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David Ackles

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David Ackles
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In terms of his Elektra legacy, David Ackles was unique among Elektra's singer/songwriters. Not from a 'folk-based-performance' tradition, David played piano rather than guitar. But it was Ackles' voice, which first caught Jac Holzman’s ear, a warm, subtle baritone that reflected the maturity of both the performer and his work. David Ackles’ self-titled debut in 1969 was dramatic, the songs intelligent, doomy, angst ridden and powerful. The best remembered are the world-weary ballads “Down River” and “The Road to Cairo.” He found great favour in England with Elton John, an enthusiastic admirer of his work. After the transitional Subway To The Country, Ackles third Elektra album, American Gothic was actually recorded in England, and produced by Elton John’s frequent writing partner, Bernie Taupin. American Gothic is a rich orchestral tapestry album that encompasses country, church hymns, ragtime, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives and the Hollywood soundtrack in a sweeping range of styles. Robert Kirby, known for his arrangements on the Nick Drake albums, assisted as director and conductor. The album is regarded as an Ackles’ masterpiece, with the Los Angeles Free Press describing it as the most important pop record since Sgt. Pepper.
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