They have their own slicked back greased hair in a wind tunnel look attached to a permanent sneer and a pushy stage presence. Those that might think of punk trance blues as something endlessly repeating a melodic line are in for a rhythmic pounding when the Aces get on stage. The Aces start with Mike "Junk Johnson" Gutsch on drums with a unique style of simple drumming. His drums are arranged differently than other drummers.
The cymbals are way low. The result with the Aces is a relentless pounding style that very much works right on the basic riff being played--and right into your skull. The rhythm guitarist who really plays bass for the Aces --sort of like Brewer Phillips used to do for Hound Dog Taylor. He uses a low toned Telecaster for this like Brewer did.
Derek Irving had and has that slick guitar-star-on-stage-with-a-sharp-suit persona and a passel of custom guitars. Girls smile at Derek. Derek smiles back. Derek has the stage front of the guitar hero down pat.
He actually plays a lot of very old time traditional blues licks in a slick lead guitar manner. He pounds you while looking like its sparkle show time. Fronting all this is six foot two Sky O’Banion, with his out thrust jaw and slick blonde pompadour. Sky dares you not to like it.
His tall massive stage presence is almost patented “chip on the shoulder” stuff. Sky writes or maybe improvises all the song lyrics. It’s hard to tell, as he more than most harp players prefers to sing a lot through his harp mic. Sometimes he’ll sing through both the harp mic and the house mic at the same time.
When you do catch the words it’s a stream of consciousness about very bluesy topics like growing up poor and living out on farm roads and how bad women are and other fine stuff. Sometimes it seems to be Jack Kerouac poetry. It’s really good to see The Aces in control of their own destiny. Nobody sounds like them, and nobody has their whole conception of the blues.
It’s blues all the way; it just has an edge and focus that isn’t like bar bands. They aren’t generic.” -Rolf Olmsted, Sonoma Tunes Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..