Hal Denbar is never wrong. Whenever I get a message from him telling me to check out a band, it is guaranteed to be a winner. He first introduced me to FAS's own Black Joe Lewis, and recently a group called The Felice Brothers. I cannot stop listening to their album, and it was too hard to pick a single song to represent this week's Friday Afternoon Song so I chose two.
THE FELICE BROTHERS
"Theirs is a world of moons and moonshine, mountains and cabins, a place where men get drunk on Jack Daniels and stalk off, guns in hand, to confront their cuckolding wives. The Tennessee-bred Kings of Leon sang about a familiar world... but while those siblings were blessed with a fashion sense and rugged good looks, the Felices are ragged, scruffy, and dirty-faced. They're a pack of earth-stained country boys from the wilds of the Catskill Mountains..."
The Felice Brothers - which originally consisted of 3 real life brothers, which one eventually left to start his own group - got their start playing a their father's afternoon barbecues for his fellow carpenter colleagues, and eventually moved their show to the New York subway system. They began doing small tours and putting out a couple records on their own dime. Playing at arts festivals and folk festivals the brothers slowly got momentum and notoriety from their lively, upbeat live shows, and word quickly spread. They began touring with some larger acts (most notably Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band last fall) and landed their first record deal in 2007 from a European label.
The band now consists of two of the brothers, Ian and James, and their friend Christmas (bass player who was previously a traveling dice player... really), and Greg Farley (who plays the washboard and fiddle).
The vocals are uncannily reminiscent of Bob Dylan - that is if Bob Dylan was in tune.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
"Frankie's Gun!" by The Felice Brothers
"Take This Bread" by The Felice Brothers