The River City Aces – Saturday April 1 2017

On Saturday night, April 1st 2017, as the southern states set their clocks back one hour, here at the Brisbane Jazz Club, we were winding ours back by 75 years.

We were back and bopping with the River City Aces and their Jump Blues; a musical style which was popular through the 1940’s and 50’s, and which later morphed seamlessly into R&B and Rock ‘n Roll.

The River Aces, led by tenor sax man, Sean Ballagh, are a fun-loving 8-piece, defined by their loyalty to the music and musicians of the era, and an unstoppable drive to get those good times a-rollin’ out there in the audience.

Alongside Sean were Mark Gibbons and his jumpin’, jivin’ vocals, Jeff Usher’s jelly-rollin’ piano, Harvey Blues’ 12-bar guitar, Brad Esbensen’s wailing trumpet, Papa Joe’s booming baritone sax, Doctor Bob’s big backbeat bass and Steve Robin’s driving drums.

What a combination!! These guys have got the band back together and they are certainly on a mission from somewhere.

The music of masters of the era, including Louis Prima, Louis Jordon, Fats Domino, T Bone Walker and Bull ‘Moose’ Jackson, swung, whooped and chug-a-chugged across the stage; roaring around the Club like a Boogie Train.

And every member of the sell-out audience was on that train; singing and clapping and dancing their way through the first to the very last of those driving arrangements.

‘Don’t care if you’re young or old. Get together and let the good times roll’.

Those good times were really rollin’ tonight. If you missed ‘em, catch ‘em next time. Anywhere, anytime. Get yourself some of those good times, with the River City Aces.

Alan Smith

Brisbane Jazz Club