Monday, September 27, 2010

Simone Felice to play Woodstock


Bringing It All Back Home, Simone Plays Woodstock!
An intimate solo appearance with special guests in the old rustic theater at Byrdcliffe, one of the town's original stages, celebrating high fall at the heart of  Woodstock Film Festival weekend. Bring a bottle of wine and expect moonlight through the wooden boards and haunting renditions of Felice Brothers and Duke & King favorites, as well as brand new material from the acclaimed songwriter.   
The Byrdcliffe holds just 120 October-people, reserve now, this will sell out quick! 
Saturday October 2, 2010

Performance: 8:00pm

$20 entry, reserve tickets at:

For information go to:

For directions to the theater:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trail Journal 2010 Take This Bread

I'm gonna be away for a while again, but will try to check in as often as possible.
I'll be updating with The Felice Brothers news and updating where I am as we move along. I wrote this synopsis of what happened in the spring.

I'll be in touch in a week or 2.

January to April
States finished; Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey
April to September
Martha's Vineyard for work for the summer
Late September to December
finish off Maine, NH, VT and Virginia (and likely repeat a lot of the rest)

I figured since I am going to try to keep a journal of the second part of my Appalachian Trail hike I should at least try to give a brief description of the first half of my journey in the winter and spring of 2010. I hiked a little over 1,000 miles of trail from January to late April. From January 1 to Feb 10, from New Year's Eve on I hiked virtually all of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and some of Pennsylvania
It sounds like a lot but in reality it added up in miles to be less than Virginia alone. Most of it was hiking in bitter cold but not unbearably so. highlights included doing a couple sections of hiking with my good friend "Sasquatch" and meeting lots of great folks like "shelter leopard" "over the edge""Nox" "Bag of Tricks"and "Panzer"(trail names), not to mention a detour to Gettysburg, an ill advised trip to Waffle House, all culminating in a family on the historic Civil War battlefield, watching me suffer a horrid, ommelette and waffle induced diarrhea attack, that left me dropping my pants in full public view, and desecrating that sacred ground.
In my mind my hike really began when I arrived in Georgia to begin my journey north. I had to make as many miles as possible by the last week of April as I had to be back to work on the island of Marthas Vineyard, where I'm self employed. the plan was to do as much as I can in the spring and then finish the last 300 to 500 miles in the fall.
I will preface the story with a little background on the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail is a continuous path in Appalachian mountain range from Mount Springer in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.
The distance of the trail is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,176 miles. I been intrigued for many years by the romantic notion of thru hiking the trail, and only recently felt compelled to do it soon.
Why? I had little hiking experience, never was particularly fond of the outdoors or animals. I had the fitness level of Chris Farley after a three day binge at Krispy Kreme. I hate sleeping outside, was addicted to caffeine, work, my cell phone. I am ill suited for such an endeavor to say the least.
During my routine in January, I whipped my legs into decent shape, while cruising through the relatively small and easy sections of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. I loved the winter scenery, the solitude, and the cool temperatures. What I found disturbing was setting up camp at 3:30 pm or so, everyday, and by 5:00pm it was pitch black, nobody around to talk to, and just laying in my sleeping bag, shivering, waiting for 14 hours to pass till there was light again.
One time in the blizzardous northeast, did I find myself in peril, on October Mtn. In Lee Ma. It was a massive blizzard, the snow was smashing me in the face, and I kept hiking on in hopes of reaching a trail legend on Pittsfield Rd, called "the muffin Lady". She lived on that road crossing, and had been helping out Appalachian Trail hikers for many years. I worked all day, actually making good time in the face of horrid conditions to get to that road crossing. When I finally arrived, there was nobody there. I was crushed. (i guess she flew south for the winter) The storm was so bad, I knew I couldn't survive for long out there, and the road had no traffic. I was able to eek out a cell signal and called a 2009 thru hiker, "Lupine" to get a ride put of there.
On February 12 I left the Northeast section of the trail and jumped down to Georgia, and the plan would be to hike north, through Pennsylvania, leaving me only VT, NH and Maine to do in the fall.
I arrived in Georgia after a "Please shoot me in the head" 30 hour train ride from Boston to Atlanta, That included 12 hours of sitting still outside of Gainesville, Georgia with a broken down train but a fully stocked bar. I finally arrived in Atlanta drunk off my ass and shocked at the snow on the ground
Still, it was only about a half a foot of snow and the temperatures were not bad. This is a continuous problem in hiking the AT, expectation control. You expect things to go a certain way and inevitably, it leads to disappointment, despair or down right panic.
Constant failure to meet expectations, can lead to total psychological defeat, which is why the success rate of thru hikers is so low (5-10%).

The hike began on the Approach Trail in Amicoala Falls, Georgia. This trail leads to Springer Mt. Which is the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. It includes like 1000 steps of the wooden staircase. It's wrapped around the majestic waterfall. I met up with a fellow hiker named "River" and began the journey with the 9 mile hike up to Springer. The snow got deeper as we went higher and it was uphill the entire way. By the time we get to the summit of Springer Mountain (about the least remarkable summit on the whole trail), it was absolute blizzardous and temperatures were bone crushing. River and I barely knew each other. I then asked about fairly uncomfortable question,
"do you mind taking a picture of me naked?" I got completely nude, standing bare ass in a snow squawl, waiting for a guy i met yesterday, to take my photo.
River shot the picture of me naked on top of Mount Springer which I quickly e-mails off to Tammy as I promised. We proceeded to the Mt. Springer shelter, made dinner and then I fell asleep only to wake in the morning to a shelter filled with snow and my sleeping bag soaking wet. Some of my food was eaten by mice and two other hikers in there, "Turkey" and "Thrasher", a young couple, looked overwhelmed by the absolute blizzard outside.
Georgia was marked by a constant battle of my will to make miles and "rivers" will to not. He'd often flash to look at me that said he wanted to go home and I would try to coach him up. The first day we hiked about 15 miles in deep snow. It took till dark to finish and River had a tough time, and was quite grumpy. We camped with three other hikers; Joe and Cory and a guy named Toeman, named after this form fitting shoes. He carried way too much food including a mind blowing 10 pound bag of trail mix! But he hiked so fast, we never saw him again.
The next day we planned to take another 15-20 miles but we only made about 5 miles by 1:30 in the afternoon and we got to road crossing called Woody gap. Winds were howling at 75 miles an hour in the Gap. I stared across the street and There was a public restroom, on the other side. My legs were tired from trudging through the deep snow and my face was froze from the wind and ice. Snow was coming down still, and I raced for the restroom as River yelled he was calling for a shuttle out of the woods. ( I did not protest). In the restroom, out in the middle of nothingness, there were 3 other hikers esconsed in the urine stained, but wind protected walls of that 4x4 toilet. Everyone was planning an escape. We did escape and made it for the night to the beautiful Hiker Hostel in Dahlonega. This place cost 16 bucks, and it was worth $100 easy. It never got better than that, as two nights later we were at Neels Gap with cat food, cat urine and general filth all about.

Georgia had some good moments, climbing up Blood Mt in the snow, crawling up among the chandelier like crystalized ice rhodys that jingled as you brushed aside them, and "Cooter", the barely literate, but hilarious gent from Hiawasee, who had an ample supply of moonshine, had recently inherited his pickup truck from "my baby mama died last week, this was her truck", and had never had eaten at either restaurant in town or ever been to Atlanta. River and I chuckled over that one quite a bit.
Our plan was to finish Georgia in about 5 days. 11 days later I left Georgia. The snow got deeper as we progressed into North Carolina, and eventually stopped us In The Smokey Mountain National Park. At that point the level of snow depth, my frustration of not making progress, River quitting the trail, it all added up . I eventually skipped the park and hiked for a couple of days on the other side of it, but the snow was no less deep, the feet were no less wet, and the blowdowns on the trail were actually more significant.
What was good was I spent those couple of days with an old man named Fahmah. I gravitate towards older hikers because their feeble physical state matches mine.
Fahmah had hiked the AT a couple years prior, and had done the last section with his son. Upon returning home, Fahmah had learned that his son had a brain tumor, and had very little time left. He was gone before they knew what hit them. Fahmah was hiking the trail this year as a way of honoring his son. I spent much of those days weeping quietly, listening to Fahmah talking about missing his son, things that he was grateful for, and his regrets.
Fahmah, Rooster (a young hiker of limited funds but a dream of becoming a pot dealer on the AT), and I were repelled by weather and lost in the blizzard, and finally we all gave in.
Fahmah went home for a spell, I went eventually to Pennsylvania, to hike alone, in lower elevations and much less snow. I loved it. Sure I saw maybe ten hikers total in the 200 plus miles I traversed through PA, but I was able to hike long distances, doing at least 20 miles each day, and seeing some incredible hawks by Eckville Shelter. I spent the gayest day of my life, chasing a butterfly for about an hour, trying to get a picture of it.
After I polished off PA., I returned to North Carolina, as the weather had changed and hiked for the next month and half with a larger group of folks. (I'm glad i waited till the weather improved to do the Smokey Mountain National Park as it was worth seeing in decent weather). By the time I got into the Smokies, I had begun to hike regularly with "Trail Trash, Ez Hiker, we'll see, Lil Brown, akido Joe and a cat named Ron Burgundy. Trash and EZ were the opposite of Fahmah, they loved to do big miles. It was hard keeping up with them, a point which Burgundy made abundantly clear at each opportunity, but it was good for me to toughen up.,
Burgundy, got his name because of his debonaire appearance after a day of hard hiking, when everyone else looked so bad. At camp, people would yell out lines to him from the Anchorman film, and it became a game. "hey everybody, come see how good I look!" "stay classy!" and "60% of the time, it works everytime!"
The Smokies were fantastic. The greatest place, and it exceeded expectation. Rocky Top, Charlies Bunion, and the moss covered terrain were incredible. I am not usually focused on the vistas. They mostly look the same to me. I am the type to watch my feet and am keenly interested in all the amazing groundcovers, fungi and mosses, that provide a kaleidoscope on the now clear trail floor. It always reminded me of one of my favorite song lyrics from Bright Eyes; (Landlocked Blues)

"And the moon’s laying low in the sky
Forcing everything metal to shine
And the sidewalk holds diamonds like the jewelry store case
They argue walk this way, no, walk this way"

The snow was icy and sharp coming out of the Park, and by the time we got to Standing Bear Farm in TN, I had about 20 blisters on my feet. Standing Bear Farm was awful. People were wasted, I was tired and had no energy for dealing with energetic drunkards. I regretted staying there. By the time we got to Erwin, at Johnny's(home of the loudest and sleep preventing train whistles ever, think "my Cousin Vinny")Hostel, Many days later, my feet were a mess. The crew went on without me. I hung back for a few days. I Then proceeded to Damascus, Virginia, in about a week, before heading home for the season of work on Marthas Vineyard. I worked my prescribed time from May to the end of September, And was meeting up with Ron Burgundy to finish the trail hiking from Maine back to Damascus. I may repeat sections that I gave already done, and if I do, I will have hiked 3,000 miles in a year.

I will try to keep a better journal of events this time around, it just gets to be a bummer to write down everything that happens to you and makes your down time, work. ugh!

Glory Glory from End of the Road Festival


Frankies Gun! from Bristol

Review: The Old Rock House, 9/20 St Louis

Review: The Felice Brothers And Pokey LaFarge And The South City Three Break Through The Blues At The Old Rock House, Monday, September 20
By Roy Kasten Riverfront Times

Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010 at 11:21 AM


Roy Kasten

The Felice Brothers are a sound man's worst nightmare, and they don't even perform with banjos. At the Old Rock House on Monday night, the upstate New Yorkers pushed the limits of cacophony through the 50-foot-high ceiling and somehow still made music - raging, touching, bouncing, blaring - that speaks to their (and our) deepest indigenous spirit and aspirations: Screw your rules (and tuning). There's history to be remade.
If Ian and James Felice, along with fiddler and washboarder Greg Farley, bassist Christmas and drummer Dave Turbevile, obliterated the rules of old-time blues, country and rock & roll, opener Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three played by them, and still sounded inspired. This was a homecoming set for the band just back from a European tour; the weeks of playing together showed. The band is crisp and light on its feet, moving between jazz jaunts and jug band romps, with LaFarge directing the solos and singing his barbaric blues yawp out. The set ended with a whimsical cutting contest between guitarist Adam Hoskins and harmonica player Ryan Koenig, and a slap-happy doghouse bass solo from Joey Glynn. The crowd clapped along at every chance and seemed thrilled to have the South-siders back on native soil.

Ian and James Felice took the stage unceremoniously, the latter the size of an industrial-strength refrigerator, the former looking as if a breeze might break him in two. Over just electric piano and guitar, Ian sang a stormy weather song, "Little Ann," a grand sound check, even if the St. Louis night air was soft and clement. And then the band was off, cutting loose feedback and funereal marching through bluesy grime, full of spit and fire and life, Ian's chipped, cherry red Guild clanging, the bass honking and the violin shooting off Devil-down-in-Georgia sparks and rosin. And then the whole giddy din stopped on a dime.

That's the way the night went, careening between bellow-alongs such as "Let Me Come Home" and a scampering "Run Chicken Run" (a poultry murder ballad punctuated by Farley with a bow drawn across his neck), a wild and deafening "Greatest Show on Earth" (with history filtered through Pyncheonesque word play and Turbeville not so much drumming as bouncing off his stool to slam the suffering into his kit) ramming into a gorgeous new song about a "girl in a black velvet band." The band seemed eager to try out fresh material, fending off insipid requests for "Frankie's Gun!" (as if they would climb back into the Winnebago without playing it). Many of the new songs stuck, though Ian's semi-hip hop set piece about "the Royal Hawaiian Hotel" was simply bizarre and a new ballad by Farley sounded strained and clich├ęd (and painfully sung). Christmas' vocal turn on a new (at least to this reviewer) song about a journey from the Hollywood Hills to Graceland felt much more Felician.

The 120 or so fans crowded onto the floor and gladly (and quietly) took in some of the gentlest songs, especially a ballad with the haunting closing line "Far away places with the strange sounding names calling me" and "Saint Stephen's End," which opened the encore with just finger-picked electric guitar and bass, before the rabid build of "Her Eyes Dart 'Round," sung in a full bronchial-infected howl. Then it all ended with the inevitable, welcome and always pandemoniac "Frankie's Gun!," the right closer to a chaotic but joyous night.

What's ahead: Moving West, Shows with Conor Oberst

   Wednesday 22 | Santa Fe Brewing Co., Santa Fe, NM
   Monday 27 | The Casbah, San Diego, CA
   Tuesday 28 | Pappy and Harriet's, Pioneertown, CA with Conor Oberst
   Wednesday 29 | The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
   Thursday 30 | Soho, Santa Barbara, CA with Conor Oberst (sold out)
October 2010
   Friday 1 | The Fernwood Resort, Big Sur, CA with Conor Oberst

Grab these tickets while available.

#1 Greatest Felice Brothers song (so Far)- Frankie's Gun!

The response to Frankie's Gun is usually immediate. Everyone falls in love with this song, and it's a gateway to the rest of their music. Written in one day, it sounds old, but it's hook-laden cadence and points of reference are all fresh. Now the song has become somewhat of a minor cultural phenomenon, popping up in film and tv and being passed around the world via twitter, facebook and YouTube.

What's most interesting to me is the transformative power of the song in many of our lives. I once saw an interview on 60 Minutes with Bruce Springsteen, where he gets asked if he ever tires of playing "Born To Run" after 30 years of playing it virtually every night. He answered forcefully, no. He explained that each time the band played the song, he could look around the stage at the guys he grew up with, he knew from when they all had nothing, and they all could collectively share those 4 minutes, knowing what that song brought them and their families. It opened up the whole world to them and their loved ones.

Frankie's Gun! ensured that The Felice Brothers, have a career. It's opened up doors and opportunities for them, and help give a living, to the guys in the band. This blog or forum would likely not exist without that song. Let's hope that have another miracle in them.

My car goes
Every weekend to pick up some cargo
I think I know the bloody way by now, Frankie
And turn the god damn radio down, thank you
Pull over
Count the money
But don't count the thirty in the glove box buddy
That's for to buy Lucille some clothes

Bang bang bang went Frankie's gun
He shot me down Lucille
He shot me down

Work zones double fines
Don't pass the double lines
Trailer McDonald's rest stop trailer double wide
I saw a man hit my mom one time, really
I hurt him so damn bad I had to hide in Jersey
Called my mama told her
In the dresser
There's ten or twenty dollars but there ain't no lesser
That's for to take my sister to the picture show

Bang bang bang went Frankie's gun
He shot me down Lucille
He shot me down

Sha nay na sha nay na na na ...

Slip make a fender shine
Frankie you're a friend of mine
Got me off a bender after long legged Brenda died
I thought we might be on a roll this time Frankie
I could have swore the box said Hollywood blanks but
You see my mama
Please tell her
I left a little rock in a box in the cellar
That's for to wear till kingdom come

Bang bang bang went Frankie's gun
He shot me down Lucille
He shot me down

#2 Greatest Felice Brothers song (so Far)- Don't Wake the Scarecrow

The tragic tale of a junkie and a hooker wrapped up in the setting of L Frank Baum's classic Wonderful Wizard of OZ, written and sung by Simone Felice, is as Uncut magazine called it, "one of the best songs written in the past twenty years". Its really a miracle, one that can so shake the listener, that the characters become part of our day. Is it a true tale of Simone's life? not sure. James, once said that Simone told him it was true, Simone once said, its true, but he only observed it. That said i have never heard a song that conjured up such vivid mental images, that i keep expecting the film version of this song to be released.
The line in the song that really connects these characters to world of the living is;
"I'd find you there in the bath
We'd cook up your shit in a tin can
And you started calling me Tin Man
And we started making plans to begin again
Begin again"

Neil McCormick of the London Telegraph says of Simone, "
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. "

I included both versions of this song, Felice Brothers and Duke and the King

full lyrics

Would you love me
If I told you I was born upstream
If I told you I come from money
White money
Would you love me
Would you love me

Well, I was born down
By a bad little river in a poor town
Where an indian-giver put a board out
It said "Boarding House"
Call him Scarecrow
He kept whores around

And I'd go there
I'd wait my turn on the broke stairs
And get me the girl with the gold hair
Aw yeah, leave your clothes there
On the folding chair

In that cold room
our breath would twist just like ghosts do
You said, "Call me Dorothy in red shoes"
And the bed moved
The bed moved
The bed moved

Tracy, don't you wake that scarecrow tonight

Well, the man would come in
It's hard living right giving head when
The sad days of winter have set in
And the medicine for an mannequin is heroin

I'd find you there in the bath
We'd cook up your shit in a tin can
And you started calling me Tin Man
And we started making plans to begin again
Begin again

You saved a C note
Told me you felt like a seagull
Told me to meet at the depot
With the needle, then maybe we'd go
To Reno

Where you'd be my desert dove
And we'd find a way to make better love
Said, "Baby, that's how the West was won"
And the blood-red sun
Yeah, the blood-red sun
And the blood-red sun

Tracy, don't you wake that scarecrow tonight

Well, the man cries,
"Who gives a damn when a tramp dies?"
But I loved you there in the lamp light
With your bare thighs
And the halo of your hair line

And all my lifelong
I'll never shake off your siren song
And all of your talk about dying young
With an iron lung and that crazy way

You said, "Simone,
I think I might stay here with Scarecrow tonight
Simone, I think I'm gonna stay here with Scarecrow tonight."

Don't Wake the Scarecrow (The Duke and the King)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Someone elses Top Ten (From RYN)

Sept 19 2010

The Felice Brothers
1. Don't Wake the Scarecrow (from The Felice Brothers)
2. Helen Fry (from The Felice Brothers)
3. Ballad of Lou the Welterweight (from Tonight at the Arizona)
4. Roll on Arte (from iantown)
5. Boy From Lawrence County (from Yonder Is the Clock)
6. Trouble Been Hard (from iantown)
7. Buried in Ice (from Yonder Is the Clock)
8. Song to Die To (from Through These Reins and Gone)
9. Your Belly in My Arms (from Tonight at the Arizona)
10. You're All Around (from iantown)

Townes Earle arrested, hurls Felice Brothers into it!

Pure comedy, from

by Paul Cashmere - September 20 2010

Singer songwriter Justin Townes Earle was arrested in Indianapolis on Thursday for drunken behaviour during his concert.

Earle, the son of singer Steve Earle, was performing at Radio Radio in Indianapolis, when banter between the singer and the crowd turned ugly. When someone in the crowded yelled for ‘Freebird’, Earle said back ‘Fuck Freebird. I hate Lynyrd Skynyrd”. Someone then yelled for him to take off his shirt. “You fucking take off your shirt,” he responded.

During the song ‘Can’t Hardrly wait’ some guy threw a shirt on stage which landed on Earle’s guitar. “Fuck you,” he yelled at the guy, stormed off stage and then trashed his dressing room.

The venue filed “assault and battery” charges against Earle. He was fined $200

Later on his Twitter he posted, “Sorry for missing the radio Louisville. I was in jail! We will be making the show at headliners though. Free again!!!”

And then …. “Oh and Radio Radio in Indy and all it's staff can kiss my fucking ass! I think the Felice Bros. Would agree”.


#3 Greatest Felice Brothers Song (so far)-Love Me Tenderly

listen here

The Felice Brothers common comparisons with Bob Dylan and the Band are probably flattering and often aggravating to the fellas. It's also unfair. Anyone playing rock music, particularly with an accordion as a major part of the sound is going to owe something to the folks that inhabited a pink house in Woodstock 40 years ago. 
It's unfair as well, since without question the biggest influence I hear in their music is Randy Newman. Mostly in James Felice's piano playing. What you hear in songs like Greatest Show on Earth, Marie and this song, Love me Tenderly, is the pure joy that is heard in James performance(that is Newman's trademark) It's all over the self titled album, and I believe why fans went bonkers for that record. 
Moreover, the Lyrics and melody to this tune, are infectious as it gets. It's consistently one tune that gets the crowd hollering in concert. 

Wouldn't you like that?

I added the Randy Newman song that likely was nicked a bit for Love Me Tenderly.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Setlist from London

Set List
1. Marlboro Man
2. White Limo
3. Run Chicken Run
4. Murder By Mistletoe
5. Step Dad
6. River Jordan
7. Love Me Tenderly
8. Goddamn You, Jim
9. Roll On Arte
10. Fire!
11. Frankie's Gun
12. Turn On The TV
13. Frontiers
14. Let Me Come Home
15. Take This Bread

1. Helen Fry
2. Two hands

#4 Greatest Felice Brothers Song (so far)- Ballad of Lou the Welterweight

play here

About 5 years ago, sitting on their fathers porch, before there ever was a touring band, Simone and James Felice were stunned at a new song their brother Ian had just written, called "Ballad of Lou The Welterweight", about a down and out pugilist, who "had a way like Errol Flynn". Unlike other great boxing songs like the imagined tragedy of The Hurricane, (the real tragedy was the victims, which is likely why Dylan refuses to play it), Lou the Welterweight is a heart wrenching tale of a man toiling his trade, paying the ultimate price for it, and the ones he leaves behind. Its one of the very best story songs ever written.

Most often sports themed music and film deal with characters like Lou, as they get older, trying to come to grips with their diminished existence (Pride of the Yankees, Bull Durham, On The Waterfront), but this character is very different. Lou is unaware of his impending doom, his diminished abilities, and in this way he resembles Scorcese's "Raging Bull".

Saturday, September 18, 2010

KDHX hails the Felice Brothers

Team Love /
The Felice Brothers, originating from the Catskill Mountains in the state of New York, fool around with pianos, guitars, horns and accordions — weathered Americana. Their music floats atop the old-timey music scene poignantly and fluffily, like a big mean marshmallow in a cup of hot chocolate.
Throw in quaint yet beautiful lyrics about women named Lenore and Ruby Mae, and ya got a pleasant saloon sing-along, the type in which you throw an arm around a buddy and carelessly swing a glass pint of dark microbrew to and fro.
The sound will vicariously carry you to another period in American history, for a common Felice Brothers thought is: They remind me of….
When I listen to the flimsy and amusing piano opening on “Greatest Show on Earth,” I am transported to Elmer Bernstein’s compositions in the Billy Murray comedy Stripes. But that’s just me; others see more rational influences, like Bob Dylan and the Band.
The lyrics also travel through American time vessels. There are a handful of words couched in history. Guillotine is one. Samurai, another. And the 20th century is no exception: cars, jazz, baseball. (Not!) And so when the Felice Brothers croon, you feel like they are summoning the spirit of another era with their blunt metaphorical language embedded somewhere between 1860 and 1960:
A bottle of scotch
A dime sack and a diamond watch
Wouldn’t you like that?
A bottle of gin (what?!?)
A typewriter and a violin
Wouldn’t you like that?
A sunny day, a shotgun and a Chevrolet
Wouldn’t you like that?
A painted scene, our voices on the city green
Wouldn’t you like that?
A microwave, a pillbox and a jack of spades
Wouldn’t you like that?
But the Felice Brothers don’t steal from our past — they honor the sound of our rich history, and in the process add something new. The band tipped their cap to America’s greatest humorist, Mark Twain, by pulling a passage out of The Mysterious Stranger to name their latest album, Yonder is the Clock. And even though some folks will continue to claim the Felice Brothers are derivative — an attempt to be Bob Dylan and the Band — sometimes, who cares? I reckon not everything good is entirely original.

#5 Greatest Felice Brothers Song (so far)- Rockefeller Drug Law Blues

Another song that has grown in popularity, in part because it has not been played live in a few years. The opening lyric is memorable "the exhaust from the prison van is going is going to Heaven, but i'm going to Attica"

The Rockefeller Drug Laws, was Draconian legislation enacted in the early 1970's, by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, that sentenced any criminal in possession of over 2 ounces of a controlled substance, to a minimum of 15 years to life. They were the harshest drug laws in the country, and roundly criticized around the nation for being too harsh and possibly discriminatory. They were rolled back in 2004, somewhat.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Acclaim from End of the Road

Then it was on to see the enigmatic, super-energetic, super-talented Felice Brothers. My (and MM’s) favourite performance of the entire festival. Before End of the Road, I was only really familiar with the beautiful ballad, Cooperstown, and I went to this performance expecting more of the same. What we got was the ultimate masterclass in ramshackle crowd the Waterboys on speed, or perhaps The Pogues on Red Bull and vodka?

For a bunch of brothers (which four of the guys really are) they’re pretty different. The lead singer, Ian, had the attitude (and even a slight look) of a young Roy Keane. Violinist, Farley, looked like an all-American college kid who could have easily played at the wildest hoe-down. Then, there’s the multi-talented, multi-instrumental James who got the large crowd singing along, stamping along and generally having a great old American time. In between, they introduced humour, irony and even a little self-effacement. What a great start to the evening.


Start Getting Stoked LA

Review from London Show


Much like The Walkmen, to my mind The Felice Brothers are operating in the best bands in the world bracket, but without courting any great levels of popularity.

While I wish them every commercial success, in the meantime I get to watch one of the best outfits on the planet from the front row of small venues like The Troxy.

(I remember the disappointment I felt at Brixton Academy when Guy Garvey of Elbow boasted that soon they would be playing Wembley Arena. Cue the scramble to get an overpriced ticket to see your favourite band in a large and soulless venue.)

The Felice boys were always likely to appeal to people (like me) who love The Band, Bob Dylan, Americana, country and storytelling.

They all sing, they swap instruments, they look like they’ve slept in their clothes. But they’re much more than a modern-day incarnation of bands gone by. They’re writing some of the best songs and best lyrics in the business.

And live they were just great. Much younger than I expected and, especially in fiddle player Greg Farley, they mix their Catskill Mountains roots and traditional instruments with a modern, Streets of New York attitude.

I always like bands who look like they’re enjoying playing together, it’s infectious, and that’s definitely the case with the Felices.

#6 Greatest Felice Brothers Song (so far)-"Forever Green"

This song has fans begging for its inclusion on setlists, and is growing more popular with every show they do not play it. Lyrically it mirrors The Rolling Stones "Wild Horses"

hear it here:

We would like to publish a video of a live performance of the song, but as far as our research can find, the song was only played live one time, in Rochester NY in 2009. No video exists that we can dig up. Please forward if you have a copy or see a performance in the future.

The great lyric in the song that stirs me is
"grandma was a country singer
id have loved to have seen her
making some barroom swing
i could see you doing that
gotta stetson hat
and electric guitar to sing with"

I researched a bit on the use of the Stetson hat as symbolism in blues music earlier this year. Read that here

Link to Pic

The Felice Brothers in London

Link to Alex G Youtube channel

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rave reviews for End of the Road Festival for The Felice Brothers

From the Salisbury Journal:

All this lead to The Felice Brothers who may cast scorn on the term Americana but are currently the leading exponents of that genre.

Their music is derived from so many sources, blues, soul, gospel, hillbilly, folk and traditional, just about every American form and the band is tight. The crowd just loved them.


# 7 Greatest Felice Brothers Song (so far) Goddamn You, Jim

Dark and apocalyptic as a Cormac McCarthy novel, with a dash of Tom Waits, Goddamn You Jim, has always been the James Felice tour de force on stage, and the version above is accentuated by The Searchers thunderous accompaniment.
A heartbreaking song.

Santa Fe awaits The Felice Brothers


Listening to the earthy, earnest songs of The Felice Brothers, it’s easy to hear the band’s roots and the influence of its journey. Palenville, N.Y., is a hamlet of about 1,400 residents, nestled at the base of the Catskill Mountains near the Kaaterskill Falls. The fictional character Rip Van Winkle was supposed to have hailed from the town. It was there that brothers Ian, James and Simone Felice, the poor sons of a carpenter, grew up and began playing music. The brothers often held neighborhood jam sessions and played regularly during family backyard barbecues.

They eventually moved to New York City, busking their special blend of old-time folk-rock in the subway stations. The brothers kept playing and recording through lean times, which included sharing a tiny apartment and even sometimes living in a small school bus. The band was discovered performing at a growers’ market in Brooklyn by freelance music writer Gabe Soria, who helped the guys wrangle a record deal in England. By 2008, the band had five albums and a short tour in the U.K. under its belt. Garnering attention at music festivals—the Newport Folk Festival and Bonnaroo included—eventually led to national tours with Conor Oberst, Old Crow Medicine Show and the Dave Matthews Band.

The Felice Brothers’ sound is old-fashioned and fresh. The band’s sixth release, Yonder Is the Clock, was named BBC’s 2009 Country Album of the Year, but the country label doesn’t do justice to the music. The soulful, romance-and-heartache sound of old country is present, while the soundtrack to some gritty, back-room card game looms. Mixed in is a pinch of glitzy vaudeville. Sweet harmonies and a violin or occasional horn lend complexity to folksy guitar.

The Felice Brothers’ music would fit equally well on a dusty front porch or a circus sideshow tent. Many songs create worlds of Americana lore and stylized characters, spinning tales of dames with guns, drug deals gone wrong, bounty hunting and murdered lovers. When frontman Ian Felice delivers whiskey-voiced lyrics about protecting someone from the devil with his Smith & Wesson, he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.

Nowadays the band consists of Ian Felice, James Felice, Christmas Clapton, Greg Farley and David Turbeville, with Simone Felice acting as a collaborating writer. They have recorded albums in a leaky, abandoned Shakespeare theater and in a chicken-coop-cum-studio. The band’s seventh album—Mix Tape, released in March—retains the vulnerability and most of the grit of the earlier stuff. Catch some tracks from the new album in person when The Felice Brothers plays in Santa Fe on Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Murder by Mistletoe from The End of the Road Festival


#8 greatest Felice Brothers song - "Marie"

Mark this up to mostly personal taste, I fell in love with the lyric from the start and the Randy Newman swing that accompanies it. It sounded like a hit song, and still does (although the rough presentation that is charming to me, might keep it away from radio dials).
Lyrically, the smart guy playing dumb, is always a big hit for me (and the song was dubbed "best Lyrics of the year" by Awkward World).

They say we ran our course
But i feel like a racing horse
Got a Feeling i will be 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

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Felice Brothers & Deer Tick from End of the Road Festival

#9 Greatest Felice Brothers Song- "the Devil is Real"

The first Felice Brothers concert that i attended, i was only familiar with the songs, before the show, and didn't know specifically who sang each tune. About halfway through a raucous set, with Ian Felice handling most of the vocals, the stage was littered with empty whiskey bottles, pots and pans, a tin cover to a trash can, and a sheet of aluminum roofing and had already seen the drum kit lose a cymbal stand into the crowd a couple times. Out of this wreckage emerged the drummer, who had already proved to be quite truculent behind the kit. He had goaded, teased, and joked with audience members, between songs and gave constant props to his brothers.
At This particular moment he stepped to the microphone at the front of the stage as his brother Ian, so readily slunked into the shadows, and the drummer, Simone Felice, proclaimed "This is for the powers that be!"
His eyes snuck back into the back of his skull as he began with a short spoken word poem, and then sang "The Devil is Real", a song so very different than the ones that they had been playing all night. Some argue that great songs, are really built around one great line, and for me the line in this one was "Bonnie, the birthmark at the base of your ass, it's shaped like the gallows and the shadow they cast"

It was powerful, and it added such a dynamic element to the live show of the band.
But also acted as a mission statement for the band at that particular moment in their history. For them, i think, it was a warning to the wide open world, that they were coming for it all. This is a time when their ambition seemed almost limitless. It was very charming, and completely believable.

a video clip

Crackerjack review of London Gig

Tuesday 14th September 2010


This is a Crackerjack review of The Felice Brothers / Admiral Fallow. Do you agree? Rate and review this event.
Crackerjack rating: 8 / 10.
Who’d have thought a knackered old washboard could double up as a DJ’s turntable?
The mighty Felice Brothers are tearing into Frankie’s Gun when fiddle player Greg Farley swaps “instruments” and scratches away at his well-worn laundry aid like a man possessed on the wheels of steel.
Whenever there’s the briefest of gaps in the action, Farley then proceeds to throw all kinds of hip-hop homeboy moves for added entertainment value. Welcome to gangsta Americana everyone.
Actually, scrap that – the closest you can get to defining The Felice Brothers is as some kind of North American Pogues. Pinballing between rabble-rousing boozy anthems and battered ballads, they’re a totally unique live proposition.
With just one London date to come on this tour, the fivepiece had just completed a barnstorming set at the End of the Road festival and a secret gig in the wee small hours of Monday morning before boarding the Thekla.
With half an eye on the finish line and still suffering just a little from the exertions of the previous 24 hours, the band had to call on all of their energy reserves to pull off another outstanding show.
They took a few songs to work their way through the gears. Marlboro Man was a dark and brooding opener followed by a similarly battered Murder by Mistletoe.
But we were never too far away from a stomping belter. James Felice wrestled with his accordion for all he was worth on Run Chicken Run and totally lost himself in the music on a superb Goddamn You, Jim.
And it was James, too, who threw down some terrific honky tonk piano for Greatest Show on Earth.
Part of the attraction about the band’s music for me is that their songs always seem on the point of unravelling and descending into chaos. It’s this brinksmanship which makes them so compelling on stage.
Able to turn on a sixpence, they rattled through White Limousine before spinning off into the pathos-laden Ballad of the Welterweight – as good a story song as you could hope to hear.
Lead singer and guitarist Ian Felice’s 50-a-day husky drawl gives the band’s songs their distinctive lived-in quality and his stabbing lead solos crackled against the rootsy backing.
With only a couple of days to go before they fly back to the States, Let Me Come Home came dripping with heartfelt intensity.
But with fans screaming out requests for most of the night, they still had a couple of crowd-pleasers left in their locker.
A lusty version of Take This Bread played up its New Orleans jazzy vibe and their classic bar room singalong Whiskey in My Whiskey ended on a fitting note of bonhomie and mild exhaustion. Time to put your feet up for a while lads. You’ve earned it.
This is a Crackerjack review of The Felice Brothers / Admiral Fallow.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Belfast review from BBC

Custom House Square, Belfast
Friday, 10th September, 2010


The arrival of Wilco in Belfast is surely one of the absolute highlights of a packed Open House festival programme, the revered Godfathers of alt-country having never played in the city before.

But before the main act, we are treated to the exquisite pleasures of Field Music. In some bands, instruments fight for space to make their voice heard, all overlapping sound and noise; not so with Field Music. Each performer has their own rigidly defined area in the songs, a corner in which they are able to exploit their instrument's tonal and melodic sensibilities to the max. It's a jittery, disjointed sound, but one that is almost entirely satisfying, with quiet, angular passages alternating with outbursts of expressive rock and roll lyricism.

However, this separation of sound is not an ideal shared by The Felice Brothers. The New York five-piece bound on stage with an effervescent, almost drunken energy, and rarely take their foot off the accelerator. Captivating performers, The Felice Brothers succeed at capturing the sensation of stumbling upon an afterhours jam session, where the band just won't quit, needing to get one more song out of their system before they expire.

It's entertaining, but it's not an entirely satisfying experience when purely looking at the songs themselves. The endless Dylan vocalisations threaten to become tiring, whilst the messiness of the performance leads to many of the songs sounding like they're being made up as they go along. However, the Felice Brothers aren't about some kind of clean-cut, anodyne actualisation of what roots music might be like, instead cutting to the heart of the matter, and giving you a good time in the process.

But ultimately, we're all here for Wilco. Main-man Jeff Tweedy is a pivotal figure in the development of alt-country, from his "John the Baptist" role in alt-country forefathers Uncle Tupelo, to his 15 years with Wilco - refining and redefining both their own music, and that of an entire generation of musicians ploughing their trade down the cosmic American highway.

It's a mammoth set, but it's not entirely without problems. The band has a tendency to get stuck in third gear, opting for their mid-paced material, throwing out song after song which gazes out onto the wild frontier at twilight, full of pregnant possibilities. For the faithful, it's an absolute treat, but compared to the mathematical precision of Field Music, or the wild abandon of the Felice Brothers, Wilco come across as mannered and safe, a band who are reliably good, but short on the excitement factor.

Ultimately it doesn't matter, as Wilco at their most safe and relaxed is about twenty times as good as many other bands at their peak, but perhaps a bit more balance between the different faces of this band would be nice. They've done it before, but it might just be time for Tweedy to inject an element of danger back into his music. And if he does so, rest assured, Belfast is waiting for him.

Steven Rainey

End of the Road Festival Pics are in

These pictures and more from the festival available @ Grittson's Flickr page

Find more at Claudia's Flickr Page

The Greatest Songs in Felice Brothers History #10 Take This Bread

Its tough to pick out 10 of the very best when there are so many great ones, from so many great songwriters to choose from. The standard for these picks are, personal taste, but also the response the tunes get from the audience, in a live setting, or in some cases a mysterious cult that surrounds songs that are rarely, if ever, played, though much admired.

We will post one song every day for the next ten days as we count down to #1.

So at #10, to start the countdown, we have a song off the 2008 self titled album, "Take This Bread". Written by Ian Felice, its a tribute to his late grandfather, who had recently passed away, and used a phrase, i think, similar to "I'm alright if you're alright." The version on the album begins with a phone message recorded from home, and is a much slower version than what we all hear live. The horns, the rollicking harmonies, The sounds of gunfire, coins and bottles falling to the ground, and a fantastic vocal performance by Ian.

The song was lauded this past summer by the Huffington Post as having a positive message to young people and promoting goodwill toward others.

Email me feedback

Hear the album version here!!!

Here is a version from last years "Big Surprise Tour"

Campfire Trails 2010

Preview: Campfire Trails 2010
by Daniel Paton

Campfire Trails; Wild Beasts

Campfire Trails is being promoted as a festival. In the sense that three-day passes are available, this description is not entirely inaccurate. Unlike most festivals, however, there will be a noticeable lack of mud, tents and makeshift bathroom facilities.

All Tomorrow's Parties appears to have opened doors for multi-band events that favour comfort over the great outdoors. Campfire Trails takes place over three nights at London's rather magnificent art deco Troxy theatre, now firmly established as one of the capital's best mid-sized music venues. It appears to have been named with a small hint of irony.

The line-up is a little strange, alternately adventurous and conservative, drawing together some strong word-of-mouth acts from both sides of the Atlantic. The opening and closing nights offer a platform to an intriguing variety of American acts, whilst the middle day places two highly acclaimed British acts at the top of the bill.

The show opens with the delightful Appalachian vocal harmonies of the all female Mountain Man, whose Made In The Harbour album is one of the largely unheralded delights of 2010. The energy and vitality of White Rabbits (yet another Brooklyn band), complete with instrument swapping and, potentially, some radical cover versions, should provide some excitement, whilst the quirky, idiosyncratic anti-folk of former Mouldy Peach Adam Green will showcase the more unconventional side of songwriting. Headlining are The Felice Brothers, the literate, dry-throated group beloved of certain Americana-loving monthly music magazine readers.

The festival's second day boasts an ambitious and fascinating three act line-up. Brooklyn's Here We Go Magic's music, although located within a broad indie-rock spectrum, is evocative and difficult to categorise, while Fanfarlo sometimes come across as London's answer to the Arcade Fire in the way they layer unconventional instrumentation over insistent indie-rock templates. The highlight of the second night will surely be Mercury-nominated headliners Wild Beasts. With Hayden Thorpe's extraordinary counter-tenor voice and love of lascivious language placed over majestic, chiming guitars, the group take familiar British indie-pop elements and place them in an original and theatrical setting.


Top 10 greatest The Felice Brothers songs

We will be counting down starting later today with #10.

Check back!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Felice Brothers songs make list in road trip list

I love America. I have done ever since my first visit there with my friend, John, in our early twenties. Stumbling into a hire car at LAX and driving to a friend’s place in West Hollywood, I immediately fell head over heals in love with the country. My love affair with the US has continued and strengthened – and, luckily, has been inherited by the rest of my family too. We now look for any excuse to visit the States. We take most of our holidays there, generally in LA and Southern California, but we are also regular visitors to NYC, to suck up the culture, the shopping and the vibe.
Right now, we’re mulling over a West Coast road trip for next summer. We’re planning to fly into Vegas; spend a couple of nights in the libertarian capital of the world; drive across the desert to LA and spend a week or so hanging with friends; then driving up PCH 1 to Big Sur, Carmel; on to San Francisco; and finally to Napa to check out The French Laundry and re-enact some Sideways moments (not).  
America is the greatest country in the world to drive, and I have covered huge chunks of it behind the wheel of cheap rented cars, travelling across the empty cattle country of Oklahoma and Northern Texas, the boiling deserts of New Mexico, Arizona, California and Utah, into the mountains and high passes of Colorado and across the never-ending plains of Kansas and Missouri: the mythical ‘real America’. I love taking long, leisurely drives with family and friends with country stations, the occasional shock jock and endless albums and mixtapes providing the musical back drop to our adventures.
I love stopping in small towns to gas up and have a coffee. I love spending the evenings talking to the always-friendly locals in bars and the nights in local motels. But the real pleasure is the driving on endless traffic-free highways, with music playing, and watching the beautiful American big country pass by while listening to the steel radials hum on the asphalt. It’s my idea of heaven.
This Spotify playlist of lo-fi Americana and country is my tribute to the great American road trip – a journey from sea to shinning sea; from Springsteen’s Atlantic City to Sheryl Crow’s LA – and is dedicated to the road trips of my youth and the many more miles of open road I hope to drive in the future.
Bruce Springsteen – Atlantic City
From The Boss’s best album – Nebraska – this is a lo-fi masterpiece that fits modern recession hit America perfectly.
Simon & Garfunkel – America
Simon & Garfunkel take the ultimate Greyhound trip across America, with a little Cold War paranoia thrown in.
America – A Horse With No Name
Okay, I know it’s a bit cheesy and the lyrics don’t make any sense, but I really love this early 70’s soft rock anthem.
Bon Iver – Re: Stacks
This instant lo-fi classic was my favourite track from Justin Vernon (AKA Bon Iver)'s wonderful album For Emma, Forever Ago, which he recorded over three months alone in a log cabin in the woods.
Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
A road trip in its own right, this song by Sufjan Stevens always reminds me of a modern version of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘America’.
Willie Nelson – He Was a Friend of Mine
This Bob Dylan song, covered here by Willie Nelson, was just perfect for the soundtrack of Brokeback Mountain and is one of the moving songs about friendship ever written.
The Felice Brothers – Don’t Wake the Scarecrow
I bought the Felice Brother’s album in Rough Trade on a whim. I’m so glad I did: it’s a stone cold classic and ‘Don’t Wake the Scarecrow’ is one of the very best songs on the album. This lyric is Dylanesque in its perfection: ‘In that cold room / Your breath would twist just like ghosts do’.
Ry Cooder – Paris, Texas
Ry Cooder is at his sublime and haunting best in this classic bootle-neck guitar track from the iconic soundtrack to the Wim Wenders film of the same name. (Nobody has ever filmed Texas better than Wenders, and Nastassja Kinski just looked so gorgeous.)
The Blue Sky Boys – The Banks of the Ohio
This country classic has been a firm favourite since Alex Massie featured the song in his wonderful Saturday morning Country blog posts.
Laura Cantrell – Churches off the Interstate
Singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell was a favorite of John Peel, and I saw her play this marvelous song at Peel Day tribute gig, just after the great man had died.
The Felice Brothers – Frankie’s Gun!
I know I’m breaking the unwritten rules of mixtapes by featuring two songs by the same band, but this marvellous track by The Felice Brothers is worth breaking a few rules for.
Counting Crows – Goodnight Elisabeth
A huge personal favourite from back in the day, this song showcases fantastic guitar playing and a roll call of the America I love. It’s perfect driving music.
Cat Power – Lived In Bars
The best song about alcoholism since Gil Scot Heron’s ‘The Bottle’, this speaks to me of small town hotels and bars, and the loneliness of addiction. This is a very special song for me.
Eddie Vedder – Guaranteed
Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam scored Sean Penn’s excellent Into the Wild, the moving true story about going on the road and going off the grid.  
Alison Krauss – Your Long Journey
Who would have thought that bluegrass singer Alison Krauss and Led Zep screecher
Robert Plant would have come up with such a fine album as Raising Sand? With the T-Bone Burnett twiddling the knobs, anything is possible.
Sheryl Crow – All I Wanna Do
We end our journey on Tuesday lunchtime in a bar on Santa Monica Boulevard, pulling the labels off bottles of Bud. And all is well with the world!

Great Review of Leeds Show in local website

inane chatter for village idiots please join up and join in
The Felice Brothers
The second fantastic live show in three days at the same venue. Sold out this time which meant the heat was unbelievable. The place is a sixties built working mens club but with a nicely refurbished room with seating to the side and to the rear and an art deco chandelier hanging precariously from the ceiling just waiting for Del Boy and Rodney to get their hands on it. It's in a heavily populated student area (yes, Leeds 6) and Leb and I were reminiscing about the old Woodhouse boozers we used to separately frequent 30 odd years ago, including the Chemic where we met (Reggers by proxy also in attendance were Mrs Leb, Leb jnr (m) and Butts jnr (f).

The two Felice Brothers and their three cohorts came on about 10.05 and treated us to 90 minutes of high octane rabble rousers and painful laments on life with characters including abortionists, widows and orphans, outlaws, criminals and junky priests. Their sound is based around the keyboards and accordian of James Felice (Crazy Horse meet The Pogues) and the voice of brother Ian, somewhere between Tom Waits and Neil Young.

They are an act of utter authenticity who make pretenders to the throne like Mumford and Sons seem lightweight by comparison. They are from Woodstock, where The Band recorded their seminal work and this is the genealogy that they seek to sustain, Americana roots music that sounds barely rehearsed at times but which crackles with images and anecdotes that celebrate their heritage.

They must have torn through about 25 songs or so, many of which came from their early work I didn't know but the audience was happy to stew in its own sweat, egged on by the compelling violinst and washboard man who was happy to throw Beastie Boy shapes at every opportunity.

Their records don't do justice to the energy of the live show but equally the literacy of the lyrics (plenty of Twain, O'Connor and Walt Whitman references) mean that this is a group who have found a way of having it both ways when it comes to getting their messages out there.


A bad report from Leeds 9-11-10

The Felice Brothers were hugely disappointing tonight with a really flat set full of new songs, b-sides and lesser known songs, punctuated with around 6 of their "hits." Songs didn't take off, finished abruptly or dribbled to a close. The encore was not deserved and even then it hardly got going. They were drunk and tired and it was painful to watch at times. When Shane MacGowen is staggering about for The Pogues, the others get him through it but here the other Felice Bros were just as bad or unwilling to give 'em a kick up the arse.
Saw them last year at The Brud and it was one of my favourite gigs of the year but this was very poor in comparison. Some f*ckwits around me seemed to enjoy it but they could have sung a nursery rhyme and they'd have loved it.
Also subjected to some of the worst farts since a Boo Radleys gig in 1995 at the Irish Centre. Do some people genuinely not have the arse muscles to hold the sh*t dust in or don't they care?
Anyway, Admiral Fallow were great and I'll be investigating them further. Nighty bloody night.

-taken from Leeds Music Forum

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Outstanding Live Review for The Felice Brothers

By Stephen Cockcroft
Taken from The Word UK Music Magazine

10th September 2010
Open House Festival, Custom House Square, Belfast
A huge marquee on a balmy September night, the ceiling strung with a thousand fairy lights, is the perfect setting for the ramshackle genius of The Felice Brothers. Within seconds of them taking the stage the entire crowd - many of whom will have come to see headliners Wilco - seem to become aware that something magical is taking place. The first two songs sound as if they have fallen off the back of 'Blonde On Blonde', and the debt to Dylan is unashamed, melodic piano lines cutting through stomping rhythms and rousing choruses. Guitar, fiddle, two drum kits, an accordion and a washboard all make appearances, and the music catches fire in a way that is not captured on their studio work - Whiskey In My Whiskey becomes a swaggering barroom brawl of a song, Love Me Tenderly a massed singalong, and Run Chicken Run is the cue for much dancing and an outbreak of stupid grins throughout the suddenly sweltering tent.
The Audience: 
As eclectic a mix as I have seen for a long while. The older crowd drawn perhaps by the headliners Wilco, the younger by first support Field Music.
Food & Drink: 
The usual boutique festival fare. A range of alcohol including Blue Moon beer - served with an orange why it's practically a cocktail! Although that it tastes slightly like vegetable soup is perhaps a bit of drawback.
It Made Me Think...: 
The Felice Brothers are the heirs to that elusive, wild mercury sound and a band with a live show that you must see.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Videos from Belfast Openhouse Festival

videos provided by Coldroses here

The Rock Club: Simone Felice Walks on Water

Simone Felice walks on Water
pic from

Well sort of, during this very intimate show in a very intimate building. Simone sung new, old and borrowed songs for 1 hour and 45 mins, mainly solo, sometime totally unplugged and sometimes with Slide Guitarist (Matt Boulter from the Lucky Strikes) and Drummer. Unlike his recent appearance at the Green Man festival where, the wine and rock n roll swagger were very much in evidence, last night it was just water at Simone’s side.

St Pancras Old Church is reputed to be the oldest church in Britain — maybe even the oldest of all Christian churches. Once situated on the banks of the River Fleet and overlooking a Roman encampment. It was a lovely September evening that greeted us as we chatted outside before we entered this tiny church.

A glass of red wine and we were all in our seats before 8pm. No support but Simone was on at 9pm sitting on a high backed ornate chair, guitar in hand as he played stark and stripped bare versions of Scarecrow and when I get famous to start.

For close on two hours we were then treated to a genuine and humble performance. Simone’s open heart surgery was 3 months ago to the day and his surroundings seemed to have an impact on him throughout the evening.

Taking time out to read a book extract as well, the evening was unhurried mixing old with new.
Union Street - Radio Song - Morning I get to Hell - Water Spider - Don’t Wake the Scarecrow- When I get Famous. New songs O'Gloria - Shaky and wonderfully borrowed - Ol '55, Helpless and the final song of the evening Long may you Run after which, Simone went though the audience offering hugs and thanks for the support he has been shown over the past three months.

Not a gig, more an evening with a good friend.

Wilco and The Felice Brothers today!!

Today is the day we’ve been waiting for since before the summer. Things just got serious!

Extremely excited. Stage times below:

22:15-23:45 WILCO
20:00-20:30 FIELD MUSIC

Graham Brown

The Duke and the King European Tour Dates

unday 17th October - CAMBRIDGE HAYMAKERS
Monday 18th October - NOTTINGHAM GLEE CLUB
Tuesday 19th October - DUBLIN ACADEMY 2 (IRE)
Thursday 21st October - KILKENNY THE SET THEATRE (IRE)
Friday 22nd October - SLIGO SLIGO LIVE (IRE)
Sunday 24th October - BELFAST EMPIRE (IRE)
Monday 25th October - GLASGOW ORAN MOR
Wednesday 27th October - LONDON ELECTRIC BALLROOM
Thu 28th October - LEEDS WARDROBE
Fri 29th October - BRISTOL FLEECE & FIRKIN
Tuesday 2nd November - COLOGNE BLUE SHELL (GER)
Wednesday 3rd November - BERLIN FRANNZ (GER)
Saturday 6th November - PARIS NOUVEAU CASINO (FRA)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Murder By Mistletoe (LebowskiFest)

Link review of Long Live the Duke and the King


Review of The Duke & The King's album Long Live The Duke & The King released through Loose Music

The Duke & King follow up their highly regarded debut, of barely a year ago, 'Nothing Gold Can Stay', with their sophomore album Long Live The Duke & The King. The four grifters from New York reprise their roles as purveyors of fine soul filled folk to once again showcase some outstanding song writing skills coupled with deft arrangements and musicianship of the highest calibre. We have the time honoured hankering of many a drummer wishing to be not just the 'man at the back with the sticks but the lead singer' to thank for the success of The Duke & The King. After resigning from the family band The Felice Brothers, Simone Felice and guitarist Robert 'Chicken' Burke, together with violinist Simi Stone and hopefully contented drummer Nowell Haskins, have made the Duke & The King more than just a side project.

The album, recorded once again "Deep in the woods in Bearsville", Greater New York, opens softly enough with a rather timid touch. As if finding its feet for the performance ahead, Gloria rings out with sea scented cymbal rolls and over layered four part vocals...."The girls would come and go but you were always there, with them dying daisies in your hair." As an opener it's good, but what follows is generally a lot better.

With its sumptuously fuzzy guitar chords and suitably subtle but sweet harmonica 'Shine On You' ebbs and flows along, washing over you with the calmness of serenity. The finale of the harmonised female backing vocals exaggerates the darker reflections intimated at within the song..."Build your life on a dream, build your own machine. Turn the night into the day, you have no need to turn away." The song is rich in evocative textures and serves as a fabulous platform to capture the beautifully tender vocals.

In a kind of homage to anti Vietnam songs of the early 70's, Shaky (Due out as a single 20th Sept) is steeped in nostalgic reflections from Superman to the Jackson 5 whilst pondering latter day U.S overseas foreign policy..."Baghdad she's a mean old town, I get the feeling she don't want me around." You can almost hear the choppers in the background as the song pans out with echoes of Walk On The Wild Side....."And the coloured girls go, doo dee doo, doo dee doo..." all capped off with some fruity and funky horns as we are asked to "Come and shake that Country ass."

Hudson River goes ever more soulful, pairing the male, and backing female vocals, gloriously against each other recalling elements of Wilson Pickett or Otis Redding as the crescendos build and break with power and emotion. The female vocals, and virtuoso violin skills, of Simi Stone take over on the all American tale of woe on 'No Easy Way Out' before 'You & I' takes us on a mellow journey cast off by some acoustic guitar reminiscent of Breakfast At Tiffany's! Hopefully not intended as a new Hallmark moment waiting to happen........."Love is a coke dealers daughter, love is a slave ship at sea, love is a wheel made of sawdust, it's all we need..." This is Long Lives 'If You Ever Get Famous' with its terrific imagery and warmth.

Children Of The Sun takes us closer to Donovan with a nod to The Hurdy Gurdy Man before the band sign off in fine style with more 60's infused throwbacks in the form of the wonderfully harmonious 'Have You Seen It' and the edgier anxiousness of 'Don't Take That'. The latters indulgences into a tempered guitar solo possibly highlighting what's still to come from the Duke & The King.

Long Live The Duke & The King. Indeed.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review of The Duke and King's new CD


THE DUKE & THE KING - Long Live The Duke & The King (Album)
Loose Music/Silva Oak - 27th September 2010

And here is one for my chillout/feelgood section, let me get rid of the spider webs first… Yes, it’s been looking a bit sad and empty for a while. Writing songs that can lift your spirit and give you a smile while lazily curling on your favourite sofa is not the easiest thing. Songs that make you wanna get up and dance, there’s plenty; songs that make you wanna curl up and die, even more; right in the middle, The Duke & The King is just what was missing.

‘Long Live The Duke & The King’ is a collection of folk rock soothing beauties with the warmth of vintage soul, taking you back to the days when it was all about an old guitar, a heartfelt voice and getting people together, no autotune, no screamo monstrosities , no lip-synching footballers wives. Simplicity is the key in this debut effort from The Duke & The King, influenced by the soulful likes of Sly and the Family Stone but also by the serene melodies of Bob Dylan, and infused of positive vibes  stolen from an impromptu reggae jam on a Caribbean beach.

The peaceful atmosphere of ‘Long Live The Duke & The King’ is unlikely to appeal to the youngsters, but past your 25 this is an album you should definitely find a spot for on your CD shelves, as I can promise you you’re going to need it someday. Consume with a nice smelling incense stick and a glass of red wine, and keep an acoustic guitar handy.

Review by The Wicked Witch


The Felice Brothers to appear with Alejandro Escovedo in Charleston

Legendary Texas Songwriter Alejandro Escovedo will be on the Mountain Stage with the Felice Brothers in October.

From the Charleston Sunday Gazzette:
The Felice Brothers, Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys and Adam Haworth Stephens: Oct. 17. Styles include singer-songwriters, roots rock and Americana. Other acts to be announced.
Shows are at the Culture Center Theater at 7 p.m., unless noted. Tickets are $14 in advance and $20 at the door, unless noted. Call 800-594-TIXX or visit

Friday, September 3, 2010

Allan Jones reviews Simone Felice Concert

Simone Felice, St Pancras Old Church, London, September 2 2010
2010-09-03 17:33:33
What is it about Simone Felice and hushed and sacred places that make your voice drop to a whisper as soon as you walk into them?

A month ago, in Woodstock, where I was interviewing The Duke & The King, Simone took me to the Church Of The Holy Transfiguration Of Christ, way up there on top of Mead Mountain, where it had been since 1891, and a favourite retreat of Simone’s when he was growing up.

Tonight, he’s at St Pancras Old Church, which to the extent that it’s apparently one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England is clearly not flippantly named. It’s a fabulous setting for the last date of his recent UK solo tour, candles flickering behind him, shadows looming around an altar, darkness clinging to high vaulted spaces, murmuring ancient voices, if you’re listening, in the joists, eaves and roof beams, a certain hallowed spookiness about the premises, from top to bottom.

“Wow,” Simone says, looking around him as he settles down in a high back chair, the kind of thing you might find in the parlour of a witch. “There are ghosts in here,” he goes on, nodding knowingly, people in the front rows looking around now, too, trying to see what he can see or thinks he can, the congregation, for that’s what we as much as anything are, quite rapt, more than a little spellbound. You wouldn’t be surprised to hear a moaning wind about now, followed by some creaking of timbers untold ages old, a beckoning voice, the sort of thing, generally, the kind of vague creepiness, in other words, that will eventually freak you out if you dwell overlong on it.

Simone gets a lot of laughs from all this all night, especially when a technical hitch during a lovely version of “Summer Morning Rain” makes it sound like one of his monitors is speaking to him and he does an extended and very funny riff on The Exorcist, which people around me laugh heartily at even as they seem at the same time a tad unsettled, which makes it even funnier. Even Simone jumps, though, when, later on in the proceedings he’s reading an extract from his new novel, Black Jesus, out early next year (the publishers are a company, he takes some relish in mentioning, are called To Hell).

“What happened to the 20th century?” he reads in declamatory fashion from the pages of his manuscript, and on queue, a clock begins to chime ominously at the top of the hour, a droll knelling reply that inspires an hilarious version of “In The Air Tonight”, the audience, surprisingly word-perfect, joining keenly in.

The songs Simone sings elsewhere are from more predictable sources, principally from the repertoire of The Felice Brothers (“Don’t Wake The Scarecrow”, “Radio Song”, “Your Belly In My Arms”, “The Devil Is Real”, “Mercy”) and The Duke & The King (“If You Ever Get famous”, “One More American Song”, “The Morning I Get To Hell”, “Union Street”, all from last year’s Nothing Gold Can Stay album; “Gloria” and “Shaky” from their forthcoming second album, Long Live The Duke & The King).

There are some inspired covers, too, including a fine version of Tom Waits’ “Old 55” and a spectacular take on Neil Young’s “Helpless”, with the congregation now a choir and someone in the audience down front who I can’t see testifying like Aretha – “London, you got soul!” Simone yells, laughing, head flung back like a revivalist preacher, the crowd taking over entirely on the chorus, as Simone on his knees facing them starts in on a bit of “Amazing Grace”, before returning to the final verse and chorus of “Helpless”, his voice rising from hush to howl, a cresting moment. There’s also a new song, “The New York Times”, among the best things he’s written.

He comes back for four encores – the two songs from the new Duke & The King album, a beautiful version of “Waterspider” from their debut and, finally, a gorgeous take on another Neil Young favourite, “Long May You Run”, with some cool lap steel from Mat Boulter, hi-jacked by Simone for these solo shows from UK Americana band The Lucky Strikes.

Simone will be back in October with the full Duke & The King line-up. No one who was here tonight will want to miss them.

Allan Jones

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Simone Felice review from Sept 1

Simone Felice, Jumpin’ Hot Club, Cluny 2, Newcastle
2:07pm Wednesday 1st September 2010

NEW York State act Simone Felice (of the Felice Brothers and The Duke And The King fame) was back in town after overcoming, not for the first time in his life, major surgery.

Felice is not only a wonderful storyteller, but his charismatic stage presence is also as strong as anyone on the Americana scene. After his recent problem, Felice plays each and every show as if it could be his last.

His love of drama, plied with a genuine humbleness serves him well and he left many of the audience star-struck with his performance.

He worked the emotions of us all as he spoke of his recent death-defying experience, baring his chest to show a huge surgical scar and tell of his childhood in the Catskills.

The likes of Don’t Wake The Scarecrow and One More American Song and, a big favourite with his fans, Your Belly In My Arms, helped shape as committed and intimate performance as you could wish for.

On reaching out to the audience for vocal support (his Detroit soul singers), he wove a tapestry of emotions and imagery akin to Neil Young at his best, and that says it all.

Little wonder his show received not one but two encores.