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Amazing Rhythm Aces

Country rock group formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1972 by bassist Jeff Davis and drummer Butch McDade.  After recruiting Russell Smith, Billy Earheart III, Barry Burton and James Hooker they released their debut album in 1975 from which they achieved hits with “Third Rate Romance” and their only Top 10 country hit, “Amazing Grace (Used to be Her Favourite Song)”.  ” The End is not in Sight (The Cowboy Tune)” won them a Grammy Award for Country Vocal Performance by a Group.

In 1977 they appeared on PBS’s Austin City Limits and in 1978 they released the album Burning the Ballroom Down featuring songs with Joan Baez, Tracy Nelson and the Muscle Shoals Horns.

They disbanded in 1981 and reformed in 1994. Bill Murray toured with them in Australia and New Zealand in 1980 so he could “hang out with the band”.  They played on Jan Akkerman’s album Tabernacle and are said to be one of the greatest influences on Dire Straits.


  • Jeff “Stick” Davis (bass)(1972-1981, 1994-present)
  • David H. “Butch” McDade (drums)(1972-1981,1994-1998)
  • Howard “Russell” Smith (guitar/vocals)(1972-1981 1994-Present)
  • Billy Earhart III (keyboards) (1972-1981, 1994-Present)
  • Barry “Byrd” Burton (guitar, dobro) (1973-1977)
  • James Hooker (piano) (1972-1981 1994-1999)
  • Duncan Cameron (dobro 1977-1981)
  • Danny Parks (mandolin/guitar) (1994-Present)
  • Kelvin Holly (lead guitar/ back-up vocals)(1994-?)
  • Mark Horn (drums) (1994-1998)
  • Lorne Rall (bass) (1994-present)

Amazing Rhythm Aces recordings

  • Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette) (Noomi Neville)
  • Mystery Train (Sam Phillips/Herman Parker)
  • Third Rate Romance (Howard Russell Smith)
  • Two Can Do It Too (Howard Russell Smith)