David Ackles

Five & Dime

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American Gothic, the predecessor to Five & Dime, was David Ackles' ambitious portrait of American life, in its broad scope and geography and diversity of style. Five & Dime is more a collection of miniatures, still drawn with Ackles' customary eye for detail and sung in his rich, knowing voice. Its pleasures are more subtle than those in the expansive American Gothic, but no less real. (And "Surf's Down," complete with harmonies by Dean Torrance of Jan & Dean, is the wickedest beach music parody since "Back In The U.S.S.R.") This is music of wit, feeling, and sophistication that should be heard by fans of American songcraft from Stephen Foster and Irving Berlin to Randy Newman. Criminally, it was also David Ackles' last album.

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