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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Give Me Whiskey-drenched New York Folk (and then a Spanish Harlem flashback)

The Felice Brothers aren't ironically named, because that's the predominant family name. But it does seem somewhat inappropriate. Felice means happy in Italian, but their themes aren't quite that. In fact, the content of their songs seems to owe a lot to the American songwriter tradition, where you sing about tribulations and heartbreak, basically. Although that's completely reductive and does nothing to elucidate the engaging, personal lyrics found in the Felice Brothers' songs, nor the musical appeal of what feels like a band you found in a bar in Mississippi in the late 60's. There's a few really easy ways to work out if you'll be interested in these guys: if you like Bob Dylan, check them out; if you like Tom Waits (when he's not being Rain Dogs weird), check them out; if you like Bruce Springsteen's blue-collar vignettes, check them out; if you liked the earthy beauty of the tones throughout Astral Weeks, check them out. In a more contemporary sort of way, I'd say they had the instrumental appeal of earlier Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the vocal ballpark of David Grey (but WAY less affected), and there's a comforting, plodding Yeasayer vibe too. And if you're listening to them and you think of Beirut and/or Great Lake Swimmers, I'll pay it. IMPORTANT NOTE: despite these comparisons, there is a bluesy, jazzy underscore to their tracks, which adds to the whole cigarettes and bourbon vibe. They're probably influenced by the greats from these musics which I'm too ignorant to be able to reference here. Their self-titled debut on Team Love is out now.

The Felice Brothers - Frankie's Gun
The Felice Brothers - Ruby Mae

Myspace | Team Love


Big Pun - Still Not A Player


1 comment:

Nat said...

Ah Big Pun - why did you have to go and leave Fat Joe behind....