Sunday, May 31, 2009

5-30-09 Madison, Wisconsin Setlist

Review from Madison, WI

We arrived in Madison around 2pm to find that the venue the boys would be playing at that evening was an enormous terrace where about 500 people were sitting drinking pitcher after pitcher of beer. That's what Wisconsin is, beer and cheese. The Felice Brothers had played the University of Wisconsin before, but they hadn't played the outside venue before. They immediately were comfortable in the space despite some technical difficulties feeding off of a crowd that had been drinking all day they jumped right into Where'd you get the Liquor? without their usual intro. It was a quick set but an insanely fun one. Some crazy drunk guy who had never heard of the Felice Brothers jumped up on stage and started hip hop dancing like a maniac. James even pulled me on stage to sing two hands with them which was pretty awesome. Half the audience followed me and the concert quicky transformed into one big party. Madison, WI sure seemed to love the brothers. The terrace was packed for the entire concert. As the boys head out west I unfortunately head back to NY and real life. I will see you in Montauk

setlist from the Memorial Union Terrace @ U of Wisconsin in Madison, WI
Where'd you get the Liquor?
Greatest Show on Earth
Take This Bread
Hey Hey Revolver
Murder by Misteltoe
Helen Fry
Love Me Tenderly
White Limo
Farley's Song
Run Chicken Run
Damn Boy (sung by Taylor Hollingsworth (not sure if I spelt that right))
God Damn You Jim
Chicken Wire
Frankie's Gun
Let Me Come Home

St Stephen's End
Two Hands
Penn Station


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Columbus OH Setlist

Here's the setlist from the Rumba Cafe show in Columbus (5/28/09):

Start time: 10:05pm; End time: shortly after midnight

1. The Big Surprise
2. Greatest Show on Earth
3. Run Chicken Run
4. Murder By Mistletoe
5. Goddamn You, Jim
6. Helen Fry
7. cooperstown
8. Cincinnati Queen
9. Cyprus Grove (w/ Taylor Hollingsworth)
10. Damn Boy (What's Wrong With You) (w/ Taylor on vocals)
11. Chicken Wire (w/ Taylor)
12. Whiskey In My Whiskey
13. Farley's song
14. Ahab (Christmas on vocals)
15. "Swine Flu"
16. Frankie's Gun
17. Saint Stephen's End
18. Take This Bread
19. Her Eyes Dart 'Round (Oooh My Love)
20. Penn Station

Kate F (thank you so much)

review by Pork

Did not keep a setlist. It was basically the same set as the night before. But they played the following songs that weren't played in Cincy: Cypress Grove, Murder by Mistletoe, and Cooperstown. Maybe 1 or 2 others.

The venue was very small with an even smaller stage. As a result, it was very crowded on the stage and it effected the performance.....the band literally couldn't move. This was in stark contrast to the booze filled, happy show in Newport the night before.

I don't blame the brothers....I blame the piece of shit management group who books the band.

On a side note, my brother asked Ian before the show if he'd play Roll On Arte. Ian's response? "To be honest man...I don't even remember the lyrics". Umm.....ok.

Reading over my review, you'd think I didn't have fun. But through it all, I had a good evening. The FB have just set such a high standard.

Oh...Greatest Show on Earth is so good, it should be illegal.

Richmond review: late one in, but very welcome

By our good friend Carly:

So it’s taken me about a week to write up this review for the show I caught here in Richmond, VA, because I want to be as honest as possible while still conveying my serious love and appreciation for the Brothers and their music. I’m not shy about saying that I’m possibly a little too enthusiastic about the Felice Brothers. I’ve seen them live eight times now, as far and wide as Raleigh NC to Albany NY, and along the way I’ve been fortunate enough to shake their hands, bake them pies, talk with them, all that. It was so great to be able to see them in my hometown, bring out several of my close friends from the area (“you guys can FINALLY see the Felice Brothers live with practically NO effort, it’s gonna be awesome, come onnn!!”), and so it may have been a case of elevated expectations that left me feeling a little disappointed, or it may have been the show itself. Let me explain.

I got to the National about twenty minutes before the official show start time, and the place was pretty empty (keep in mind this place is HUGE). To me, that’s both a good and bad thing—more space to dance around and get crazy, but fewer people being exposed to this awesome music. A friend and I had brought some treats for the band, and we handed them off to Brendan (I think I read somewhere in a recent post someone call him “Brandon” but it’s Brendan) and then found a good place on the floor. I ran into Suzanne and Miryam, who I had met at the Trocadero in Philly last month, and they were as pumped as I was about the show we were about to watch.

They opened with a new song, which was cool, but didn’t do a lot to bring up the energy in the crowd. Ditto with Helen Frye. As I’m mentioned before I LOVE their new song Marie, but they didn’t pull it off as well as I’ve seen it before, appearing to have a little trouble with cues and deciding who was supposed to sing when, etc. I also love Greatest Show on Earth but with its slow ramp-up it too was keeping the energy of the crowd a little bit low. Then they turned it up briefly with Run Chicken Run, and back down again with Hey Hey Revolver, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen live before and I really enjoyed. Then again the energy was turned up, though not sky-high, with Loves me Tenderly, then muffled back down again with Marlboro Man, Chicken Wire, Goddamn You Jim, and Ahab. This long lull (don’t get me wrong—I really enjoy their slower/more intense songs but usually as a foil to their rollicking barn-burners) was almost balanced with White Limo, Whiskey, and the new song, but before things could get too crazy Farley brought things back down to lukewarm and by that point the beauty, somberness, and soul of Let Me Come Home was dampened by the already sort of low-energy roll that the night was on.

The encore, then, was a really great rendition of The Boy From Lawrence County and then piled high with a sort of crazy energy that to me seemed sort of forced: Swine Flu (which apparently is sort of interchangeable in this slot with Two Hands) and Penn Station, both of which are really great songs, but something about it just didn’t ring true to me. Overall, this show felt even more tired than Raleigh, and with weird technical glitches and the un-talked-about absences of their former-new-drummer, Dave, and what I would call a lackluster setlist (sorry guys), it just wasn’t the same awesome time as it usually was.

Chicago, Illinois May 30 the Setlist

Pic Dan T

Maybe it was just because I hadn't seen the boys in over a month, but they seemed to be in top form last night at the Bottom Lounge. Providing more banter than usual Ian carried the show and the brothers wizzed through their nearly two hour set. Although the crowd was a bit stiff, the band was having a great time. They played an eclectic mix of their repertoire playing old favorites like Lou and Greatest Show on Earth coupled with new crowd pleasures such as Christmas' new song "Step Dad" (I believe that is what it's called. I looked it up on the setlist). It was the first time I heard the new swine flu rendition of memphis flu which was recieved well and got big laughs from all. review chaya

Columbus Ohio May 29, 2009 Fan Review

Did not keep a setlist. It was basically the same set as the night before. But they played the following songs that weren't played in Cincy: Cypress Grove, Murder by Mistletoe, and Cooperstown. Maybe 1 or 2 others.

The venue was very small with an even smaller stage. As a result, it was very crowded on the stage and it effected the performance.....the band literally couldn't move. This was in stark contrast to the booze filled, happy show in Newport the night before.

I don't blame the brothers....I blame the piece of shit management group who books the band.

On a side note, my brother asked Ian before the show if he'd play Roll On Arte. Ian's response? "To be honest man...I don't even remember the lyrics". Umm.....ok.

Reading over my review, you'd think I didn't have fun. But through it all, I had a good evening. The FB have just set such a high standard.

Oh...Greatest Show on Earth is so good, it should be illegal.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Duke and the King at Bush Hall in London

by Allan Jones (Uncut Magazine)

2009-05-28 12:52:50

The last time I saw Simone Felice anywhere near a London stage, he was hanging above it, wild-eyed and shirtless, from a monitor in the ceiling of the 100 Club, from which precarious position he was leading a boisterous crowd through a rowdy version of a song called “Ruby Mae” from the recently-released new album by The Felice Brothers, who were at the time roaring towards the climax of a typically rambunctious show.

Simone, as you may know, has subsequently vacated the drum stool with that band and is currently on extended sabbatical with his new outfit, The Duke & The King, a collaboration with Robert “Chicken” Burke, a long-time friend and, at some point in what sounds like a colourful career, a cohort of George Clinton, and kin in those circumstances, you’d have to imagine, to a certain amount of lunacy.

I am expecting a rather more sedate performance tonight from Simone. The Duke & The King’s debut album, the exquisite Nothing Gold Can Stay, released next month and already one of my favourite albums of the year, is for instance by and large more quietly-wrought than his last outing with The Felice Brothers on the often spectacularly raw Yonder Stands The Clock. Bush Hall, with its chandeliers and gilt and air of fading, almost crumbling grandeur seems also an appropriate setting for the album’s often lush mix of dreamy Topanga ballads, country soul and gospel.

I am anticipating, then, as I say, an evening of decorous music, all due decorum observed. This quite laughable notion lasts about five minutes or so – or at least until an initially nervously-delivered version of The Felice Brothers’ “Don’t Wake The Scarecrow” seems to die away only to rear up for an unexpectedly fearsome coda, and Simone is suddenly doing drop-kicks off the rim of the bass drum, for all the world like Joe Strummer making the same moves with The 101’ers, many years ago at the Nashville Rooms.

Burke meanwhile is hammering the drums like he’s been taking lessons for years from Charlie Watts or Levon Helm, and the rest of the band –two guitarists, one on occasional keyboards, bassist and a percussionist who also weighs in with amazing gospel vocals – is making a hellish racket.

Things calm down momentarily with a lovely version of “Water Spider” from Nothing Gold Can Stay (sample lyric: “Jesus walked on water, but so did Marvin Gaye”), which is prefaced by a declamatory introduction from Simone that finds an inspirational link between Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Keith Richards.

Simone is on drums for the next number, also from Nothing Gold Can Stay, which turns out to be “Suzanne”, a funky jam that hints at Little Feat, sung with soulful gusto by Burke, who looks like the kind of tobacco-chewing hard-case who in a certain kind of movie would be found selling guns to Harry Dean Stanton from the trunk of a battered Chevvy Impala in the parking lot of a Motel 6 somewhere on the outside of a town with a name no one can remember. “TAKE IT!” Burke shouts suddenly at one of the guitarists, who does, sensationally, a torrent of noise forthcoming. “Sounds pretty, don’t he?” Burke grins, and he does.

Simone is back in front of the microphone for a scary “The Devil Is Real”, coming on in its introduction like Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood, all hell-fire and damnation and righteous testifying, evoking angels and demons and ending with the wrathful holler: “Pharoah! Pharoah! My girlfriend is dead.” Two more numbers from Nothing Gold Can Stay quickly follow – “Union Street” and “Lose Myself”, Simone manfully trying to get the crowd to sing along on the latter to a song they haven’t heard and not giving up before they do.

A barnstorming “T For Texas”, as covered on The Felice Brothers’ Tonight At The Arizona, prefaces a wonderful four-song run that includes versions of “The Morning I Got To Hell” from the new album, two outstanding Felice Brothers songs, “Your Belly In My Arms” and “Mercy”, which is tender until such time as it seems to explode, and ends with the achingly beautiful “”One More American Song”, from NGCS, which as much as The Low Anthem’s “To Ohio” is reminiscent of some Paul Simon classic.

The night ends with a rousing “Radio Song”, another Felice Brothers gem, and an unexpected but entirely welcome version of The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down”, Simone clearly relishing the spotlight to the extent that I was sure he’d only leave the stage at gun-point, and then reluctantly.

This was only the second show The Duke & The King have played, and at times it showed, especially during a sometimes tentative first 15 minutes. Give them a couple of months on the road, touring hard, and these people are going to be frighteningly good.

The Duke and the King, Brooklyn, NY June 19th

Americans UK, Baron, Gia, Queen GodIS, Ainsley Burrows, Faro-Z, Rain Maker, REBEL STARR, The Duke and The King, Jenine, Rip mc, Shareef Ali, Sabrina Gilbert, Knickie D, Wordsmith Jones, KayAn James and Terry Lovette

spoken word and rock and roll

Public Assembly
70 North 6th St.
Brooklyn, New York, New York 11211
United States

Newport , Kentucky May 28 2009

Big Surprise
Run Chicken Run
Helen Fry
Chicken Wire
Goddamn Jim
Love me Tenderly
White Limo
Farley's Gramps
Damn Boy *w/ Taylor Hollingsworth
Greatest Show on Earth
Frankie's Gun
Xmas song i've never heard
Swine Flu

E: St. Stephens End
Two Hands
Penn Station

Typical, standard Felice Brothers show. The band, as always, was having a great time on stage. Big Jimmy Felice was borderline too drunk....he knocked over his mic stand a few times...but didn't miss and cues/lyrics.....all in good fun.

The instruments really take a beating...especially Searcher's drum kit. I hope they have extras.

Two small complaints......There doesn't seem to be much in the way of setlist variation. I expect the same basic structure tonight. They have plenty of songs to play...why not play them? Finally, I could take a little less of Farley's antics. Maybe he should spend more time practicing the fiddle.

But in the end, this is one the best bands in the country.....and absolutely the best $10 band in the country.

Oh....and Ian Felice is a god.

Ohio Pork

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Atomic Popes Videos of Johnson City 5-26

Whiskey in My Whiskey

Run Chicken Run

very dark but thank you!!

Tracy Allison's Photos from Union Hall debut of the Duke and the King

tracy is a photographer, a student and an intern at Rolling Stone Magazine. She has many wonderful photos to peruse at her Flickr page (
) Many are photos from shows that actually have lighting!

Johnson City TN 5-26-09

Cypress Grove
Greatest Show
Helen Fry
Murder by Mistletoe
Love Me Tenderly
God Damn You Jim
Farley's Song
Whiskey In My Whiskey (w/ Gil Landry of Old Crow Medicine Show)
Run Chicken Run (w/ Gil Landry of Old Crow Medicine Show)
Take This Bread (w/ Gil Landry of Old Crow Medicine Show)
Chicken Wire
White Limousine
Step Dad (Christmas' Song)
Ahab Song (Christmas' Song)
Frankie's Gun
Let Me Come Home

St. Stephen's End
Two Hands (w/ Taylor Hollingsworth)
Penn Station (w/ Taylor Hollingsworth)

The show started kinda slow with less than 100 people at the Down Home, and everyone seated. After Helen Fry, the crowd was told they could come up front if they wanted to. The band said they hadn't played in a seated venue in long time. After Murder by Mistletoe, 10-15 people walked up to the stage and stayed for the rest of the show. During Chicken wire, Farley ran through the crowd and stood on a couple of chairs while playing his washboard. There was a busted snare drum head at the end of White Limousine. Once again, Farley ended the show with a nice dive into the drum kit. He then jumped up and smashed his washboard on the pile of rubble. A good show in front of a small crowd. I got photos and a couple of videos to share if they work out.

I got it taped, and I will share it soon. I also have the Winston-Salem show that will be posted soon. I thought about doing FTP for it, but I think a website would be an easier route. Only 5 people can log on the FTP at any given time. I know it's an insane idea after 4 hours on the road and getting back home 5 hours ago, but I think I am going to try to go work today...on four hours of sleep. Wish me luck!

atomic Pope

Monday, May 25, 2009

Setlist: The Garage

Okay. I just had the craziest weekend ever. I got hailed out at DelFest and left after the Old Crow Medicine Show set. I awoke Sunday morning sorely disappointed that I wasn't going to be enjoying any live music on my birthday... so... after a little wallowing I packed up my overnight bag, called a friend from Durham (twisted her arm a little and pulled the "It's my birthday" card) and headed to the airport to pick up a rental car. About 6 hours later I found myself outside the above mentioned Garage.

I made a good choice for my birthday. The show was amazing.


Cypress Grove
Helen Fry
Chicken Wire
Greatest Show
Damn You Jim
Love Me Tenderly
Whiskey In My Whiskey
Step Dad
Run Chicken Run
Ballad of Lou the Walterweight
White Limo
Farley's Song
Frankie's Gun
Take this Hammer (impromptu)
Little John
Let Me Come Home
Ruby Mae

St. Stephen's End
Two Hands
Penn Station

On the list, but not performed:
Liquor or Ooo My Love
Memphis Flu

The highlight of the night for me was talking to the guys (mostly Farley and Searcher) as my friend and I hung around for a few birthday drinks. Farley very animatedly described his plans for the drum dive and how they went awry.-


Ballad of Lou The Welterweight from the Garage in Winston Salem

The Garage: Winston Salem, NC 5-24-09

Pulling up to The Garage in North Carolina around about 8:20, I was not prepared for the line that had already formed out side the door of the impossibly small club. Made from a real garage, The Garage had fostered a growing local community of Felice Brothers fans, including those who had been to all 6 of the FBs previous gigs there. The stage was narrow and very deep; not a problem for Taylor Hollingworth as he opened with a stellar set, just him and his guitar. However, when the brothers joined him for a great rendition of Taylor's "Damn Boy, What's Wrong With You" the stage got pretty crowded. The boys were quite a bit more sloshed than the previous nights, although this simply provided an extremely energetic and unforgettable set. Unfortunately, with the deep stage, Searcher seemed miles away from the audience. He didn't let it phase him though and, as always, had a huge smile on his face and played a great set. Jimmy was in great form, playing genius riffs on his keyboard, and performed Goddamn You Jim with incredible emotion and depth. Although jumpinbean got the set list and I'm sure will post it soon, there are still some highlights that need to be shared. After a wonderful rendition of The Ballad of Lou the Welterweight, Jimmy tipped some drink out of his glass and Xmas pulled out his lighter in tribute. Some audience members began heckling them to play Take this Hammer. Ian' response? "You got a hammer? I'll take it. I need a hammer." After considerably more heckling, they played the song to great cheers from the audience. When more drinks were called for, Brandon brought them, instead of their usual beer or hard liquor, cups of mixed drinks with tinsel decorations. "Mixed drinks is the new thing. We've gone soft." The audience was keen to hear the Townes Van Zandt cover "Two Hands," and they were all clapping along. The night got a little sour when something went a little funky with the bass line and Ian playfully kicked Xmas. However, Xmas came back on with the rest of the band to play the encore, starting with an intimate and touching St. Stephen's End. Penn Station at the end was, of course, crazy. Taylor came back to sing and play keyboard and Farley performed his signature drum dive, toppling one of the amps. Searcher had to help him up, it was so tight in the back. With the largest crowd of the weekend in the smallest venue, the energy was palpable to the rafters, prompting the Brothers to play and intense and wild set, one of the best I've seen.

Miryam thanks again

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Felice Brothers at The National, Richmond VA 5-23

Rumors were flying that Simone was showing up to play in the beautifully restored theater because that big old bass drum was sitting on the stage behind Jimmy's keyboard before the show began. The bill said "Felice Brothers and special guests." Well, no Simone, -- the bass drum never even got touched by anyone -- but we did get to hear Taylor Hollingsworth in a well-played solo set. I particularly liked Taylor's song "I didn't know it was the devil," He is continuing on the tour to open for the FB's for the next several concerts through to Minnesota. The bros joined Taylor for his entertaining song: "Damn Boy, What's Wrong with you," a rocking end to his set that you won't want to miss if you are catching a show.

This was what the FB's had written down for their explosive set:

Cyprus Grove
Helen Frye ("She seems to think the devil's drawn in ink")
Greatest Show
Run Chicken Run
Hey Hey Revolver
Loves Me Tenderly
Marlboro Man
Chicken Wire
Goddam you Jim
White Limo (Miryam uploaded Ahab & White Limo in one video for Youtube)
Slow Down Little John
Let me come home

However, Searcher had some trouble with the drum set falling apart and needed some time to fix it, so somewhere in the set (I think maybe it was after Marlboro Man) Ian and Xmas inserted a crystalline "Saint Stephen's End." Once Search was back in business, the brothers did a kick-ass "Frankie's Gun" which wasn't on the set list either. Ian also added "Her Eyes Dart Round" with a tender dedication to "the real Tony Mercedes" who was in the audience, Ian's friend Mentor Noci who recently relocated to Richmond and got engaged. We met Mentor and his fiance after the show as Mentor was handing out postcards to advertise a photography show he will be presenting in June at the built gallery in Richmond. It was great meeting them, and all the other Felice Brother friends and devotees (Bread Heads?) from near and far.

Encores (as far as I remember!) :

Boy From Lawrence County - just exquisite tonight. Perfect.
Swine (Memphis) Flu -- "Two thousand nine, pretty women, men are dying..."
Penn Station - during which a number of audience members jumped up on the stage, dancing, carrying on and spraying beer and water over the audience and the equipment. I think I may have forgotten something in the encores, but Penn station definitely ended it all -- or rather, Farley ended it all by a particularly spectacular dive into the drum set before the devil engineer could bring that train on home.

submitted by Suzanne and Miryam

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Song: Felice Brothers Slow Down Little John May 22

Myriam Chaya and Suzanne thank you a million times over

The Duke and The King "Your Belly In My Arms" 5-20-09

The Duke and The King-Belly In My Arms

The Duke and the King Leave The Colony Cafe Helpless

Submitted by Olivia Dean and Mercy/Ruby Mae

From Mercy and Ruby Mae

1. Don't wake the scarecrow
2. If you ever get famous
3. Water spider
4. Suzanne (sung by The King aka Chicken)
5. The devil is real with "Beware the Beast: Man" -> Woodstock "I can see those fighter planes" x3 intro
6. Union street
7. Lose my self
8. Your belly in my arms
9. The morning I get to hell
10. Lie oh lie oh lie (?)
11. I've been bad (sung by The King)
12. Mercy
13. When we all were young
14. Radio song (including hilarious story of being arrested while driving Chicken's 1989 Toyota Camry and handing out his mug shot for the audience to pass around; unfortunately it never got to us)
15. One more American song
16. Don't let me down
17. Encore: Something in the way (Nirvana cover) -> Helpless (Neil Young cover)

An encore was demanded. Simone explained that they thought it was cheesy to go backstage and come back out to play their encore, so, as a new band, they didn't have any songs left because they'd already played everything that they knew. Eventually the band came back to join Simone onstage, Chicken said to do a classic, and Simone teased "T for Texas" and "We Are the World." Simone then said that they'd do the song that they had soundchecked, despite not really knowing it. He said that he'd dreamed about the song and woke up with it in his head, by "one of my favorite American poets, God rest his soul." After the Nirvana song, they started an extended version of Helpless, but needed to stop early on to check that everyone was playing the same chords. Simone said he'd heard the song on the radio today. After the song came together for a long rendition, he wound up asking what we felt helpless about, and taking his mic into the audience. People said things like war, their crazy new dog, climate change, and addiction. After each person spoke into the mic, Chicken sung a response about how helpless each topic felt. The show ended with Simone on his knees, bowing and waving his arms to the band as the most amazing encore finally came to a spectacular end.

From Olivia D

it's was absolutely insane. one of the top 3 best shows i've ever been to. i attend quite a lot of shows too.
opened with scarecrow, at the moment of "would you love me..." i burst into tears, i've been waiting years to hear that song live.
the entire set was amazing, chicken's few songs were great and it was lovely to see simone back on drums for "suzanne", it really sent some feelings flowing through my body.
in the middle of radio song simone ran back stage to grab a picture of his mugshot and passed it around the room for everyone to see.

he didn't do nowhere new york, which was to be expected but when i spoke to him after the show we sang it together, that absolutely made my entire life.
we had a good time, i won't give you all the details as i'm sure you don't care about the simone hugs and all that.

i took two pictures then put my camera down and decided to not watch the show through my viewfinder so i'm sorry to say i have no photos for you.

IT WAS A PERFECT NIGHT and woodstock was lovely

Crazy night: Felice Brothers at the Buffalo Creek Music Festival

Buffalo Creek was more of a frat-boy tailgating party than a music festival. Armies of half-naked dudes with Buds. The music pounding from legions of truck stereos should had been Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." The FBs were scheduled for 6:30 p.m., first band of three on the Friday night. At the door of the Winnebago, parked behind the rustic, corrugated metal shed that housed the stage, we gave Farley our offering of home-made chocolate chip cookies and something to wash them down. We then wandered into the FB's soundcheck, along with two women who had traveled down from New Palz for the show and got to hear "Slow Down Little John." Searcher had fun welcoming people to the Felice Brothers sound check. By 6:30 there were only a handful of people waiting for the music to start. The FB's came on around 7, to a small but enthusiastic crowd. The guys were on fire from the start, and all were in fine voice after the couple of weeks off. In "Big Surprise," Ian sang "grab your partner let's get to it; there's no one way how to do it" to encourage us all to dance. We got to hear Christmas' awesome new song "Step-Dad" for the first time. Christmas introduced it by asking "do any of you have a step-dad named Ron? Well I sure as hell do." Down-home highlight was the appearance of an old man on the stage in the middle of the set yelling something in Ian's ear. Ian then announced that sausage and and eggs would be available at the food truck from 9 to 10 p.m. The sound technician, Bill, pushed through the crowd during "Let me come home" to indicated to Ian that they could sing only one more song, so they moved right to "Penn Station" and ended despite the audience's screams for one more song. We took away our third drum head of destruction!!! After the set, we caught up with Jimmy Buffalo creek-side by an impossibly huge bonfire, one of dozens raging around the field. We returned to our tent, politely declining the STRANGERS' offers of ganjia rice krispie treats and sex in the back of trucks not belonging to the people who offered it. Not much possibility for actual sleep in our tent, as the carousing and truck-stereo music went on all night. A brisk business in jumper cables was going on in the morning. On to the National in Richmond, VA tonight, and then to the Garage in Winston-Salem tomorrow night!

Asterisk indicates they did NOT perform the song:

Cypruss Grove
Helen Frye
Greatest Show
Run Chicken Run
Big Surprise
Slow Down Little John (new song!!!)
Love me Tenderly
Chicken Wire
Goddamn you, Jim (Jim is crossed out and "Kai" is written instead)
White Limo
Step-dad (Christmas' song)
Let me come home
* Marlboro Man
*Take this Bread
* F-gun
*O Marie
*Two Hands

-- submitted by Suzanne and Miryam
Penn Station

Friday, May 22, 2009

Faith Rewarded: The Duke and the King at Union Hall

The Duke and The King-The Devil Is Real

About 100 or so hardcore fans, friends and family of the Duke and the King watched the debut performance of the band at Union Hall in Brooklyn. They came to the show, mostly, without having any idea what the band would sound like, what kind of songs they would play. The fans came mostly, because they had faith in the artist. The Duke and the King did not dissapoint. For those who worried that the music might take on too much of a melancholy live show, there is nothing to fear. This band, while still playing some beautiful ballads, rocked the house. They opened with one of Simone Felice's finest songs, "Scarecrow". The rendition was probably the best i have heard yet. Simone introduced it as a "Hudson River Song" , and delivered a searing performance, which was capped off by a shocking vocal coda by Robert "Chicken" Burke, which raised a few eyebrows in the Hall for those who had never heard his amazing voice. They followed that with their new single "If You Ever Get Famous" , which was pretty faithful to the version on the record. Simone then introduced the next song by bringing the audience back to the very early days of the Felice Brothers, when they played the Subways of New York City. He explained that "we sucked" and that there were songs that they learned to get people to stop and sing a long and hopefully, give some money. There were others, like "Waterspider"and "Going Going Gone", that people just walked on by as they played it. He said they wrote Water Spider for Harriet Tubbman (which he has said before) and also about Ghandi, and John Lennon, and Martin Luther King, and laughing he said "prince" and "Mike Tyson". Very nice version and great interplay with the crowd. The King, Chicken Burke, then left the drum kit for the only time all night for lead vocal on the funky slow jam, "Suzanne", Chicken had a nice little breakdown in the middle of this song in which he talked about how loneliness is a big part of the rock and roll life . Simone followed with a long meandering spoken word rap about "Beware of the Beast called Man" which had the audience hanging on his every word and then just at its most anxious moment he called out "Pharoah, My Pharoah, my girlfriend is dead...." of "The Devil is Real" . Some artists sing songs, some paint great landscapes , and some rare individuals, emote art through every pore of their skin. Simone Felice, like John Lennon, is totally incapable of being uninteresting. What he says you may or may not understand or agree with, but you will be entertained. There are no bathroom breaks, cause you never know what you might miss, what he might say, because his filters are off and his words are like James Dean's car careening recklessly down a winding road. This version of "Devil" was outstanding. They followed that with "Union St", a reminiscence of perhaps a simpler America. "Lose Myself" had a nice speech in the middle by Simone, about a sinful world, and how we all gotta use love and music and each other to find shelter from the bad world as he referenced Bob Marley and Eminem. An excellent live number with an excellent drum fill at the end by Chicken Burke. Simone then called the King "a Bad Motherfucker" in the "Country of Stank" and said the next song "Your Belly in My Arms" "Me, Ian and James recorded this song when we first started to play, and it was ah..a fictional song then, and well, its taken on a whole different meaning now". Very intense performance with nice harmonies by the King. One of my favorite lines is "Woke up with the driver crying "Birmingham" , kinda transports you to that place. Simone then told a story about the early days of the Felice Brothers when James wanted to buy a keyboard, but was told by Simone and Ian, "fuck you, every thing has got to be made out of dirt and wood and meat and barbeque" but he said they finally relented, and then explained why they used a electronic beats for "The Morning that i Get to Hell" . There was a lot of singing along in the crowd for this new song. "Mercy" followed, perhaps the best ever version of this song as it ended with two shots of heavy metal thunder. The band proved to be very tight for a new outfit and a big part of that was Chicken Burke driving the show skillfully through the set. After Mercy came crashing back to Earth, Simone gave a heartfelt tribute to his brother Ian, with stories of listening to music, dreaming and writing poetry together, with "American Song" about down on their luck characters in the post Gulf War Bush Years. Radio Song was improved with Burke's Charlie Watts channeled beat, making it sound like garage rock from the Stones Tattoo You era. Burke again went Van Morrison vocally on "Annabelle, You Blow My Mind" on the outro to Radio Song.They ended the show with a rousing rendition of the Beatles "Don't Let Me Down" complete with Simone Felice hurling himself into the fray of the audience, twisting his legs and swinging his Fender around dissapearing amongst the fans then to crawl back to the stage and deliver the lyrics with every morsel of strength he could muster.

When fans of the Felice Brothers see this show they will no longer be sad that Simone is not touring with the band. They will see an artist of this ability needs more leg room to display his considerable talent, and fans get a lot more out of it.

Not surprisingly, Simone greeted fans after the show with hug and kisses and many met Chicken Burke for the first time and he is a very charming fellow.

Maya Solovey opened. Possibly the sexiest voice since Eartha Kitt.

All Hail the Duke and the King!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Duke and The King Rock Union Hall

Rock music's greatest live performer returned to the stage last night at Union Hall in Brooklyn, New York
The Simone Felice fronted Duke and the King treated fans to a night of funky beats, majestic rock power, and beautiful poetry.
The setlist was comprised of new songs from the soon to be released lp Nothing Gold Can Stay, and many of Simone Felice songs from the Felice Brothers catalog. Robert Chicken Burke (king), provided delicious beats all night, particularly the Charlie Watts channeled Radio Song, and very soulful vocals. Highlights were a new number American Song dedicated to Ian Felice and The Devil is Real.


Don't Wake the Scarecrow
If you Ever Get Famous
Suzanne (Chicken Burke lead vocal)
The Devil is Real
Union Hall
Lose myself
Your Belly in My Arms
The Morning that I Get To Hell
American Song (for Ian)
Radio Song
Don't Let Me Down (Beatles cover)

Full review with pics to come.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Duke and the King on Jambase


On August 4, Ramseur Records will release Nothing Gold Can Stay by The Duke & The King, an album recorded in the coldest Catskill winter, that shimmers with the light of memory and hope. Nothing Gold Can Stay features ten new songs, all co-written by The Duke (Simone Felice of The Felice Brothers) and The King (Robert Chicken Burke), and was recorded on a two-inch tape machine in Burke's one-room, woodstove-heated cabin - affectionately known as The Chapel - in Woodstock, NY.

The Duke & The King grew out of Simone Felice's decision to take an extended break from The Felice Brothers at the end of 2008, after three years of non-stop touring. He set to work on his third book, and began writing and recording with his longtime friend Burke, himself on leave from recent stints with George Clinton, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and film scoring work for acclaimed French director Cedric Klapisch.

The two holed up in splendid isolation at The Chapel with a cache of vintage instruments, and emerged with an album of inspired contradictions. Made in the depths of winter, Gold feels sun-faded and warm. It emits a bucolic calm, yet was mixed and mastered in Brooklyn by hip-hop legend Bassy Bob Brockmann (Notorious B.I.G.). Fusing unlikely elements of blue-eyed soul, Topanga Canyon cool, and Marc Bolan-esque acoustic reverie, The Duke & The King sing of a time and place they can never return to, but will never forget.

The Duke & The King will tour extensively this summer and fall. Currently announced tour dates available here.

If you ever get Famous-new single

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Message Board

The Brotherhood: a Felice Brothers Message Board has been set

Drowned in Sound review of Yonder is the Clock

It’s easy to see why Conor Oberst fell for The Felice Brothers, picking them up for release on his fledgling Team Love imprint in much the same way Two Gallants found a home on Saddle Creek some years ago. As with that band, these Catskill natives mine fields riddled with Americana staples: murder, love, death and betrayal all contemplated against a backdrop of desolate train stations and dilapidated freighters, Coney Island beaches and New England winters. Taking its name from a Mark Twain passage, Yonder Is The Clock bleeds the kind of folksy sincerity that could so easily fall flat. It doesn’t endear itself with immediate effect, either. Rough-hewn to the point of occasional sloppiness, haunted by the spectre of The Band (Ian Felice’s smoky rasp bearing an uncanny resemblance to that of a certain Bob Dylan), and a touch overlong, it nevertheless emerges an utterly compelling whole.

Steeped in classic songwriting traditions, bar-room blues and tried-and-tested chord progressions, gracing the record with more than a cursory listen reveals a work of significant heft. Numerous allusions to the sea serve as an early signpost (recurring throughout, swallowing unfortunates into watery oblivion and generally doing that elemental thing it does so very well). The “ten thousand silver whales” of ‘Sailor Song’ knowingly evoke the spirit of Herman Melville, the song itself coming over like Tom Waits at his most melancholy; a piano-led waltz of striking gloom. That it could feasibly be Waits himself is a sword of the double-edged variety, engendering the sort of divisive reaction The Felice Brothers clearly gave up worrying about some time ago (if they ever did at all). The kicker? It’s a great song. And it’s in good company, too.

Against the odds – the songs structured around baseball games, squeezebox ubiquity, Jesse James shout-outs and slapdash take on the traditional ‘Memphis Flu’ – Yonder Is The Clock remains a record of its time. The doomed narrator of ‘Penn Station’ for instance, meets his demise on said depot’s bathroom tiles, damnation hurtling towards him. The contents of his pockets? “Five dollars and a dead cellphone.” Where that song raises an eyebrow, ‘All When We Were Young’ startles. What begins a sweet lament for lost innocence gradually unfolds into theological territory, before abruptly asking “Where’d those planes come from / That burned my city up?” It’s fairly heavy-handed as far as allegory goes, but that’s sort of the point. As this record’s rueful heart, it’s an underplayed and unqualified success.

In light of such rumination, songs like ‘The Boy From Lawrence County’ (featuring a Judas-esque narrator) and ‘Buried In Ice’ (a woozy cautionary tale) are thrown into sharp relief. Strewn with folkloric references and populated by a cast of redemption-seeking miscreants, they also stand up as fine tunes in their own right. That one of the three siblings at the core of the band has written a novel (Simone Felice – Goodbye, Amelia) comes as no great surprise, nor does it that chickens (yep, chickens) feature prominently in no less than two of the thirteen songs here – they were recorded in a renovated coop, after all.

For all the confusion and exasperation pervading this set, moments such as tender parting shot ‘Rise And Shine’ offer rays of light, a means by which to temper the collective mess we seem to have found ourselves in. The majority of the album in fact fulfils the latter of that criteria, for reasoning best put by its players:

Let the brass band play
Let them soothe your blues away
Let the fiddles serenade you
Find a shady place to lay

Missteps are present, however: the aforementioned take on ‘Memphis Flu’ was presumably a lot more fun for the band to lurch their way through than it is us to listen to, and the cyclic sprawl of ‘Cooperstown’ does drag over six minutes. Given that these flaws are inseparable from the album itself, however, they do make an odd kind of sense – as for Yonder Is The Clock to be faultless would be a fault in itself. As it stands, it’s an emphatically rich and addictive work. It does sound a whole lot like Dylan, yes. But it’s a whole lot of excellent itself, thanks very much.

8/10 stars

also posted here

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bakers Dozen Mixtape

While the band is on a break from touring i figured its a good time to introduce different music that i am listening to, that is generally relevant to a fan of the Felice Brothers or good music, and might be of interest of readers out there.

1. Robbie Fulks-"She took a lot of Pills(and died)"
Country artist from Raleigh, who kinda has battled the industry over the years.
Tour dates are here a live performance of the song here
2. Lucero-"the Weight of Guilt" Memphis, Tennessee rockers, album is Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers. Tour dates
3. Alejandro Escovedo- "Always a Friend " This cut has gotten an awful lot of airplay of late. He is an overnight sensation,25 years in the trenches for this Texas rocker. Excellent songwriter. His tour dates
4. The Ghourds-"Gin and Juice" Yes, these Austin roots musicians did cover Snoop Dog's Hip hop hit. I still believe this is where Simone Felice got the idea for adding it to Glory Glory. Tour dates here
5. Son Volt-"Windfall" Everyone knows Jay Farrar is a great songwriter and this is one of my favorite tunes. Tour dates a video is here
6. Dan Blakeslee-"Your Spanish Scarf" This guy i saw playing on the sidewalk outside a Felice Brothers show. He is a massive talent, engaging live performer, lovely voice, excellent songs. Here is a video of him playing the song in the park to some people with dogs
Amazing right! his tour dates
7. Old 97's "Question" they got their name from an old Johnny Cash tune, and they cover his songs quite a bit. They got a tour schedule and a video for this song
8. Richmond Fontaine-"Black Road" Pacific Northwest is where i believe they are based. Live at the Doug Fir Lounge is a great CD. Their Myspace page. Willy Vlautin, singer and guitarist is also a novelist.
9. Popup "Love Triangle" From Team Love. Video is available for free at team love
10. Cassette- "Never Shake a Baby" Gainesville singer, guitarist, songwriter. Found her through Dave Turbeville (Now the Felice Brothers drummer), beautiful voice and excellent songs and this one is great. Here is her myspace page.
11. Golden Smooth-"Until You Came Around" Supergroup of sorts, Wilco, Jayhawks, Soul Asylum...its really good tune. Video
12. Neko Case-"Thrice All American" Video of this amazing singer.
13. The Powder Kegs- "Better Weather" really catchy melody, from this Burlington, Vt group that is produced by Jeremy "Searcher" Backofen. Here is a video of them performing at Northhampton, MA.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Marie" Lyrics

Over the past couple months The Felice Brothers have been performing a song that has many fans buzzing. "Marie" was written by Ian Felice, who was reluctant to play the song unless others in the band took a verse. It's a masterpiece, maybe the best he's written, and i hope soon makes it on an official release. The first verse is sung by James Felice, the second by Greg Farley, the third by Ian Felice. The final verse sees James return to shut the door on this classic. The melody is very reminiscent of Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho and Lefty". It doesn't get much better than that.


They say we ran our course
But i feel like a racing horse
Got a Feeling i will running all my life
Oh, all i'm asking you Marie
is spend one more fare on me
Give me one more night

I thought i was smart enough
I read Moby Dick and stuff
I guess i ain't smart enough for you
oh, all i'm asking you Marie
is spend one more fare on me
give me one more night

You say you don't wanna dance
till i wash my hands
but my hands aren't as dirty as my mind
oh, all i'm asking you Marie
is spend one more fare on me
give me one more night

They say this song's in "G"
but i don't give a shit
i wrote this song in the key of love
oh, all i'm asking you Marie
is spend one more fare on me
give me one more night

The celebrated Dr. Armand de Montalban, of Paris Lecture on the Science of Phrenology

Actually The Duke and the King at Bush Hall in London. Great opportunity for fans in the UK to see this new collaboration. Come see the most charismatic live performer in music today, Simone Felice with his new band, The Duke and the King, with old friend Robert "Chicken" Burke.

Here is a map to find your way to Bush Hall.

Buy tickets here

Check out The Duke and the King on Demand in studio performance

WDST Woodstock

There is also a Felice Brothers 4-03-09 appearence there (Utopia)

and here is video of the Duke and The King in Studio

All from their forthcoming album "Nothing Gold Can Stay" which takes its name from the Outsiders film and the poem by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Raleigh NC 5-02-09


It was by a complete coincidence that I was able to catch the brothers for the fourth time in three weeks, this time on Saturday at the Berkeley CafĂ© in Raleigh, NC. My older sister had just moved there last week so me and our little sister drove down from Richmond and broke in her new apartment’s oven by baking the boys some cupcakes. We got to the venue a little early to chitchat and give out our treats; I think I’m developing a little bit of a reputation for being that weirdly enthusiastic fan who brings homemade food to shows, but that’s okay with me.

Before the show, we ran into Dave the new drummer, to whom my friend had given a quick drum lesson back in Alexandria, and he seemed cautiously optimistic about his ability to keep things together—this was only his fourth or fifth time doing a whole show. Felice Brothers fans everywhere agree that he has GIGANTIC shoes to fill after Simone and Searchbag, but his performance was very encouraging: Dave seemed to work well (though not perfectly—yet) with the rest of the band and as the show went on he appeared to get more comfortable onstage, occasionally flashing an earnest grin (his own version of Simone’s mischievous smirks?)

Even though the boys have a variety of shows coming up this summer (one in my hometown of RICHMOND; contact me if you need a couch to sleep on), they announced that this show was the last of their official tour and in retrospect it was a little bit obvious. Some of the slower songs lacked the intensity they typically generate, and some of the faster ones were a little forced—but at this point it’s hard to tell if that sort of thing was obvious to everyone or just crazy people who’ve seen them in concert a gajillion times. Either way, they put on a fun show, especially the newly edited “Swine Flu” and the song I would kill to download, “Marie.” Also I’m not 100% certain but there was an older fellow there who looked a lot like Ian, possibly Poppa Felice, and he was breaking it down in the front row with me and my sisters!

Looking forward to a great time in Richmond, Floydfest, and beyond!


set list Raleigh:

Big Surprise
Loves Me Tenderly
Whiskey in my Whiskey
Boy from Lawrence County
Greatest Show On Earth
Her Eyes Dart Round (LOVE this one too)
Goddamn You, Jim
Frankie's Gun
Ballad of Lou the Welterweight
Ahab (Not sure the real title of this song but on the setlist it's listed as "Ahab")
Run Chicken Run
**Let Me Come Home is listed next but instead they played Where'd You Get the Liquor--later James told Ian he felt up to singing Let Me Come Home but Ian said there wasn't enough time**
Farley's Song
Take The Bread
Swine Flu

St Stephen's End
Two Hands
Penn Station


Video from the Show (Whiskey in my Whiskey KICKASS)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Knoxville Setlist 5-01-09

Barley's Taproom

01 Intro
02 The Big Suprise
03 Loves Me Tenderly
04 Whiskey In My Whiskey
05 Boy From Lawerence County
06 Marie
07 Greatest Show On Earth
08 Take This Bread
09 Where'd You Get The Liquor
10 Her Eyes Dart Round
11 Ahab Song
12 Run Chicken Run
13 Frankie's Gun
14 Ballad Of Lou
15 Lay You Down Slow(Farley's Song)
16 Goddamn You Jim
17 Memphis Flu
18 Let Me Come Home
19 Encore
20 St. Steven's End
21 Penn Station

The Duke and The King perform at WDST

Simone Felice, Robert Burke, and apparently two other band members known now as the Viceroy and the Magistrate of Powers (according to Simone) did two numbers in studio at Wdst in Woodstock. One of the tunes was If You Ever Get Famous, the other title is The Morning i Get to Hell