hungry hearted

serving up a healthy portion of pop culture commentary, random infatuations, and introspective ramblings

Mountain Jams

As I prepare for a weekend camping excursion to the Guadalupe Mountains in west Texas, it seems only natural that I would find myself spinning a constant rotation of gritty stripped-down Americana music, namely that of the Felice Brothers. Something about their humble, introspective, turbulent tales, and the landlocked adventures depicted in their lyrical focus provides a basic and instinctual companion. They offer a Dylan-esque honesty which just about anyone with a pulse and a conscience can relate to. WDST Radio Woodstock describes them as,

A bunch of slouching Hudson River pirates, the Felice Brothers are. They're natives of the same wooded portion of Upstate New York that was the sometimes physical and always mythical home of The Band.

I think the geographical influence (as it applies to The Band, Dylan and the Felice Brothers, collectively) is truly fascinating, primarily because I grew up in the same region. It's not hard to picture the boys jamming out on a front porch at a Sunday barbecue. Their authentic, down-home music feels like an organic extension of their environmental influence. To me, it's just as beautiful and refreshing as the Catskills.

"Trouble Been Hard", from The Adventures of The Felice Brothers, Vol. I

The band consists of three brothers (Ian, Simone and James) and their best friend Christmas, who is rumored to have been a traveling dice player. True to form, The Felice Brothers tour in a 1987 short-bus and paid their dues performing in New York City Subways. They were "discovered" at a farm market in Brooklyn by a free-lanced music writer, and have since toured with Bright Eyes and The Drive-By Truckers. Conor Oberst's label, Team Love Records, will be producing their American-debut, The Adventures of The Felice Brothers, Vol. I, which is set for release March 4th [pre-order here]. The double-vinyl version drops in April.


Related links:

Langerado Music Festival
BrooklynVegan: The Felice Brothers
Myspace: The Felice Brothers
(Worth checking out for the new songs, which are AMAZING.)
HypeMachine Stream of the Felice Brothers


Since I wrote this I've had two important facts brought to my attention.

  1. There are currently five members in the Felice Brothers: the three brothers, Christmas, and Greg Farley.
  2. I actually had the pleasure of meeting a couple of the guys last time I was home, but never heard their tunes until recently.