What's in a name? When it comes to certain rock groups, not much. The Amazing Rhythm Aces appeared at the Bayou Saturday night and were neither amazing nor rhythmic.
However, a standing-room-only crowd greeted their every onstage utterance with a chorus of whistles and whoops and the musicians responded with hokey, down-home dramatics. Singer Russell Smith threw himself about the stage, and lead guitarist Duncan Cameron unleashed mile-a-minute solos while jumped in the air.
But despite their antics, the Aces offered a bland blend of blues, country, boogie and light jazz that was pleasing, but predictable. The musicians were competent and the show tight and well-paced-but to no particular purpose. Like an above-average bar band, they stuck to standard 4/4 rhythms and flashly solos and let the boisterous crowd do the rest of the work for them.
James Hooker added several spry piano flourishes, but the group generally seemed content picking and grinning and kicking their heels. They came alive on their encores, but after nearly an hour and a half of riffing around, it hardly mattered.
Maybe the Amazing Rhythm Aces should consider a more revealing name-something like The Average White Band.