Ace Filipini has become known to be the big man that he is in Root Rock and Roll. Singer, songwriter, and frontman nonparallel, Filipini has dominated the stage since he first formed Ace and The Chain Gang in 1986, drawing attention to himself as a force with which to be reckoned.
Filipini founded the seminal 200 Lbs. of Swingin’ Hound, a highly successful East Coast rockabilly band from 1989 until 1996. Their Eponymous CD (1995) is considered a must-have for collectors of the genre. “The Hound” was a favorite opener for Rockabilly Legends like Wanda Jackson, Sleepy La Beef, and Ronnie Dawson. Ace counts the day that his next band Aces Wild! opened for Johnny Cash as one of his proudest moments.
A prolific writer with hundreds of copyrights, Filipini holds the unique distinction in Rock and Roll of having a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College (1986). A true wordsmith, Ace has penned songs with a robust staying power all their own, including “Hot Lips,” “Good Girl Gone Bad,” and “The Cold Bed Blues.” Ace is currently finishing a memoir that explores the dichotomy of his life as a Rock and Roller versus his previous work-a-day life as a teacher, as a mental health professional, as a father and a son.
The book ends with the most recent and important events of his life with its roots in a chance meeting way back in 1996 when Filipini met Quentin Jones at the Crow Bar in State College, PA the night Ace’s Wild! and The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns shared a bill. Filipini immediately liked this motley, monstrous crew that came upon the scene from what appeared to be the bowels of Hell itself. The boys have remained friends over the years. Filipini is now simply known as Cousin Ace.
The Goddamn Kingpins occupied Filipini’s next ten years. Despite often-untimely personnel changes, Ace proved capable of sustaining the band through sheer will power and ingenuity. We’re the Goddamn Kingpins! Live at the Blue Comet (2005) fortunately captures the band at its finest – rough, rowdy, and raucous fun.
When Quentin Jones called on Cousin Ace to join The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns just last February, Filipini put an end to any needless distractions. In the process, the band seems to have garnered 20 years of collective experience and a devastating impetus best evidenced in their indomitable performances.
Today nothing seems out of the reach of The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns – the new Resurrectors of Rock and Roll – a true musical juggernaut for the ages.