Thursday, January 21, 2010

We will always love the Deacon

Although I was not going to blog for a few months, I had to get this one off my heart.
I, along with many fans who have emailed me, have been heartbroken to hear that "the Deacon", our friend,
Nowell, had split from The Duke And The King. It shocked me, it felt like a kick in stomach, and mostly it felt like a
missed opportunity for music fans. I felt the band from mid fall on had become very special, unique, and Nowell was a integral piece
of that.

I suppose that I have seen a few hundred rock and roll shows in my life, and seen legendary performers ranging from
Jimmy Page to Roy Orbison to Stevie Wonder. No one consistently gave me jaw dropping moments like Nowell did and I hope
will do again. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with how he was utilized, delivering the big lines, in great songs by one of this generations finest
songwriters. "Annabelle" in Radio Song glowed like never before and made versions I had heard performed by the Felice Brothers, seem insignificant, like kids play. He made The Devil is Real, leap out at the listener, and allow us to focus not just on the words and melody, but "feel" a man worried about his salvation. His short time around us professionally, was marked by so many memorable moments and
a significant part of the Duke and The King's trademark sound. I felt the band had the potential to be really huge. They really could have been as big as Fleetwood Mac, and maybe they still will be. I have always felt that Simone Felice is a force of nature the world will not be able to resist.

Most importantly, The Deacon, is a person people love. I figure that I have come across tens of thousands of people in my life and I am not sure one has seemed more genuine, more easily loved, or more endearing, than my friend Nowell. I know many others will agree. His smile is infectious, like he is the sun and we are a field of Daisy's. He is real people and he will be missed the next time I see the duke and the king. Although he is gone from that band he will still be a part of our musical family, as we will continue to follow him here and on Most importantly he will be in my heart as a friend ongoing. He has had a very profound impact on my life. I am better person for hearing his voice, feeling his embrace and seeing him laugh.

That said, I have confidence the Duke and the King can and will endure. There is no other person in popular music with the "duende" of Simone Felice. The fireworks will still pop, just a little differently.

Long live the Deacon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I have been away. real life.

Anyway, i love the Felice Brothers and The Duke and the King as much as ever and remain committed to spreading the gospel as much as possible.

Sorry i missed those recent shows. I am however committed to other things in 2010. I am try ing to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in this year, and have been on the trail a lot in January and leave for Georgia in a couple weeks.

Upon return i have the Take This Bread food truck to look after. I also own a business. Feeding the hungry and the homeless in our truck, is going to be a high priority when i get back from the hike, and i see that as my main pursuit the rest of my life. I hope to see some of you out there.

I am still committed to celebrating the wonderful music of the Felice Brothers. The entire Felice Brothers family has had a great year of growth in 2009, and we have so much to be grateful for. In 2009 we got 2 Felice Brothers albums, Simone goes with the Duke and the King, we got our own message board and a proper online community, we got "Marie", Simi Stone, another Bondy record, worldwide success and accolades for the Duke and the King, The Big Surprise tour!!!, and how about NOWELL HASKINS??!!!, can you imagine life without this wonderful man? 2009 saw us get a better look at Simone, as well as a better look at Christmas Josh? and Greg Farley's song for Gramps, Beautiful Dave Turbeville, and we got to know Searcher, since most have us have not seen him except the Youtube clips of Cornbury in 2007, we will forever remember his earsplitting John Bonham like drumming.

WOW what a year this has been!!

and 2010 promises a lot more; a new Felice Brothers record, a new Duke and the King record, a Simone Felice solo record, and novel Black Jesus. Who knows what else? a new tour bus??!!

Keep celebrating. much love, digger

RockCandy #2 album of 2009 = Yonder

Rock Candy

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After poring over all of the candidates, here is my top 10 list for best indie (read: non-mainstream) albums of 2009. What were your favorites?

1. Girls, Album (True Panther Sounds)
SF duo creates unique sound mixing punk and art rock with Buddy Holly vocals. Note: Girls will play the Gargoyle Feb. 7.

2. Felice Brothers, Yonder Is The Clock (Team Love)
Upstate NY rovers capture the American condition with Dylan-inspired gem.

3. Heartless Bastards, The Mountain (Fat Possum)
Infectious, straight-shooting rock from Cincy/Austin quartet is anything but heartless.

4. Dan Auerbach, Keep It Hid (Nonesuch)
A solid solo outing from Black Keys singer/guitarist.

5. Blind Pilot, 3 Rounds and a Sound (ATO)
Exquisite debut from Portland indie folksters/cycling enthusiasts. For fans of the Shins.

6. Metric, Fantasies (Metric Music International)
More energizing rock from can’t miss Canadian quartet.

7. Silversun Pickups, Swoon (Dangerbird)
LA rockers churn out distorted goodness.

8. White Lies, To Lose My Life… (Geffen)
I’ll admit it, sugary Brit pop is a guilty pleasure.

9. Camera Obscura, My Maudlin Career (4AD)
Paste Magazine says it best: “Simultaneously sad and celebratory, and always charming.”

10. Asobi Seksu, Hush (Polyvinyl)
Engrossing dream pop a la Blonde Redhead. Note: Catch them Feb. 4 at the Old Rockhouse.

This Morning I am Born Again: top Album picks #16 Yonder is the Clock

The Felice Brothers' albums have become slightly less enjoyable - mainly due to too much album-filler. But just as I passed through Yonder Is The Clock to check inventory, I remembered just how good the good ones are. Ian Felice can strike my fancy just as easily with a raucous barn-burner as he can with a plaintive dirge

Front Porch Musings #1 Song of 2009

1. The Felice Brothers - Run Chicken Run

And finally, the best song of the year. What do I have to say about it? Nothing other than if you see The Felice Brothers live and happen to catch this song in their set, I have no doubt that you'll understand why it is my number 1.

Phew, hope you enjoyed it...That was a fun little project for what I think was one of the best years of music I can remember. Here's to 2010 being the same...

here top Albums of 2009 includes the Duke and the King

10 Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown (Reprise): Not sure if this Queenly thunderclap is as good as 2004's American Idiot, but Before the Lobotomy is GD's best song of the decade. So there.

9 Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz (Interscope): Karen O, the Ichabod Cranial leader of this NYC art-pop trio, is the most fascinating frontwoman in rock. Maybe the scariest, too. If they ever reopen Studio 54, the first song played should be the YYYs Zero.

8 The Dead Weather, Horehound (Third Man): So jarring, so hard, so good, this supergrouping of Jack White and Kills femme fatale Alison Mosshart is the sound of would-be paramours trying to love each other to death — with Uzis if necessary.

7 Them Crooked Vultures, Them Crooked Vultures (Interscope): Do Dave Grohl and Jack White have a bet on who can form the most side projects? The Foo Fighter and his yowling pal Josh Homme join Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones for a hairy-knuckled trip to Misty Mountain.

6 Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation): The completion of Hova's decadelong trilogy merges soul samples and a quick-lipped lesson to young MCs itching to take down the king. Rap is a young man's game — unless Shawn Carter says it's not.

5 Gliss, Devotion Implosion (Cordless): Imagine if Raymond Chandler had an apartment in Melrose Place. Or Philip Marlowe dated one of the Olsen twins. This L.A. trio takes "noir rock" a la Jesus and Mary Chain and spices it with the wobbly hookup mores of the Sunset Strip.

4 Wolfmother, Cosmic Egg (Interscope): No surprise here: The '70s-stuck stoner-rocking Aussies might be my favorite new band of the Aughties. Andrew Stockdale & Co. indulge in stoopid head-banging dude rock — and I can't get enough of it.

3 The Duke and the King, Nothing Gold Can Stay (Ramseur): These Woodstock-born folkies feature Simone Felice (of the Felice Brothers) conjuring the puff-puff-pass spirit of Cat Stevens and related '70s bonfire studs. The best band name of the year refers to the con artists in Huckleberry Finn.

2St. Vincent, Actor (4AD/ADA): She's Cinderella with a taste for blood. Or maybe Beauty and the Bjork. Trying to figure out the electro-clashing dreamscapes and labyrinthine lyrics of a.k.a. Annie Clark from Oklahoma is creepy, mesmerizing fun.

1Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson, Break Up (Rhino/WEA): Scruffy busker Yorn makes a postmodern duets album that acknowledges both the frustration and kinky pull of our celebrity-driven culture. Like a lithe, cig-pulling lust object from some Francophilic fantasy, the saucer-eyed ScarJo represents our love/hate relationship with Lohan et al. — but wow, she can sing, too.

#79 best country album of the decade: Yonder is the Clock

Country Universe

Felice Brothers, Yonder is the Clock

The Felice Brothers are the least-known among the members of ‘The Big Surprise Tour’ headlined by Old Crow Medicine Show and featuring Dave Rawlings Machine with Gillian Welch, and Justin Townes Earle. Melding country-rock and folk-rock, they are roots-influenced and made their start playing in the subway. While it may take an extremely big tent to call them “country,” consistent Dylan comparisons make Yonder is the Clock hard to ignore. – William Ward

Green Leaf Blog 9 top albums of 2009 (Yonder is the Clock)

Yonder is the Clock #4

04 – The Felice Brothers – Yonder is the Clock – This album contains my favorite song of the year in “Cooperstown”…a great and unique work with exceptional songwriting and great atmosphere, this one is exceptional.

Hearsoundswrite: Yonder is named #2 album of '09

When the Felice Brothers took the stage of the North Charleston Performing Arts Center in February, as the opening act for Old Crow Medicine Show, I was giddy for a set of songs from their charming yet derivative 2008 self-titled album. I hoped they'd open with a Dylan/Band rewrite like "Little Ann", "Take This Bread", or "Frankie's Gun". Instead, the band launched into a bounding, fiddle-heavy chase theme ostensibly titled "Run, Chicken, Run". Wow, I thought. This sounds...kinda like they should sound. The singer's voice is natural, in no way straining for Dylan's nasal wheeze or Levon Helms' aw-shucks drawl. When Yonder Is the Clock dropped a few months later, it was evident that they were washing their hands of the Dylan-clone stigma (although it'll be tough to dodge the comparisons when Ian is such a ringer, vocally). Look no further than track number one, the aptly name "The Big Surprise". Rising into a piercing climax in the form of a sharp fiddle note/drum hit 1-2 punch, the rest of the album isn't quite so foreign but still seems distinctly Felice, at least more so than anything before. "Penn Station" takes the train-song archetype and validates it with a superbly thrilling chorus. Slow, aching lament "Buried in Ice" tells the story of an unfrozen and reanimated body, questioning his futuristic revivers for not saving his beloved as well. Unfortunately, what would be an A+ album is marred by the inclusion of a barnhouse demo take of standard "Memphis Flu", clearly an aesthetic decision, but one that drags on for over two minutes and would have benefited from full production. Still, the album is a lunge in the right direction for a band that might have maintained a level of success as career Dylan/Band sycophants. It's to their credit that they're not content with emulation, something they've to proven with Yonder Is the Clock.

Something Obscure: Best Albums of 2009

Best Albums of 2009
Posted on November 27th, 2009 in Music
Keep it Hid – Dan Auerbach This is the kind of album you hope for, especially from a bluesman like Auerbach. I think this is better than the Black Keys stuff if for no other reason than the addition of the more acoustic blues tracks like “Trouble Weighs A Ton”; these kind of moments add depth and contrast to Auerbach’s take on Americana.
It’s Blitz – Yeah Yeah Yeahs Just awesome pop bliss; I agree with Zinner that this band’s music would fit right into a John Huges film. “Heads Will Roll”.
Backspacer – Pearl Jam The best PJ album since Vitalogy. It’s full of energy. Listen to “Got Some”.
Before the Frost… – The Black Crowes The band’s best music since Amorica. Good to know they still got it.
Yonder is the Clock – The Felice Brothers A nice slice of Americana. This album sneaked up on me, and it might do some more sneaking up this list before long