I was mesmerized a couple years back when I first heard The Felice Brothers, an upstate New York band that sounds like Dylan and The Band if they'd gotten together before Dylan went electric.
Theirs is a rowdy and ramshackle type of folk music, and though I can't help but wonder still what they hell the album title Tonight At The Arizona means, it was one of my top albums in 2007, particularly the spooky robber ballad "Hey Hey, Revolver," recorded in a converted chicken coop and prominently featuring a nearby lightning strike.
Then I heard "Frankie's Gun!" one of their earlier tracks that was subsequently re-released on last year's self-titled album. An accordion romp and easy sing-along, the song drives along an easy groove, but lyrically it's rooted in an unexpected double-cross that ends the partnership of two small-time hoods.
I saw the band play at the Outside Lands Festival last August in San Francisco and I'd see them again at the drop of a hat. They're a swinging and stomping band on stage, with a full-steam-ahead energy that makes their songs 10 times as big as they sound on record.
The band's new album, Yonder Is The Clock, is set for an April 7 release, on Team Love Records, and if this new preview track is any indication, The Felice Brothers are still in the middle of quite an ascension.
The Felice Brothers - Run Chicken Run
The Felice Brothers - Frankie's Gun!