The Aces (blues band)

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The Aces
Also known as The Three Deuces, The Three Aces, The Four Aces
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Chicago blues
Instruments Guitar, harmonica, bass, harmonica, drums
Years active 1950s–1970s
Past members Louis Myers
Dave Myers
Fred Below

The Aces was one of the earliest and most influential of the electric Chicago blues bands in the 1950s.[1] Led by the guitarist brothers Louis and Dave Myers, natives of Byhalia, Mississippi, the brothers originally performed under the name The Little Boys; with the subsequent addition of harmonica player Junior Wells, they rechristened themselves the Three Deuces, followed by the Three Aces. The 1950 enlistment of drummer Fred Below prompted another name change, this time to the Four Aces; finally, to simplify matters once and for all, the group performed as just The Aces.[2] Influenced in large part by jazz, they developed an urbane, sophisticated style well ahead of its time; in particular, Below's refined rhythms led to the rise of the blues shuffle beat, and helped launch the drums to a new prominence within the blues band hierarchy.[3]

In 1952, Wells quit to join the Muddy Waters band, filling the vacancy created by the recent departure of Little Walter from Muddy's band; Walter himself quickly signed the remaining Aces as his new backing unit, renaming the trio The Jukes to capitalize on his current hit single, "Juke". A series of seminal recordings followed - "Mean Old World," "Sad Hours," "Off the Wall," and "Tell Me Mama" among them - before Louis' 1954 exit resulted in the Jukes' gradual dissolution as Little Walter's band, but freeing up the members to reform as a backing band for other Chicago blues musicians such as Otis Rush, Eddie Boyd, and others.

In the late 1950s Dave Myers switched from guitar to the electric bass, becoming one of the first Chicago bluesmen to adopt this relatively new instrument, and helping to popularize it in Chicago blues.[2] During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s the original Aces periodically reunited for recordings, tours, and festival gigs.[4]

Dave Myers in 1978

Band member details[edit]

  • Louis Myers - September 18, 1929 – September 5, 1994[5]
  • Dave Myers - October 30, 1926 – September 3, 2001[2]
  • Fred Below - September 16, 1926 – August 14, 1988

References[edit]

  1. ^ Santelli, Robert. The Big Book of Blues, Penguin Books, pp. 2-3, (2001) - ISBN 0-14-100145-3
  2. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie. "Dave Myers". Allmusic. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ Vladimir, Bogdanov. All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues, Backbeat Books, p. 2, (2003) - ISBN 0-87930-736-6
  4. ^ Santelli, Robert. The Big Book of Blues, Penguin Books, p. 3, (2001) - ISBN 0-14-100145-3
  5. ^ Dahl, Bill. "Louis Myers". Allmusic. Retrieved November 16, 2010.