Saturday, January 1, 2011

There Is a River: The Uncertain Legacy of David Ackles (1937-1999)

This piece was edited and moved to where it will hopefully attract more readers to David Ackles.


  1. Thanks for creating this site. My parents saw David Ackles perform on a visit to California about the time American Gothic came out (he was opening for John Hartford) and they either came home with the album or bought it upon their return. American Gothic became a beloved part of our musical heritage.

    I've been playing Another Friday Night in G on guitar for quite a while but I knew some of my chords weren't exactly right. I stumbled onto your site by Googling "David Ackles Chords", not expecting to find anything. I'm looking forward to trying to play the chords you've listed here. What an amazing talent, it is a shame that more people aren't aware of him. Thanks again for the site.

    1. You're very much welcome, and thanks for the kind reply. I was just rewriting the above piece when I found it. Only yesterday I played my record of American Gothic again (much better than the CD), and it remains such an awe-inspiring collection of songs.

      Let me know if you spot any mistakes in the chords. I've tried my best, but I'm not a professional musician.

  2. I'm not a professional either, by a long shot. (In fact I don't read music or even tab!) But FWIW, the bridge in Love's Enough sounds better to me if I start with a Bm and then try to do a downward progression of bass string notes while holding the rest of the Bm chord. And for the 3rd line in the bridge ("Love's enough to know..."), it sounds good to me if I go to an A. But otherwise, all of your chords sound correct to my ears. And it is a joy to be able to play "Love's Enough" on guitar after loving the song so much for all of these years.

    One more note: the lyric sheet that came with our vinyl copy of American Gothic indicates that the 2nd line in the last verse is "... of a one and lonely rhyme". (Rather than a "wan" and lonely rhyme.) However "wan" also makes sense there, and it is entirely possible that "one" may have been an error by Elektra Records.

    Again, thank you for this respectful and comprehensive site.

  3. The piece has been expanded, edited and moved to . Also, if you're on Facebook I thought you'd might like to join our growing Ackles community: .

    And thanks for those corrections for Love's Enough. You're quite right about the bridge so I've made the changes. Also, I've added a version in C which might be more easily playable on guitar.