Blues On Stage Logo

Jay Stulo and the Mighty Aces
@ Bayfront Blues Saloon, July 15, 1998
by Mel Sando
As the midday heat of the day cooled down, Jay Stulo and the Mighty Aces cranked up there own brand of hot blues at the Bayfront Blues Saloon, in Superior WI. Stulo and the band opened their show with a rousing instrumental , with subtle groove changes, some cool dynamics, and tasty solos, the Mighty Aces grab the crowds attention. The bands first set was tight and well rehearsed, almost to the stage of being canned, but the group loosened up as the evening progressed.

As the main attraction, Stulo’s guitar style is built around a rolling thumb and finger pick technique that lends itself to clean single note solos. Stulo’s solos were for the most part clean, tight, and tasty with only a few ventures into the five minute realm of redundant guitar leads. The Mighty Aces are a very fine band, most noticeably are the drummer, Vick Spann, and bassist, Barry Bihoff. From down home shuffles to uptown funky these guys laid down some very tight grooves that kept the audience moving. Mickey Larson on piano also played some sweet leads, when the rest of the band turned down long enough to hear him. The audience was treated to a nice surprise when Bernard Allison joined the group on stage for a few songs. Most noticeably, a rousing rendition of the Hop Wilson/ Albert Collins tune Black Cat Bone.

The fact that the band was just too loud ( I went into the next room so I could listen in comfort), really detracted from the few tunes the band featured from their CD, Somebody’s Knocking . If there was any lyrical content to the songs, it was lost in the mix.

I was also a little surprised at Stulo’s choices of cover material. Despite a very dynamic performance does the world need another version of The Thrill Is Gone? At a time when bands sound so much alike one would think that musicians would try to step away from the time worn blues cliché’s. Until this happens all the Mighty Aces fine musicianship will not keep them from being just another blues band.

The Mighty Aces are a group out of middle Wisconsin. You can find them on the internet @

This review is copyright © 1998 by Mel Sando, all rights reserved.

Mailbox E-mail Ray Stiles at:

Blues On Stage Table of Contents:
Home Page | Calendar | Spotlight | Features | Photo Gallery
Live Reviews | New Reviews | CD Reviews | New CD Releases | Blues Profiles
Blues Artists | Blues Clubs | Blues Jams | Memorial | Blues Links

Free web pages from GeoCities

Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.