The Ace of Cups are an all-female group that formed in 1967 and spent several years at the center of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury scene, but broke up in the early ’70s without ever releasing an album. Well, better late than never, as the band recently reunited with four of its five original members — bassist Mary Gannon Alfiler, guitarist Denise Kaufman, lead guitarist Mary Ellen Simpson and drummer Diane Vitalich — to make their first-ever studio record.
The self-titled collection, which will be released on Friday, November 9, features guest appearances by a variety of Bay Area musicians, including The Grateful Dead‘s Bob Weir, Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, Country Joe & The Fish‘s Barry Melton, and Jefferson Starship‘s David Freiberg and Pete Sears.
The album also includes contributions from folk-blues veteran Taj Mahal, folk legend Buffy Sainte-Marie, blues harp great Charlie Musselwhite, bluegrass mandolinist David Grisman, RatDog guitarist Steve Kimock and actor/musician Peter Coyote.
Ace of Cups features more than 20 tracks that include original compositions spanning 50 years, as well as select covers. Weir sings and plays guitar on a Kaufman-penned tune titled “The Well,” while Mahal, Sainte-Marie and Coyote also contribute lead vocals to the record. In addition, Ace of Cups boasts a cover of the 1971 Bill Withers hit “Grandma’s Hands.”
The band was so prolific in the studio that enough material was recorded for a second album, which is due out in 2019. That record will feature contributions Jackson Browne, Woodstock legend Wavy Gravy, Sheila E. and more.
Ace of Cups will be available on CD, as a vinyl LP, as a CD/vinyl bundle and digitally. Visit AceofCups.com for more details about the band.
Here’s the album’s track list:
Introduction: “There’s a Record Being Made”
“We Can’t Go Back Again”
“The Well” — featuring Bob Weir
“Taste of One”
“Feel It in the Air”
Interlude: “Baby from the Forest of Knolls”
“Life in Your Hands” — featuring Taj Mahal
“As the Rain” — featuring Peter Coyote
“Daydreamin'” — featuring Taj Mahal
“On the Road”
“Pepper in the Pot” — featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie
Medley: “The Hermit/The Flame Still Burns/Gold & Green/Living in the Country”
Outroduction: “It’s Always Safe…”
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