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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Felice Brothers - The Felice Brothers


The Felice Brothers are three American siblings [and one mate] that live the hobo lifestyle in a beaten up old van, slugging whisky and singing old-fashioned yarns of jailhouses, alcohol, drugs, woozy romance and family ties. Their UK debut album, 2007’s Tonight At The Arizona, snuck onto the shelves almost unnoticed, yet those who chanced upon it couldn’t have failed to be bowled over by its cracked beauty. Now, with their follow-up, they have crafted an even more incredible record.

The most immediately striking aspect of The Felice Brothers’ gritty Americana is vocalist Ian Felice, who sounds unerringly reminiscent of Bob Dylan. However, his delivery during gentle folk opener Little Anne proves that this is no cheap imitation; his voice is genuine, real and breathtaking.

Following this, the tempo is raised with the ivory-tinkling, horn-blowing The Greatest Show On Earth and the barnstorming, accordion-led Frankie’s Gun. Later, St Stephen’s End offers understated guitar before Ian Felice opens the barroom romp, Love Me Tenderly, with endearing, Tom Waits-style rambling.

With 15 tracks taking over an hour to play out, The Felice Brothers feels like a good, old fashioned album which you would be well advised to hurry out and buy right now and, while you’re at it, hunt down a copy of their previous record too. When it comes to honest, raw American folk, The Felice Brothers are the best band around right now. Trust me, while that may seem like high praise, there is jawdropping beauty here that is all too rare nowadays.

Review by Rob Townsend
Read Rob's review of Celebration, Florida, here.

1 comment:

doubtfulsounds said...

great record, up there in my top 20 list for 2008... currently sitting at #4. Their set on daytrotter.com is fantastic.