Sunday, June 28, 2009

Simone Felice Gives Commencement Address

Catskill graduates 'a class of compassion and of concern'

By Susan Campriello

CATSKILL — The 112 Catskill High School students, 98 of whom began their academic career in the Catskill Central School District, were awarded their high school diplomas in front of their parents, friends and teachers Saturday morning.

Simon Felice, of the musical group The Felice Brothers, gave the keynote address before the graduates, their families and their teachers. As a graduate of Catskill High School's Class of 1995, Felice said he had not fully appreciated the education he received in Catskill’s schools until he met a woman who, in the early 1900s, had been denied an education. He asked the graduates to thank their teachers for the gift of a good education.

Felice also reminded the graduates that success is not measured by status or wealth.

“Real success is not how wide your wallet is but how wide your smile is,” he said. “Real success is not what you have but what you give.”

Felice also spoke about living in Palenville and experiencing the Village of Catskill and the Catskill Mountains as a child and young man.

He singled out retiring teacher Edward “Big Ed” Synan as one member of the Catskill community who taught him about nature and life. More recently, he saw Synan leading a Catskill High School running team on a circuit through Olana.

Felice performed “Long May You Run” by Neil Young in honor of Synan.

Salutatorian Judy Lam thanked her mother, the parents and guardians of her classmates and Catskill schools' faculties and staffs for their support through the years.

She said that each student in the Class of 2009, with their random assortment of passions and talents, added a special dimension to the class and the graduation celebration.

“We all not only got along, but cared for and supported each other,” she said. “We are not only former Catskill students and future doctors, lawyers, educators and writers, but people who can appreciate the value of life and every moment we live.”

Valedictorian Kedong Wang, a lover of pop music, the sitcom “Scrubs” and badminton, who will begin studying at Princeton University in the fall, lauded the many contributions to clubs, musical groups and athletic teams by his fellow graduates. He noted the particular camaraderie between his classmates given the challenges they had faced over the last few years.

Wang spoke to the memory and warm smiles of classmates Diana Zamarani and Victor Armstead, who passed away since their class began their high school journey.

“What Diana and Victor had accomplished still live inside every single one of us,” he said. “Diana and Victor will always be there to cheer us on.”

Wang asked his fellow graduates to remember that the debt owed Catskill could only be repaid through good work given to a world in need of nurturing.

“A human being is worthless unless compassion is factored into his life's work,” he said.

Superintendent Kathleen Farrell said the Class of 2009 will be remembered for their community service through fundraisers, their close ties with each other and each student's individual personality.

“This is a class that pays it forward every time,” she said.

She said each student will be remembered for who he or she had become during their years at the school.

“This class, the Class of 2009, is a class of compassion and of concern,” she said.

The ceremony also featured a song performed by Jamed Guildenstern.

Cheers for the class of 2009 could be heard across the Catskill Creek.

-Daily Mail

Epic Show back Home

Thanks for the tip about the Rosendale Cafe. It's 3 a.m. and I just got back to Staten Island. The show was absolutely epic. I am so glad I made the drive up. The girls couldn't come with me, and it's too bad, because it was a blast. Rosendale Cafe is a cozy vegan place, with seats for maybe 45 people or so. The place was packed with people eating when I arrived at about 7:30. The friendly owner said they could serve me if I ordered quickly, because by 8:30 or so they were taking out all the tables so more people could stand. The cafe was the smallest venue I've seen the Felice Brothers in, and they put on quite a show for a packed house of family, friends and, judging from the conversations I heard, quite a few local folks who were hearing them for the first time. Someone else got the set list, so I'll just mention what were the highlights for me, starting with Ian soloing with "Buffalo Bill" as the opener. I've been listening to the "Iantown" album quite a bit, so I was delighted to hear him play this great song. There was a beautiful new spiritual-style ballad about the River Jordan which I am keen to hear again soon. The excellent trombonist, Dean Jones, joined the band for quite a few of the numbers. Ian introduced their sister Claire who sang on several of the songs. Dave the newish drummer sat in for one of the songs. Gill Landry from Old Crow Medicine show was enjoying the music from his seat behind Searcher at the drum set, and eventually came on to sing too. At one point Gill picked up a guitar and it seemed like we might get some playing from him (he was great at the Clearwater festival with Old Crow Medicine Show last weekend) but I guess we will have to wait for the Big Surprise tour to hear him play again. The brothers played two sets. Every number was high energy, tight and joyous. They were all giving one thousand percent. After "Chicken Wire" in the first set Ian remarked that it was for Michael Jackson, because of the line, "the children danced to "Billy Jean" by the neighbor's fence." And then they opened the second set with a truly unforgettable cover of "Billie Jean" with Searcher singing the verses and Ian jumping into the crowd for some disco dancing with one of the ladies. I saw someone filming a lot of the show on her camera --I sure hope she captured "Billy Jean." I thought Christmas gave the best performances I've heard of "Ahab" and "Step-Dad" and Farley poured his heart in for his song too. At one point in the show, Ian started calling out names (was it Ryan 1, Ryan 2? I'm not sure) and said that he needed to change a guitar string, so this guy came up and did a nice poetry stint. Pretty cool to hear Dean Jones' tones punctuating the rap as Xmas and Search laid down the beat. Late in the night Ian launched into the Star Spangled Banner and the whole room joined in, so I didn't feel so bad that we missed hearing them sing it at the Hall of Fame Classic in Cooperstown. After that I heard Search request "Boy from Lawrence County" from Ian who replied, "Nah -- Let's rock!" He launched into Cincinnati Queen, then Two Hands and finally Penn Station at the end of which we got the Farley drum dive, and general chaos as drummer Dave jumped on top of Jimmy who flipped him over his shoulder as beer, mike stands and dancing maniacs flew in all directions.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Felice Brothers and on Paste Magazine's top 20 albums of the 2009 (so far)

18. The Felice Brothers - Yonder is the Clock
On this album, The Felice Brothers blend thoughtful and down-home the way Dylan & The Band once did. In fact, standout track "Penn Station" would've fit in perfectly on the Planet Waves album.

A Welcome Home Show: Saturday June 27

Our local boys have done good, and they're back from a extensive tour, home in Rosendale for a spell. Since they live right here on Main Street, they've only got a short walk to the cafe.

Please note that this show is starting at 9:00pm, an hour later than our usual concerts. Tables and chairs will be removed for human movement.

"Rowdy, vivid, moving and playful, The Felice Brothers is just glorious." --Uncut Magazine

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CMJ: The Duke and the King hit the Road

The Duke And The King Make 'Gold' Hit The Road
Jun 23, 2009
Story by: Marisa Aveling

The Duke And The King will set off in their first US tour in support of their forthcoming debut, Nothing Gold Can Stay, which is due out on August 4 via Ramseur. The duo, which is comprised of Simone Felice (formerly of the Felice Brothers) and Robert 'Chicken' Burke (George Clinton/Drugs, Sweet Honey And The Rock/Toshi Reagon), takes their name from the Mark Twain classic The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, which is appropriate given that their music retains a similar easy, folksy vibe.

Their forthcoming tour kicks off in their upstate New York home town on August 1, and runs through August 16. And the duo will play a record release show in New York City on August 4. Don't see your town listed in the below list of dates? Don't sweat it; the Duke And The King taping an upcoming episode of NPR's World Cafe, so you will be able to "attend" one of their shows without even leaving your living room.

Tour Dates For The Duke And The King:
08/01 - Woodstock, NY - The Colony Cafe
08/02 - Cambridge, MA - Club Passim
08/03 - Philadelphia, PA - Chapel At First Unitarian Church
08/04 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
08/06 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
08/07 - Atlanta, GA - Eddie's Attic
08/08 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
08/10 - Nashville, TN - The Basement
08/11 - Newport, KY - Southgate House (Parlour)
08/13 - Indianapolis, IN - Locals Only
08/14 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
08/15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe
08/16 - Arlington, VA - IOTA Club And Cafe

Tracklist For Nothing Gold Can Stay:
01. If You Ever Get Famous
02. The Morning I Get To Hell
03. Still Remember Love
04. Union Street
05. Lose My Self
06. Suzanne
07. Summer Morning Rain
08. Water Spider
09. I've Been Bad
10. One More American Song

James Felice "Let Me Come Home"

was filmed by Jfelix

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Devil is Real


The Felice Brothers are Heading to Cooperstown Today

6/20/09) — Stars from the music industry will head to Cooperstown on Sunday to join the stars of baseball at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.

Before Sunday's Baseball Hall of Fame Classic, Catskill Mountain natives The Felice Brothers, a band with folk, rock and country roots, will perform the American national anthem. Band members Greg Farley, Josh Rawson, Jeremy Backofen will join brothers Ian and James Felice in the Father's Day performance.

The band is home following a successful tour and will leave soon for another national tour.

Tickets for the Classic -- which features Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Fergie Jenkins, Paul Molitor, Phil Niekro and Brooks Robinson, along with 21 other former Major Leaguers -- are $12.50 for infield seats, $11 for outfield seats and are available through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hall of Fame’s Museum Store. Starting at 8 a.m. Sunday, tickets will be available at Doubleday Field.

By Brad Horn

Friday, June 19, 2009

Marlboro Man From the Troubadour in LA

Mattyhere Video

St Louis June 17 The Felice Brothers

We just got back from the show. Aside from the obnoxious crowd (including the girl stealing the one and only setlist from the stage before the show was over -- Ian was NOT happy about that), the concert was great. Here's the setlist:

video by Jumpinbean (thankyou!!! one of your best ones!)

The Big Surprise (w/ organ intro by James)
Greatest Show on Earth
Take This Bread
Whiskey In My Whiskey
Where'd You Get The Liquor
River Jordan
Run Chicken Run
Helen Fry
White Limosine
Goddamn You, Jim
Farley's Song
Frankie's Gun
Ballad of Lou the Welterweight
"Swine Flu"
Boy from Lawrence County
Let Me Come Home
Saint Stephen's End
Two Hands
Penn Station


Denver June 16 (Brian) The Felice Brothers

Awesome show. Don't even know what else to say.

Anyone have pics or video?

Big Surprise
Greatest Show
Take This Bread
Hey Hey Revolver
Whiskey in my Whiskey
Chicken Wire
Step Dad
Run Chicken Run
Ballad of Lou
Love me Tender
God Damn You Jim
Ruby Mae
Slow Down
Where'd You Get The Liquor
River Jordan
Frankies Gun
Memphis Flu
Helen Fry
Buffalo Bill

St. Stephens
Two Hands
Penn Station


Thursday, June 18, 2009

all new tour dates Europe Dates Included

Jun 18 2009 9:00P
The Firebird St. Louis, Missouri
Jul 10 2009 8:00P
Club Helsinki Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Jul 11 2009 8:00P
The Surf Lodge Montauk, New York
Jul 12 2009 8:00P
Cafe Nine New Haven, Connecticut
Jul 17 2009 8:00P
Summit City Lounge Whitesburg, Kentucky
Jul 18 2009 7:15P
Master Musicians Festival Somerset, Kentucky
Jul 25 2009 6:00P
Floydfest Floyd, Virginia
Aug 4 2009 8:00P
Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom - The Big Surprise Tour Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Aug 5 2009 7:30P
House of Blues - The Big Surprise Tour Boston, Massachusetts
Aug 6 2009 7:30P
Beacon Theatre - The Big Surprise Tour New York City, New York
Aug 7 2009 8:00P
Electric Factory - The Big Surprise Tour Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Aug 9 2009 7:00P
Charlottesville Pavilion - The Big Surprise Tour Charlottesville, Virginia
Aug 10 2009 6:00P
Koka Booth Amphitheatre - The Big Surprise Tour Cary, North Carolina
Aug 12 2009 7:00P
Waterfront Park - The Big Surprise Tour Louisville, Kentucky
Aug 13 2009 7:00P
Riverfront Park - The Big Surprise Tour Nashville, Tennessee
Aug 14 2009 7:00P
World’s Fair Park - The Big Surprise Tour Knoxville, Tennessee
Aug 16 2009 3:30P
Merriweather Post Pavilion - Route 29 Revue Columbia, Maryland
Oct 3 2009 5:00P
Austin City Limits Festival Austin, Texas
Oct 12 2009 8:00P
Lido Berlin, Germany
Oct 13 2009 8:00P
Ubel und Gefahrlich Hamburg, Germany
Oct 14 2009 8:00P
Kulturkirche Cologne, Germany
Oct 15 2009 8:00P
Atomic Munich, Germany
Oct 17 2009 8:00P
Brudenell Social Club Leeds, England
Oct 18 2009 8:00P
Whelans Dublin, Ireland
Oct 19 2009 8:00P
The Glee Club Birmingham, England
Oct 20 2009 8:00P
Academy 3 Manchester, England
Oct 22 2009 8:00P
Shepherds Bush Empire London, England
Oct 24 2009 8:00P
Paradiso (upstairs) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oct 26 2009 8:00P
Tivoli Utrecht, Netherlands
Oct 27 2009 8:00P
Batschkapp Frankfurt, Germany


Jun 30 2009 8:00P
ARTPARK - W/ BLUE RODEO Lewiston, New York
Jul 8 2009 8:00P
Aug 1 2009 8:00P
THE COLONY CAFE Woodstock, New York
Aug 2 2009 8:00P
CLUB PASSIM Cambridge, Massachusetts
Aug 3 2009 8:00P
THE CHAPEL @ FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Aug 4 2009 8:00P
Aug 7 2009 8:00P
EDDIE’S ATTIC Atlanta, Georgia
Aug 8 2009 8:00P
BOTTLETREE Birmingham, Alabama
Aug 10 2009 8:00P
THE BASEMENT Nashville, Tennessee
Aug 11 2009 8:00P
Aug 13 2009 8:00P
LOCALS ONLY ART & MUSIC PUB Indianapolis, Indiana
Aug 14 2009 8:00P
SCHUBAS Chicago, Illinois
Aug 15 2009 8:00P
CLUB CAFE Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Aug 16 2009 8:00P
IOTA CLUB & CAFE Arlington, Virginia

Blurt Online interview with James Felice


43 years after Dylan plugged in, a relatively unknown group from the Catskill Mountains electrified the hallowed Newport Folk Festival with an impromptu unplugged set, standing ankle deep in mud in front of the stage where Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger and Howlin' Wolf once stood.

"I'll probably never forget it," James Felice says. "It was pouring rain, and all our shit got soaked sitting on the side stage while we waited to play. The band before us played their last song without power, ‘cause the storm had knocked it out. The organizers wanted us to wait to see if the power would come back on, but we just said fuck it, let's play."

Hopping down off the front of the stage, the Felice Brothers could have played right into music critics' hands by covering "Like A Rolling Stone," the defiant anthem Dylan sang during his set in '65 backed by the Butterfield Blues Band. It would have been apropos, given the circumstances, but would have just further fanned the flames of Dylanphiles looking to dub them the next Rolling Thunder Revue.

Instead, the three brothers- Ian, Simone and James - and their friends Christmas and Farley rolled up their pants and launched into "Lonesome Valley," an old traditional gospel folk song that's been sung by everyone from the Carter Family and Woody Guthrie to Elvis Presley and Mississippi John Hurt.

"For us, the music comes from guys like Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Willie McTell, Skip James and Jimmie Rodgers," James says. "That's the music that we love."

On Yonder Is the Clock, the Felices' fifth studio album and follow-up to their acclaimed 2008 self-titled release, the band explores murder ballads and tales of lost love and desperation through a combination of brilliant songwriting and incredible musicianship that thrillingly straddles the line between pure Americana genius and drunken campfire dissonance. Charley Patton would be proud.


Tell me about how you guys got started.

The origins of the band are pretty simple. It was me and Ian and Simone in the beginning, playing songs we had written. We started out playing at our father's house at backyard barbecues in upstate New York, and then we took it to the streets, playing on street corners and subway stations.

What was the strangest thing you saw when you were playing in the streets?

Nothing that scarred me for life. The last time we were in New York City, we had just gotten off tour and were fuckin' broke. I think we had like $7 or $8 between all of us. So we went down to the subway to try and make some money so we could get some dinner. We found a spot that was pretty good, and we started playing. There was a big cardboard box next to us, and this homeless guy came out and yelled at us, told us we were bothering his sleep and kicked us out of there.

How much money can somebody make playing on the street on a good night?

I've heard of people raking in a grand a night. Gill Landry, who plays with Old Crow Medicine Show now, used to be in a band called the Kitchen Syncopators. They used to play in the streets of New Orleans, and he's told me stories about making a grand a day playing to tourists. We never did that. Our best was 300, maybe 400 bucks a day.

Let's talking about your new record, Yonder is the Clock. I read somewhere that it was recorded in a chicken coop at your home in upstate New York?

The last one was recorded in the coop, too. This time, the coop was in a little better condition. We put a roof on it, framed it out and put a wood stove in it, so it was a lot nicer as opposed to the first record, which was sort of tortuous.

Tortuous how?

Just really long sessions. Our neighbors were always screaming at us. When it rained, we couldn't play anymore ‘cause the coop didn't have a roof. We were basically recording outside. You can hear cars going by on the record, ‘cause we recorded right by this back road. There was a bird's nest in the rafters, so every song has birds on it. Looking back on it, it was cool, but at the time, it was really a struggle.

You've been quoted as saying that the new album is more complete than the last. How?

Besides being a difficult affair, the last album was also sort of made piecemeal. We recorded a few songs here, a few songs there. We weren't really recording a record; we were just sort of recording songs when we had time, because we knew we wanted to put something together, but we didn't know what we wanted to do. We had many, many, many songs to choose from, maybe 30 or so. We'd demo them and think them over, and then just pare them down. So it wasn't really an album, but more collecting songs over time. Just kinda slipshod.

The new album deals a lot with the idea of mortality. Did that come together as the recording process went on, or did you go in with the idea of making an album around a theme?

We just sort of realized that most of the songs that we were coming to the table with were about death, in one way or another. Once we all recognized that, we definitely steered in that direction. It made sense, because we lost people who were close to us.

Yeah, I read the open letter from your brother Simone about the loss of his child and subsequent departure from the band. Did that influence the theme of this album?

Absolutely. Simone's loss was a big part of it, and there were other things that just showed us that life is short. In that one instance, it's really, really, really short.

Simone has left the band, and I know you've got another drummer working with you now. Is this a permanent move? I know he's working on his own record now.

JF: That's what he wanted. When we started, it was just the three of us - me, Ian and Simone - and then Christmas [Clapton, bassist] and [fiddle player Chris] Farley joined. Ian has always been the songwriter, first and foremost. This band has always been about Ian's songs. I mean, I write a couple songs, and Simone's written a few songs, and Christmas and Farley have written stuff, but it's always been about Ian's songwriting. I think Simone just felt he had a lot to say with his music, and he wanted to express it. We're really excited for him, because he's an amazing songwriter. I'm really happy that he gets to do what he wants to do and make the music he wants to make. I love his music, and I think it's great. Everyone gets a double dose, you know?

What makes Ian such a compelling songwriter?

Two things: the stories that he tells are so intricate and beautiful. They're funny, they're sad, and the characters are interesting and dynamic and memorable. I love characters. I love Randy Newman and John Prine, ‘cause you just feel like you can relate to the people in their songs. Ian does that with an amazing, uncanny ability. And then he's got these beautiful melodies. The kid just has a knack for it. He does things I've never really heard anybody do before.

You guys generate an incredible amount of energy onstage during your live shows. What's the secret? Is it the whiskey?

You know what, man? It's actually not the whiskey. I thought it was whiskey for a while. A lot of us did. But whiskey is actually the enemy. Whiskey can help if you only have one or two shows, but if you have four or five or six, whiskey's not gonna help you do anything but collapse into a pile of shit on the floor.

Most of us - myself, Ian and Christmas, especially - are not really terribly outgoing people, but for some reason, when we get on that stage, we turn into different people. In the end, it's really all about reflecting the energy from the crowd. We need the crowd to be into it, or else we're fucked. It's really important to us.

I think it comes from playing in the streets coming up. When you're playing on the streets, or in the subway, you have to be energetic, or no one's gonna pay any attention to you. No one gives a fuck about the guy sitting on a crate playing the acoustic guitar in the subway. They could care less. You have to be loud, a little bit obnoxious, and you have to have a lot of energy, or else no one's gonna care. No one's gonna throw a dollar in your box unless you're really putting it out there. That's how we started playing together, so that's all we really know.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New UK The Duke and The King date July 8

Purchase tickets here

Great Video of the Duke and The King from the Colony Cafe in Woodstock, NY

One More American Song

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Duke and the King Tour Dates

06.30.09 Artpark, Lewiston, NY
08.01.09 The Colony Cafe, Woodstock, NY
08.02.09 Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
08.03.09 The Chapel at First Unitarian Church, Philagelphia, PA
08.04.09 Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
08.07.09 Eddies Attic, Atlanta, GA
08.08.09 Bottletree, Birmingham, AL
08.10.09 The Basement, Nashville, TN
08.11.09 Southgate House (Parlour), Newport, KY
08.13.09 Locals Only, Indianapolis, IN

Hollywood Knights! The Felice Brothers in LA

Just got back to AZ after attending my first Felice Brothers show in California. It was fantastic to finally have fulfillment after having only enjoyed their recorded music for so long.

Set list:
Buffalo Bill - Great to hear this song, a sweet opener!
Greatest Show on Earth
Take this Bread
The Big Surprise
Run Chicken Run
Goddam you Jim
Memphis (Swine) Flu
Marlboro Man
Whiskey in My Whiskey
White Limo
Murder by Mistletoe
Where'd you get the Liquor
River Jordan - Awesome new song!
Frankie's Gun
Chicken Wire
Boy from Lawrence County
Farley's song (for Papi)
Let Me Come Home

St. Stephen's End
Trials and Troubles (Old Crow song sung by Willie from Old Crow, who was there playing most songs with them)
Two Hands
Penn Station

The show lasted just past midnight and it was magical throughout. My personal highlight was Two Hands, when the crowd (at least those most invested in the front) reached a feverish pitch. Also during this song, Searcher enjoyed the company of two pretty girls who took the liberty of working what the good Lord gave'em around his drum chair.
I also was so excited that Willie was there. I was confused most of the show as to who this small gentleman playing rhythm guitar was, and I didn't realize until I heard his twangy, high voice on Trials and Troubles that it was a friend from Old Crow. A great surprise.
The show was competing with the LA Pride 2009 celebration, and while the show at the humble Troubadour had fewer people, I dare say we had more fun.

M Hunt

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Felice Brothers SF Weekly

The Felice Brothers
June 10, 2009
The Independent
Better Than: Chocolate. Seriously.
By Anna McCarthy

Drumsticks flew, accordion players sank to their knees, and fiddlers rapped. You know that you're going to get a good performance when, before the show even starts, every instrument on stage already looks like it has been through a blizzard: guitars chipped, wood piano scratched and worn, crash symbols gnawed around the edges. These are the insignias of musicians who like to play. The Felice Brothers introduced what would become a rabble-rousing, head bobbing, foot stomping, hour and a half long set -- one that would climax at the end with one of the Brothers taking a flying leap into the drum set -- with an understatement: "We're going to play some weird music for y'all."

If the upstate New York-based band were forced into a genre, it would have to be something like "Dark Americana." Their sound combines the storytelling and scallywag of the Decemberists with the twang of the Avett Brothers or Old Crow Medicine Show and the energy of a turbojet.

Their set featured a number of new songs from their recently released album, Yonder is the Clock. It also covered the tried and true, as the band dipped and swelled from the upbeat and playful ("Run Chicken Run") to the slow and sorrowful ("St. Stephen's End"). As if the country/rock/jam band mix wasn't eclectic enough, the Brothers also managed to throw some hip-hop into the mix with an all-out KRS-One tribute at the end.

It may have been their second night at the Independent, but The Felice Brothers played like it was their last on earth.

Even at the show's crescendos, the audience was a sea of calm compared to the rowdy, washboard wielding, accordion playing, drum beating crew of lost boys who, when given a bunch of instruments and a stage, know how to make the most of it. Their lurching and jumping and slapping and flailing was contagious yet unrivaled by any audience member for the entire hour and a half set they played. (Overheard from one fan" "I've never seen someone wail on an accordion that hard!")

But the best part about the Felice Brothers is that, in addition to showing the audience that they can have a good time on stage, they also quickly prove that they know how to make good music. The band played like family (which they are--all but the bass player, Christmas, are related, but he's good as family far as the music is concerned). And despite the fact that their lanky lead singer had a few bouts of forgetting the lyrics, the music they played last night was anything but sloppy. They often switched up instruments, one brother digging into the washboard, wielding it like a guitar one minute, then grabbing the fiddle and jumping onto the bass drum another.

The Felice Brothers like jumping on drums.
By the end of the set (nearly midnight), they had invited the band's opener - a soft spoken, singer-songwriter named Willy Mason, on stage. He'd started the evening with a short set of low-key acoustic guitar songs accompanied by poetic lyrics that, as one of the Brothers described, "make me want to call my mom and tell her I love her." At the end of the night, the six boys on stage led the audience in a rabble-rousing crescendo that had everyone at least bobbing, if not doing an all-out jig.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Duke and the King Philly Houseparty

Trey's house!

God Damn You Jim 5/29/09 Chicago Illinois

Bottom Lounge


Pics from Chicago/Madison

and thanks Chaya once again

find her photos here

The Felice Brothers to play with Levon Helm and Grace Potter

Merriweather Post Pavilion-Route 29 Revue - website
10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy
Columbia, MD 21044
Phone: 410-715-5550
Showtime: 3:30 PM
Price: $35/$45
On Sale Date: 6/12
Where to Buy Tickets: Venue website or
Extra Information:
Route 29 Revue: Old Crow Medicine
Show, Levon Helm, Iron and Wine, Grace
Potter, The Felice Brothers and Justin
Jones. Gates open at 2:30 PM.

San Fran Night 2

Another great show tonight! I'm at the SF shows by myself, but met some awesome fans. and Ian said he would play Marie for me tomorrow, but I almost doubt he'll remember with how hard they were going tonight...

San Francisco 6/9/09 The Independent

Big Surprise
Greatest Show
Take This Bread
Ruby Mae
Memphis Flu
Boy From Lawrence County
White Limo
Damn You Jim
Run Chicken Run
New Song (the sex one again)
Frankie's Gun
The Ballad
Chicken Wire

Two Hands
Penn Station

(again, Step Dad, Law and Order and Slow Down John were on the setlist but weren't played)

emilou again thanks

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New The Duke and The King date added

The Duke and the King To play End of the Road Festival

The Horrors and more for End Of The Road
United Kingdom United Kingdom | 10 June 2009
The Horrors head up the latest acts announced for this year's End Of The Road Festival.

The band, who have just released their second album ‘Primary Colours’ to critical acclaim, will perform in the Big Top on the Saturday (12 September).

Blitzen Trapper, Brakes, Shearwater and Vetiver will also play the three-day festival with The Duke And The King who will perform with Simon Felice from The Felice Brothers.

Wye Oak and Lonely, Dear have also been confirmed today, joining headliners Explosions In The Sky and Fleet Foxes, with the Sunday night bill topper yet to be announced.

Speaking about today’s additions, organiser Simon Taffe said: “Each year End of the Road has basically been as close as possible to a live party featuring all our current favourite bands. I absolutely love the new Horrors album and can’t wait to see them live – as Saturday nights go, this will be an amazing one.”

The Acorn, Malcolm Middleton, Okkervil River and Steve Earle are among the other acts confirmed.

The Independent 6/09/09

Another great show tonight! I'm at the SF shows by myself, but met some awesome fans. and Ian said he would play Marie for me tomorrow, but I almost doubt he'll remember with how hard they were going tonight...

San Francisco 6/9/09 The Independent

Big Surprise
Greatest Show
Take This Bread
Ruby Mae
Memphis Flu
Boy From Lawrence County
White Limo
Damn You Jim
Run Chicken Run
New Song (the sex one again)
Frankie's Gun
The Ballad
Chicken Wire

Two Hands
Penn Station


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Greatest Love Of All

EmiLou thanks once again!

more pics from Duke and King in Philly

Philadelphia Inquirer In the Mix Blog provided the pics and thanks to Teek and Simone for heads up.

Eugene 6/7/09 Setlist from EmiLou

Eugene Setlist 6/7/09 at WOW Hall

Buffalo Bill
Cypress Grove
Greatest Show
Greatest Love of All (Whitney Houston cover..or half of it anyway)
Take This Bread
White Limo
Helen Fry
Big Surprise
Damn You Jim
New Song (first time played...they called it a 'sex song')
Her Eyes Dart Round
Frankie's Gun
Run Chicken Run

Two Hands
Penn Station

The Duke and the King at Teenage Kicks

Philly 6/7/09
By Trip McClatchey

I believe The Duke And The King may have ruined concert going for me.

Where do I go next? How do you top the thrill of seeing a band bursting at the seams with creative sparks and a kinship with the audience that bordered on familial (you know, familial as it pertains to the parts of the family you still speak to)? How do you react as decades old friends and minutes old friends get swept up as one and are smiling, singing, clapping and stomping along with the unbridled enthusiasm that only the young-at-heart can muster? How do you react when you see your skeptical 12 year old break away form the Xbox, open the back door and peek his little head out to bop around and join in on the sing-along chorus of “Radio Song”? And it’s all happening in your BACK YARD? That’s right… last night The Duke and The King were playing at my house, my house.

The sun was setting, there was a faint, early summer pre-buggy breeze, the beer was flowing, there was the sweet ambient chimes of Mister Softee a street or two away, the leaves protected the yard like a mama bird and the worst seat in the house was 15 feet from the stage. Perfect.

Simone Felice was the drummer and co-founder of the shambolic backwoods caravan that billed itself as The Felice Brothers. The Brothers are still going strong (back In Philly on 8/7 at The Electric Factory), but Simone has set out to express his vivid stories in a soulful new venture with Robert “Chicken” Burke called The Duke and The King. You probably haven’t heard them yet - their stunning debut Nothing Gold Can Stay won’t be out until August. Their music hints at Bee Gees psychedelia, Sam Cooke’s gentle soulfulness and singer-songwriter perfection. Last night’s show heralded a major new voice – Simone Felice comes across like a sweet faced mashup of Robbie Robertson circa The Last Waltz (smoldering sexuality intact) with the storytelling , passion and inclusiveness of the skinny 1975 Bruce Springsteen. Who knew that a genuine, charismatic front man was lurking behind the drums when he was wreaking wild-eyed havoc for The Felice Brothers? I kinda did. Simone’s lead vocals were always gorgeous, heart-stopping moments at their shows… so why not.

But I was still unprepared for the warmth and genuine appreciation that seeped out of every person in attendance last night, whether audience member, band member or both (more on that later). Opening with a spare “Don’t Wake The Scarecrow”, from last year’s Felice Brothers disc, it’s immediately apparent that this will be a special, one-of-a-kind night. Simone’s close-eyed intensity amplifies the urgency of an unrequited love story, and “Chicken” Burke’s deft brush strokes shimmer like gently breaking waves. This is a stripped down show in every way imaginable - all the pomp of a big rock show has been removed, the three piece band plays quietly but firmly, with a good bit of singing coming off mike. “If You Ever Get Famous” is a no-looking back love letter to the band he left behind (“If you ever get famous, don’t forget about me/ I hope it’s everything you though it would be”), but that will live forever in his heart.

Next up is "Water Spider", a tribute to great inspirational leaders (Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman) that included the sure to be oft-quoted line “Jesus walks on water, but so did Marvin Gaye”. I can’t believe I’ve gone this far without mentioning Nowell “I don’t need no stnkin’ mike” Haskins, whose booming, earthy vocals made the gospel burner “I Know I Been Changed” a set highlight and also featured a guest turn on electric guitar by my brother, Scott. It’s all about family with these guys. Haskins' counter-point response vocals and exhortations (mostly un-miked the rest of the night) added grit and unabated joy to a night that reeked with gospel type fervor.

The soft, strummy “The Morning I Get to Hell” provided a chance for audience participation (along with several other numbers) and also interspersed were Felice Brothers’ songs “The Devil is Real”, the emotionally super charged “Your Belly in My Arms”, the gorgeous “Mercy” and the perfect radio song, “Radio Song”. And how about The King’s (Robert Burke) solo turn on the quiet, plaintive, blink and you-missed it 75 seconds of “I’ve Been Bad”? The night came to a too brief end with an all hands on deck version of Neil Young’s “Helpless” that brought the show to a close hootenanny style.

Everything had fallen into place, the weather cooperated and the band couldn't have been more gracious. Simone is an amazing front man, captivating and incredibly earnest, and he, Nowell and Chicken treated each member of the audience like long lost family. In the weeks and months ahead, when people that were there last night start to see ecstatic, glowing reviews for Nothing Gold Can Stay (which right now is my front runner for album of the year), the epic quality of last night's show will resonate deeply.

Hey Simone – if you ever get famous, don’t forget about us.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Big Surprise Tour!!!

8-04 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Casino Ballroom | more info
05 – Boston, MA @ House Of Blues | more info
06 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre | more info
07 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory | more info
09 – Charlottesville, VA @ Charlottesville Pavilion | more info
10 – Cary, NC @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre | more info
12 – Louisville, KY @ Waterfront Park | more info
13 – Nashville, TN @ Riverfront Park | more info
14 – Knoxville, TN @ World’s Fair Park | more info

From The Felice

The Big Surprise Tour


Born out of a deep running comradery built on countless tours and ties between a host of excellent musicians comes THE BIG SURPRISE TOUR, a traveling show of epic collaboration and good times. Kicking off in Hampton Beach, NH on August 4th, THE BIG SURPRISE TOUR is not your standard up down up down line up. Shows will be composed of two 90-minute sets broken up by an intermission. In a free form ramshackle flow the bands and artists will share the stage, taking part in each other’s songs, resurrecting old standards, and playing newly written collaborative material as they go. Each evening is sure to be a unique experience as they all put their many combined years of musicianship and knowledge of song-craft and American music into play for these sessions.

Ketch Secor from Old Crow speaks of the special relationship these bands have and the parts they’ve played in their own individual journey as musicians. “Seven Years ago when Old Crow first met Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch at the Station Inn in Nashville, we stayed up till dawn singing Stan Rogers songs and playing AC/DC licks. Three weeks later we were making a record. They were that rusted sign at the fork in the road showing OCMS just where it was headed." With the Felice Brothers as Secor explains it, “with their rockin’ unruliness, we found where we had come from in the first place. Music is a mobius strip, contort all ya want and you’ll keep winding up where you started." Justin Townes Earle is “looking forward to being on tour with folks that are kindred spirits. We all have similar influences, which will be reflected in the covers we do during the show and our collaborations on stage." For their part, James Felice reminisces that they’ve “traveled around the country with Justin and Cory (of Justin Townes Earle) playing some pretty bizarre gigs. We couldn’t love those guys more." “As for Old Crow…" he says, “they cleaned us out playing dice more than once." Perhaps they’ll get a chance to even the score on these dates.

Borrowing from the title of a Felice Brothers track, THE BIG SURPRISE TOUR will live up to its namesake. As Secor states, the audience should “expect the unexpected!" “Music is wild and not tame" he says, and with this tour the artists involved hope to fully unleash the true and unpredictable spirit of creativity. Heaven knows that combined they have a wealth of it to

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Duke and the King at Drew's in Ringwood NJ

Don't wake the scarecrow
If you ever get famous
Union st
Devil is real
The morning that I get to hell
I've been bad
Belly in my arms
Radio song
American song
All when we were young

I got to the show to be only pleasantly surprised to find their was a keg of beer on tap for our enjoyment. Never a bad thing. While i consumed cups of beer on Drew's back deck overlooking a lake in a very nice shady location, Simone Felice was on the porch holding court, telling stories, bringing us alll back to 1985, and the 9 or 10 year old kid standing outside listening to his Walkman (for those under 25 years old, that was this incredible innovation that allowed you to play your cassette tapes and listen t the radio, when outside your house or car, totally revolutionary, i swear!) and waiting for at the top of the hour, when almost every radio station would play "We Are The World" , Simone's favorite song. After admitting that he didn't grow up listening to Bob Dylan or Blind Willie McTell, but rather Phil Collins and Cyndi Lauper were two that he liked. The conversation veered off towards Harry Chapin, the singer songwriter who started the We Are The World phenomenom, but sadly never lived to see its fruition. Chapin played every other show for charity. He talked about growing up in Palenville and being raised by his grandfather, because his dad left when he was 6 years old, then later immersing himself in books and poetry. Truly, it was like Samuel Clemens was right before us.

The show was much lower key than the previous show, Simone played acoustic the entire time, and when i went to get in my seat, the only one available was right in front of him. Now this is in someone's living room, so its small (maybe 20X30) and they put the chairs like 12 inches from the band. It was a bit unnerving, being that close. Simone looked like a rockstar right out of the 1970's, part Robert Plant, part Keith Partridge, Part Jesus of Nazareth. The set was loose and informal and filled with personal stories of all of his songs, though he did none of the spoken word like he had done before. He did go into more detail with the audience about the loss of his baby's life prior to playing Your Belly in My Arms. He also told the audience prior to Don't Wake The Scarecrow, that the story is something he saw happening as a youngster growing up in the run down boarding houses along the Hudson in Palenville, NY. By request (mine), he played One More American Song, (he also called me John the King of Bottletops, which i am not sure is a compliment, since that guy is a potentially homeless, likely mentally and emotionally damaged person pushing a shopping cart around their "shitty little town".) He dedicated the song to his brother Ian Felice, and again was nostalgic for simpler times for our country, and i think simpler times with his brother.

They finished the show with Helpless, a Neil Young cover and All When We Were Young, that covered the theme of the show, that America has lost its way and here before us stood one fine rock and roll singer longing for a more innocent time, when our ideals matched our reality a little better.

the Duke and the King were supported by Freddy Cash on bass guitar and Nowell Haskins on amazing background vocals. Here is Nowell's Myspace page

Portland 6-6-09

Intro/Big Surprise
Greatest Show
Take This Bread
Ahab (actual name of Christmas' song...he yodels)
Tenderly (preceded by Happy Birthday to a fan,Farley telling a story about accidentally pissing on his pants while trying to pee in a beer bottle while James was driving crazy, and Farley rapping)
Marlboro Man
Slow Down John
Ruby Mae
Chicken Wire
Cypress Grove
White Limo
Damn You Jim
Frankie's Gun
The Ballad
Run Chicken Run
St. Steven's End
Two Hands (Townes cover)
Law and Order (new song - they said it was the first time they had played it..had lyrics about a special .44)
Penn Station

EmiLou thanks once again for your report.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Seattle's Best: The Felice Brothers at the Tractor Tavern 6/4/09

6/4/09 Seattle-Tractor Tavern Setlist

Greatest Show
Take This Bread
Marlboro Man
Chicken Wire
Helen Fry
Memphis Flu
Boy from Lawrence County
AA AB (Christmas' song)
White Limousine
Damn Your Jim
Frankie's Gun
Run Chicken

St Stephen's End
Two Hands
Penn Station

(also listed on their setlist were 4 songs they didn't play: Slow Down, the Ballad, Step Dad and Cypress)

Gonna Pack Your Pa, Gonna Pack Your Aunt, going down to ..Live at Drew's!

The Duke and the King Live at Drew's house in Ringwood NJ Saturday night at 600pm

come and have a great time with a terrific live act.

Check out Live at Drew's on Myspace.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I am just a small time reporter from Rolling Stone Magazine here to do a story about Michael Jackson!

Back Porch Talk with the Felice Brothers

June 3, 2009 11:42 AM

So we're a little late to the party -- the record came out in April -- but we've seriously been digging Yonder is the Clock, the newest effort from mountain boys the Felice Brothers.

The Felice Brothers are made up of brothers Ian (vocals and guitar), James (accordion, piano, vocals) and Simone Felice (percussion, vocals) and family friends Christmas (bass) and Farley (fiddle). They've been playing music together for years, starting at backyard BBQs in upstate New York before moving to Brooklyn to try their hand at busking in the streets and subway stations.

The Bros have been a staple at folk and jam festivals over the past few years and are about to embark on an extensive tour across the country. "We're looking forward to heading out west, it's always fun," James Felice tells us. "Touring with my brothers and close friends, it's pretty laid back. Every now and then there's a moment of violence, but it's very few and far between. And now we have XM radio so we can listen to Yankee games while we're on the road."

Onstage, the Felice Brothers ar super-high energy. There's a story about the brothers playing at the 2008 Newport Folk Festival during a wicked thunderstorm. The power was cut, so the guys jumped off stage and played an impromptu acoustic gig in the mud with their fans. "That energy came about when we started playing in the streets and in the subways," James says. "We just had to be as loud and obnoxious as possible to get people's attention. To play in a dour sort of way, especially our music, would be ridiculous."

Check out two tracks below, "Penn Station," which James tells us he wrote about architect Louis Kahn, and "Run Chicken Run," which is "just a wacky, fucked up tune."

editor of blog note: way too little and way too late. I have been busting their hump for a few months about this oversight, and we don't get the magazine?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Someone Else Besides Me Thinks Simone Felice Is the Best Thing In Rock and Roll!

Neal McCormack
Simone Felice: the greatest singer-songwriter you've never heard of

Someone (a big figure in the music business) said to me 'Where are all the songwriters?' as if it is a lost art, in danger of extinction. But when anyone laments falling standards in music, I want to say get the cobwebs out of your ears.

I went to a gig last week as good as any I have ever seen, by a relatively unknown singer & songwriter (and performer) working at the very highest level of his art. Simone Felice is the drummer and just one of the writers in The Felice Brothers, and if you read this blog regularly you will know how I feel about them. The main writer in The Felice Brothers is probably his brother Ian, whose leftfield, slightly surrealist Americana dominates their fantastic new album 'Yonder Is The Clock'.

Although Simone (I don't know what the "e" is doing in his name, but he's a dude) contributes to that album, he is currently on sabbatical with his own project, The Duke And The King, with George Clinton collaborator Robert 'Chicken' Burke. It's a kind of cracked country soul thing, with a dash of psychedelia, and at the heart of it are Simone's songs which are, honestly, the best I have heard in a while, touching the hem of Dylan by way of Gordon Lightfoot.

There is a boldness to Simone's writing, the fierceness and fearlessness of complete honesty that pushes them into places that simply take the breath away. He is not breaking new ground, but working within the melodic and lyrical structures of folk and country and soul, and some of his songs are so perfectly formed they sound like they might have been around forever (or at least since the early 70s) like the beautiful 'Water Spider' and elegiac 'If You Ever Get Famous', both of which can be heard on his website.

But when he tells stories from his own life, as he did on the Felice Brothers remarkable 'Scarecrow' (which I think is lyrically the greatest song of recent years, with its incredible internal rhyming scheme, bold metaphor and powerful emotion) he goes to places few artists ever touch. He does it again on 'Union Street', relating a tale about teenagers growing up stoned and lost in hard circumstance in New York with a dreaminess that belies the harshness of the tale told. It's a bit like a Larry Clark movie in music.

But the stand out track on his forthcoming album, 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' (to be released in July on Loose records) is called, rather boldly, 'One More American Song'. If you write something with that title, you really have to deliver, and Simone does. In the hands of Bon Jovi it would be a pompous fists aloft blow out, but this is a sad, understated anthem for the lost idealism of America, in which he lets no one off the hook, least of all himself, with a harsh opening admission "If I had a cinder block / For every lie I've told / I could build us a house, fine as any city block / To keep us out of the cold."

There are lines of cruel beauty in there, such as this striking verse about a veteran:

John was a quiet boy in School

Johnny with the fiery red hair

He went in the army, like a lot of them do

And he got ****ed up over there

And if you see him now, he pushes a shopping cart in the parking lot

If you call him, he don't hear a thing

They call him John The Priest, John The King Of Bottle Tops

Priest or pawn, his war's still on

Its just one more American song

But the song concludes with a wistful hope, carried lightly on rhymes that just trip from the tongue:

"I can hear that band

They're near at hand

And I really hope its not the wind again

Don't be long boys

I'm hanging on

For just one more American song"

When The Duke And The King came here, four of them slept in the house of the head of their tiny record label. They played Bush Hall in Hammersmith, to a couple of hundred people. But they played their hearts out. It was funny and touching and amazing, and they carried us aloft so that everyone was singing along to songs they were hearing for the first time. Everyone in that room knew they were witnessing something special.

There are many in the music business who think we should be worrying about the end of recorded music sales and its affect on the music industry as we know it, but when I see someone like Simone Felice (and, for that matter, the Felice Brothers) forcing their own way through against all the odds, I think its time for a change. The major labels pump fortunes into promoting ersatz singer-songwriters like James Blunt and James Morrison, while someone as outstanding as Simone Felice operates in the margins of popular culture, on tiny labels, supported by the love and admiration of the few who recognise his extraordinary talent. These songs are good enough to be sung by the whole world, if only people got to hear them.

Spread the word.

Someone not too impressed in Minny

By majikamig fan review on

Saw the boys at the 400 in minneapolis last night and had mixed opinions. I'm sure the guys are sick of hearing it, but having seen them last time through town I thought the new dynamic was a little underwhelming. Ian, James and Christmas were as solid as ever but the new drummer seemed a bit uncomfortable, and truthfully just not that tight. The whole Farely thing I just don't quite get, seems like a weird hip hop vibe isn't really their best suit of clothes. I hate to say it but it sort of looked like a band in need of some serious personal evaluation. I'll be surprised to see them come through town again with the same line up. Anyone who saw them with the original line up knows Simone was the shit, and I get he wants to do his own thing, but it looks to me like he left his bros up the creek without a paddle (or at least a drummer/character in his league.) I hate to see them go down as a "what could have been" band but ... they have some things to figure out. The set was good and Ian tore it up on several occasions and even came out into the crowd and danced with a young lady during the Farely song. The crowd was pretty low key considering it was a Sunday night and never quite got to the rambucous level required at a Felice show. I wish the boys success over the next few legs of the tour, even though it might not sound like it from the above post I'm really rooting for the guys. Good Luck.

Majikamig from

Seattle Times Article on the Felice Brothers

Felice Brothers, those barstool bards, are heading to the Tractor

The Felice Brothers' new album, "Yonder Is the Clock," is about an hour's worth of modern Americana. The band plays at Seattle's Tractor Tavern June 4, 2009.

By Jonathan Zwickel

Special to The Seattle Times

The Felice Brothers play at Seattle's Tractor Tavern June 4, 2009.
Enlarge this photo


The Felice Brothers play at Seattle's Tractor Tavern June 4, 2009.


* Matson on Music blog
* Music & Nightlife RSS feed

Concert preview

Felice Brothers
With Willy Mason, 9 p.m. Thursday, The Tractor, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; $12-$14 (866-468-7623 or; info: 206-789-3599 or

On the Internet

The Felice Brothers:


The Felice Brothers never watched much TV.

You can tell right away from listening to their music: Rather than era-appropriate nostalgia or references to pop culture effluvium, their songs are stories of broken-down boxers, honest criminals, cabaret queens, Cooperstown, Penn Station, the devil, Doris Day, Ty Cobb.

They bite off chunks of American history that would choke a lesser band, but in the mouths of these three 20-something brothers and their two childhood pals, they take on the gravity of literature or cinema. But in no way is the band precious or pretentious; theirs is the literature of the barstool bard, the cinema of the street corner.

"We don't know [expletive] about pop culture, me and my brothers," says James Felice, on his cell while driving the band's Winnebago back to their practice space in New Paltz, a small, sylvan berg in upstate New York. "People throw references at us, TV shows and music that's going on today, and we don't know anything. And I kinda like it that way."

Proof that old is new, that history repeats, is all over the Felice Brothers' new album, "Yonder Is the Clock" (Team Love Records). The title is a phrase lifted from Mark Twain's final, unfinished work that suggests the incessant march of time.

Then there's the song called "Memphis Flu" that goes "The Memphis flu is in our bed/And it will surely kill us dead/If we don't turn away from our shame." Sound like an allegory ripped from the headlines? It's a cover of a church song from the 1930s.

Accordion, fiddle, acoustic guitar, bass, organ, washboard, drums — the Felice Brothers' accompaniment is simple, the kind you could play around a campfire (where James first picked up a guitar), in a chicken coop (disused and renovated, where they prefer to record) or a subway station (in New York, where the band got its start).

The brothers sing in unison but don't exactly harmonize; Ian Felice's ragged, nasal voice — not unlike early Dylan's — usually takes lead. Dignified and vagabond, lyrically deft and sympathetic, the Felice Brothers' music is classically American stuff.

"If a story is timeless then it's timeless, it can be applied to any time," James says. "Good music is good music — doesn't matter if it's played on a guitar, by an orchestra, or on a computer."

"Yonder is the Clock" is a more subdued affair than the Brothers' two previous albums, which featured full-throated, posse-sung choruses and raucous arrangements. Those songs are still here — check the boozy rapture of "Run Chicken Run," a blaze of anachronism that name checks both the Virginia Rag and Adderall — balanced by sad, beautiful ruminations like "Katie Dear" and "Boy from Lawrence County."

"The idea of the record sort of necessitated that we tone down, but we haven't really calmed down on stage," James says. "We're not, like, more demure people."

In fact, on stage they're spirited to the point of recklessness, tearing a page from the punk-rock playbook. For the finale of the Felice Brothers' triumphant set at Austin's South by Southwest music festival this past March, fiddler Greg Farley tackled Simone Felice's drum kit, taking both drums and drummer almost off the back of the stage.

The band spent more than 150 days on the road last year, building a fan base one show at a time.

In their emphasis on live performance — and in their unhinged energy — there's a kinship with other forerunners of modern Americana such as the Avett Brothers Two Gallants, and the Hackensaw Boys. The road — the most vivid symbol of America — served as inspiration for "Yonder Is the Clock," and it continues to as the band grows.

"That's sort of our process right now," James says. "Kill yourself on the road for a month, come home, spend a little time writing, recording, then get back on the road."

Sounds grueling, which is a good thing for the Felice Brothers. Weariness and resignation are part of what makes the music so rich and rewarding.

"It's a marriage," James says. "Being in a band is like being married to a bunch of dudes. Ups and downs. Mostly ups, which is why we're still married."

More Richmond Pics from Kate F

Bringing Back some old pics From Indy 3-16

thanks Kate F