40 years ago in a Memphis recording studio, The Amazing Rhythm Aces™ made their first album, “Stacked Deck”. To Russell Smith, Billy Earheart, Butch McDade, Byrd Burton, James Hooker and Jeff Davis it was simply American music - a mixed bag of deep musical roots that had drawn them together. Their fans didn't seem to care about labels and for more than two decades, songs like "Third Rate Romance", "Amazing Grace (Used To Be Her Favorite Song)" and the Grammy-winning "The End Is Not In Sight" would remain etched in the hearts and minds of a generation as benchmarks of popular music's better days.
After one personnel change, with Duncan Cameron replacing Burton on guitar, recording six more albums and touring with everyone from Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles the group disbanded in 1981, but its songs lived on as radio staples and its albums were coveted by collectors, while Russell Smith, lead singer, and songwriter of the Aces went on to a successful career as a songwriter, solo artist and as frontman, ”Rug” Burns in MCA’s bluegrass/soul band Run C&W.
In 1995 the original Aces teamed up to record a collection of their best-known material. Titled “Ride Again” and released on their own Breaker Records label, it was their first-ever CD. The reaction was positive. The band played a few club dates, and then booked a tour of Australia, where they'd always enjoyed a large following. Interest was booming stateside as well, and the Aces returned to play venues throughout the US. In late '96 they recorded “Out Of The Blue”, an album of new material also released on Breaker.
By 1997, the re-formation was official; the Aces were back as a full-time band. Their third CD, “Chock Full Of Country Goodness”, featured more of Russell Smith's uniquely rich songwriting and the kind of soul-stirring playing that have kept fans loyal for more than two decades. “Midnight Communion” is The Aces newest studio album, recorded at Cypress Moon Productions, Sheffield, AL.