Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Couple Of Recommendations

Take This Bread got its name from a Felice Brothers song, but the true inspiration behind the philosophy of what we are trying to do comes from the late singer songwriter Harry Chapin. Harry had a philosophy of playing a show for benefit, to match every show he did for himself. I hated Harry's music, but i loved his "missionary zeal".

There is a band on the indie scene out of Boston, Ma called State Radio. Some of you might have heard of them, they had a few reasonably successful songs on the indie scene, most notably, the superb "Knights of Bostonia". Well these folks, when they arrive in the city that they are playing, help organize, and participate in a public service project in that community. They do this with their fans and other people in the community. Definately the type of people i try to support. They are darn good as well, especially if you like a SUBLIME- type sound. here is their website

They also launched a social networking tool for people with similar intentions and fans called (check it out). I am on there, and am a fan.

My other recomendation is a new music blog out there that really stands out. Its a Cleveland based site called "Now This Sound Is Brave" or NTSIB. April is a big Felice Brothers fan, but covers the whole indie scene as well as live music in the Cleveland OH area. Its a first class site for that area and much needed. For some reason Cleveland is an area that often gets ignored tour wise by many acts, and i cant figure that out, as it is the home of rock and roll, or at least that's what Huey Lewis said. Here is the link

Review of Simone's Solo Show at Hawley Arms

With 2009's Nothing Gold Can Stay The Duke and the King brought a soulfulness reminiscent of the folk troubadours of the 70's. Somewhere between Marvin Gaye, Neil Young, Cat Stevens and James Taylor is where their style lies. In other parts traditional campfire folk songs seem to inspire "The Morning I Get to Hell" such is the wisdom they spread on life and there after in this track alone:"They play me my life on a TV so I'd see it all/Everything I'd never tell/'Till I'm begging the anchorman for my one phonecall"

So on Monday night Simone Felice returned to Camden's Hawley Arms, having last made an appearance here in November. With a stool in the corner of the tiny top room of this famous venue, a couple of wine bottles holding trickling candles, man and guitar stepped out, engaged in mild banter before launching into a beautiful cover of Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage".

Interaction with the crowd was all in good humour; some American guys begging for a rendition of the prison work song "Take This Hammer" sparked a raucous improv and we all joined in on request of the artist on "The Morning I Get to Hell". You felt as if you were in the front room of a great friend, which in fact Simone was as he thanked his friend, the Hawley Arms manager, for allowing the night to happen.

Over the evening we were presented with Felice Brothers favourites "Don't Wake the Scarecrow", "Your Belly in My Arms" and "Ruby Mae", which when stripped to their very bones reveal the true genius of songwriting and storytelling at hand. It is this blend of the often macabre folk story offset with Felice's flawless vocals which creates an atmosphere of such unbearable poignancy. In his ability to transform something tragic into, for a fleeting second, a thing of beauty, we are consistently left astounded; and in debuting "New York Times", in which he shrouds the massacre of a ballet class in floral metaphors: "turn[ing] the white muslin into bright red bloom", we are left in awe at his understanding of beauty and tragedy and how closely he can paint the two.

There is little this artist cannot turn his hand at: a published poet in his twenties, and now working on his third novella, of which he showcased a little, he deals in topical issues in a traditional way. Reading a war poem entitled "Today in the Desert" taken from Poems of the Desert by the Men of the 8th Army (1944) he followed this with The Duke and the King's "One More American Song", a similar kind of war poem for our times in Iraq and Afghanistan. The protagonist of the song, "John of bottle tops", is also the outline for the central figure in Felice's new novel surrounding the life of a blinded ex-troop upon his return from Iraq.

The show closed with Neil Young's "Long May You Run", which Simone seemed humourously saddened to learn was actually an ode to an automobile. In sandwiching his own material between Pink Floyd, a rendition of Townes van Zandt's "To Live is to Fly", and Young, Simone Felice shows he is as much of a songwriter as the old masters. His own works fit in here as effortlessly as if he had played a full set of covers, their timeless quality and traditional sound resonating in the candlelit room, his stories of the forgotten ghosts of New York State echoing through to modern times.

Link to the Duke and The King Documentary

The Duke & The King’s 2009 autumn UK tour documentary was screened on Channel4 (Wednesday 24th just after midnight) on their 4Music show 4Play.

You can watch it in full on the Channel4 4OD watch again service both online and on digital television services. [watch now online]

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Riding on the Midnight Train to Georgia

If I had a pair of scissors I would jab them furiously into my temple right now. I drank enough alcohol to subdue a caribou, and I still can't sleep. And this place smells like the inside of a port-a-potty outside The Meadowlands in New Jersey after a big game.,


Monday, February 8, 2010

a thought on the Duke and the King

Something that's been on my mind.

The Duke and the King isn't a rock and roll band, it's an idea.

Some of us got that. We live by that idea and those principles are laid out for us
during their shows. They are principles of life that the fans and the band share.

The idea is alive.

Some random thoughts as I head out to Georgia
-as the Felice Brothers head out to record their new album. I am hoping we see a few things, like Farleys song finally make a album, ian's rendition of "Solitary Man", and more songs from Josh, who apparently has a growing list of fine songs. Finally, more harmonies. Those barroom harmonies were a big part of the band sound, that was not as utilized on Yonder is the Clock as it had been, on say the self titled record or Tonight at the Arizona. Love to see those return again as a big part of the band sound.
-the Dave Mathews tour is upcoming. I know most of us fans would rather be attacked by a flock of AIDS infested woodpeckers, than sit through a 2 hour DMB set, yet it's important for us to be there if financially possible, to support the band and spread the message. I know most of the DMB fans will be cats named "Chip" wearing flip flops and drinking daquiries, while their preppy sunglasses swing around their neck, and might not "get" the Bros, nor would we want them to, but there could be some potential fans in there.

-The Simone Felice solo record. I'll be on the trail and if it comes out, please someone upload the tunes to YouTube or something so I can listen to them mobile like.

-I will start my journals from Georgia on Sunday, it will be updated on my user name is "takethisbread" and I will be using twitter under the same name.

God Bless and goodbye for now