Here at Ace Towers we usually have a pretty realistic advance idea of how many copies we’re likely to sell of any CD that we release. But once in a while we put out something that catches the public imagination in a manner that exceeds our expectations in terms of sales and acclaim. Such was the case with our “Special Country Edition” of our “Golden Age Of American Rock’n’Roll” series, which has already sold almost twice as many copies as we initially anticipated, and which is still selling strongly six years on from its initial release.
Ace’s flagship “Golden Age” series continues to be among our best selling and most highly respected releases. After a short hiatus, we’re pleased to announce this new volume featuring 28 country recordings that made the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1963. As “More Country Hits” is in the “Golden Age Of American Popular Music” series, the content is more melodic overall than a “Golden Age Of American Rock’n’Roll” edition might be. Nevertheless, there’s a generous helping of up-tempo hillbilly and borderline rockabilly among the straight-ahead country to give listeners a bit of light and shade. As usual, the CD comes with a generously illustrated and copiously annotated booklet.
Eddy Clearwater is equally talented as a bluish singer and as an improvising guitarist. On Reservation Blues, he ranges from Chicago blues to rock & roll, throwing in a couple instrumentals too. His repertoire includes both socially relevant lyrics and good-time music, featuring some of the latter when the former gets a bit too somber. Although there are some solid solos from his supporting players (including three guitar spots for Duke Robillard, two fine solos from tenor saxophonist Dennis Taylor, and a guest appearance by Carey Bell on harmonica during "Find Yourself"), Clearwater is the main star throughout. Fortunately, he is heard in prime form, whether happily jamming "I Wouldn't Lay My Guitar Down" and "Blues Cruise" or singing in a more serious mood on "Winds of Change" and "Everything to Gain." A gem.