Ed Ames' flirtations with country music with and without the Ames Brothers make his 1972 tribute to Jim Reeves a little less surprising than it might seem at a glance. Reeves was the archetypal pop-sounding country artist, and Chet Atkins says that Reeves was a great admirer of Ames' voice, so the project makes a kind of sense after all. No one would mistake Ames, with his prim enunciation, for a country singer, but producer Joe Reisman wisely approached the album from a country-pop rather than easy listening direction. The subdued pedal steel and sparse accompaniment prevent the end product from seeming schmaltzy or corny, both of which are ever-present dangers when non-country artists cut country records. The slightly modernized reading of "Distant Drums" and Ames' weary recitation on "The Blizzard" are two highlights on this thoroughly respectable tribute.
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