“We’re schizo,” Aces prime mover Russell Smith once told me. “We can dig people as far apart as Ella Fitzgerald and Hank Williams. And most of what we like comes out in our music.” Indeed it does, particularly on Burning the Ballroom Down, the group’s delightful fourth LP.
Vocalist Smith, whose style variously recalls Robbie Robertson, Doug Sahm and Bob Seger, has never sounded more convincing. And the Aces, whose work has been called everything from “cosmic cowboy” to “rockabilly sleazoid,” continue to coax more emotion from a single song than many artists do from an entire album. Expect a preponderance of ballads, but also enough Memphis R&B influence to keep things funky.