Simone Felice leaves The Felice Brothers and starts new band, The Duke and The King

by oz on April 25, 2009

The Duke And The King

At SxSW, I spoke to James Felice briefly and asked why Simone (the drummer Felice Brother that sounds like Cat Stevens) was absent from the band. He said something about him not being able to make the trip and then we moved on to some other topic, like how great ice cold beer tastes.

I know we’ve got some Felice Brothers fans out there, so this may be old news to you. I just read it the other day and thought I’d share. Here’s the news, as written by Simone Felice in an open letter:

Dear Friends and Family, this is just a little note to show my deepest gratitude for all the letters and concern I’ve received over my absence from The Felice Brothers stage over the past few months, and for the boundless love and belief you’ve shown for our music over the years.

This winter has been a time of tragedy, sadness, and regeneration in my life. I’d been working on a new book and recording some songs with my dear old friend Robert close to home in the Catskill Mountains and my long time love and I were expecting our first child. Then in late January out of the blue we lost our baby girl and it really broke my heart and turned my world inside out. In the process of mourning it helped a lot to turn some of the sorrow and revelation into songs and after a while I came back to Robert and I’s cabin/studio to put them down and to finish the other recordings we started.

I’ve been writing a lot this past year, and seeing as my role in the band was always more of a supportive one (helping with lyrics, drumming, harmonies and the occasional lead vocal) I’ve been compelled to find a vehicle that would help me be able to share all these new songs and stories. So I hope you like The Duke & The King, the songs mean a lot to us, being as they are, after all, the soundtrack of a long fateful winter. We’ll be playing a handful of debut shows come spring, and I’ll be working on finishing the novel and spending more time close to home. The boys have a couple great drummers working with them now (chief among them our close friend Jeremy ‘The Searcher’ who’s produced all our records and was one of my most important drum teachers in the long ago, and Dave, an awesome young hitter who I’ve had the privilege of working with this spring to pass on some of the stank codes of our tradition), and they all have a very strong and dynamite vision of how to carry the music and poetry we’ve all made together into the future. I’ll be making special appearances at Felice shows from time to time to share the stage with my brothers as they support ‘Yonder Is The Clock’ and beyond, something I look forward to with an earnest and warm heart.

It’s very nice that I can be candid in sharing these heavy life changes with you guys, though the comfort I feel in doing so is no surprise considering how loving and supportive you’ve been in helping us build this big old crazy family together, a family as sacred as it is rowdy! Please know that it really is you all who’ve made this never-ending story of ours possible, and that this knowledge has never and will never be lost on me.

All my love and a thousand thanks always, Simone.

Songs: Illinois posted the first mp3 from Simone’s new project, The Duke and The King. Head over there to hear “If You Ever Get Famous” or visit the band on MySpace to hear more.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

nittanyroar April 25, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Let’s hope he gets through this OK and eventually returns with his brothers to bang the shit out of those drums again.

Baron Lane April 26, 2009 at 10:43 pm

That is heartbreaking. I hope he comes out well and resumes the great work he started with the Brothers.

Some dude October 31, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Life sometime just doesn’t seem fair. Feelings get hurt, stomped, and tossed. Time will heal pain. But pain is relative. pain will heal hurt, but hurt is coy. Tragedy brings togetherness…… Put it down in a song, paper, a friends ear… not to the rock, booze, or pill. Wake to the next day and take on the adventure…….
Some Dude

treece June 4, 2010 at 7:58 am

Just heard about Simone’s open heart surgery. Be well, brother.

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