyboard inflections from future Nanci Griffith collaborator and Blue Moon Orchestra member James Hooker (piano/electric piano/clavinet/vocals). There are a number of decidedly more traditional-sounding sides, which are among the album's zeniths. "Everybody's Talked Too Much" offers somewhat of a retreat into an increasingly laid-back country-rock vibe, while the high and lonesome "Last Letter Home" is instrumentally bolstered by Burton's lilting and acoustically lyrical mandolin runs, which are tucked behind Jeff Davis (bass) and Hooker's sonic accoutrement. "Geneva's Lullaby" is an achingly tender ballad from Smith, whose criminally underappreciated guitar work and songwriting are given a well-deserved showcase. His compositional versatility is evident on the LP's closing track, "Two Can Do It Too," which boasts a healthy syncopation that could have easily been covered by the likes of Little Feat or -- thanks to the funky shuffle groove -- even the Neville Brothers.
01 - Never Been To The Islands (Howard & Hug's Blues) 03:55
02 - Never Been Hurt 04:19
03 - Living In A World Unknown 04:28
04 - Everybody's Talked Too Much 05:19
05 - Last Letter Home 03:54
06 - Who's Crying Now 04:28
07 - Just Between You And Me And The Wall, You're A Fool 04:44
08 - I'm Setting You Free 03:01
09 - Geneva's Lullaby 03:18
10 - Two Can Do It Too 04:31
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