The Felice Brothers: Slicked back, brash, and soaked in scotch.

by That Guy on May 27, 2008

Felice Brothers Cover Art

Holy crap. These guys are better than I could have even imagined. Oz did a post on the Felice Brothers’ first album, Tonight at the Arizona, back in October. I listened to the free track he posted, “Ballad of Lou the Welterweight,” and was instantly intrigued. Then, back in March, The Felice Brothers released their self-titled full-length and I was completely blown away. It’s my favorite album of the year so far. I know I said the same thing about Pete Molinari a couple weeks ago, but this is better.

Oz had mentioned in his post that Tonight at the Arizona didn’t have a standout track. Quite the contrary on the new album – there are plenty. I’ve had it but a couple weeks and here are my current Play Counts according to iTunes:

Love Me Tenderly – 43
Greatest Show On Earth – 38
Frankie’s Gun – 34
Wonderful Life – 25

As soon as I listened to the opening verse of “Love Me Tenderly,” I was hooked on the lyrics: “My baby told me, ‘Darlin, if you can’t get a pardon, better get a parole.'” Lead singer Ian Felice sings and writes lyrics with a gun-waving, sneering swagger. He continues “I left my blue-eyed lady and went with Tony Mercedes to the gambling ring. I lost my diamond watch, but in the parking lot I took it back again.” This is great American music the way it was meant to be played – slicked back, brash, and soaked in scotch.

The accompanying music fits perfectly – old-time piano is the primary driver, with the occasional organ, a good dose of horns, and subtle guitar work all laid over a bed of percussion. The first tickle of the ivories gives you that old-time piano parlor feeling, even though neither of us have ever been in one.

It’s the type of music that makes you want to round up your buddies, hit the local watering hole, and chase some good old-fashioned skirt. Think Trent and Sue at the Dresden in Swingers crossed with a badass Emilio Estevez in Young Guns. That was weird. Anyway, I can’t recommend this album highly enough. I think you’ll like what you hear below.

The Felice Brothers – Frankie’s Gun

The Felice Brothers – Wonderful Life

You can also find some of our live footage of The Felice Brothers at SXSW 2008.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

oz May 27, 2008 at 10:13 am

On love me tenderly, how did you ignore the line “a bottle of scotch, [throat clear], a dime sack and a diamond watch, wouldn’t you like that.” Great lyrics.

nittanyroar May 27, 2008 at 11:47 am

You’re most played tracks from the new album are almost identical to mine, all the same songs but not in that order…very strange. I can’t say enough good things about this album though. When I first heard it I went out of my way to turn people on to them because I felt it needed to be heard. When I saw them perform a few weeks ago they played some new songs they wrote while on the road, the songs were fantastic which left me wondering what else these guys have in store for us fans.

jesselun May 28, 2008 at 5:27 am

“Oh man, the Doobie Brothers broke up?!”

Jason May 29, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Fantastic! I had heard of these guys but never had a chance to check them out until today. They’re awesome! Good call. Great call.

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