Kippenvel – Ruud Heijjer

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Malford Milligan & the Southern Aces – Life will humble you

oktober 31st, 2018 at 11:11


Stagger Lee/Royal Family Records RFRCD-29083


Malford Milligan’s masterpiece.


The Afro-American Texan singer Malford Milligan and guitarist-singer Jack Hustinx have known each other for more than twenty years.

Milligan’s solo album Sweet cherry soul from 2002, produced by Hustinx, sealed their friendship and was the start of leading Dutch roots band the Shiner Twins, founded by Hustinx.

Hustinx also produced Milligan’s thirteen new songs and played both the acoustic guitar and rhythm guitar again. They also wrote five new songs for it.

They completed the rootsy collection of (country) soul songs with two songs from Hustinx’ own album Over yonder and six ballads from their friend Stephen Bruton and Charlie Rich, amongst others.

At Milligan’s request, Hustinx brought Over yonder’s Southern Aces back together again.

Drummer Nicky Hustinx, bassist Roelof Klijn, keyboardist Roel Spanjers and guitar players Hustinx and Eric van Dijsseldonk leave each other room, but their singer too, with just as supporting as atmospheric, sometimes sparse playing.

With his semi-acoustic guitar parts Hunstinx gives solo and slide guitarist Van Dijsseldonk the chance to play solos which are as melancholic as they are poignant, while Spanjers also roams around Milligan’s weathered voice on his Hammond B-3 or accordion.

That results in songs that are played and sung intensely. In them, the Southern Aces feed the always emotional Milligan, incite and encourage him in a strong live ambiance, because they were recorded in only two or three takes.

Milligan, dented by life but unbroken, could not have chosen better band members: while singing he draws up the balance of his and Hustinx’ life and proves himself to be a great, classic  soul singer on this roots milestone.




Ruud Heijjer

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