Entries in The Felice Brothers (3)


The Felice Brothers - "Life in the Dark" ***Album Release*** ***Visible Voice Session***

With the way things are going in the world these days, we can at least take solace in the fact there’s a new Felice Brothers record. Life in the Dark, out June 24 on Yep Roc records, is Americana music perfect for today’s fitful America. The band sounds cynical, weary, but wise - and mostly grinning through it all.

The record springs to life with “Aerosol Ball”, a lively tune that sounds positive if it were not dripping with dystopian lines. And even if things are dire, the band seems to point out silver lining. On the album’s title track for example, Ian Felice uncoils lines like “They’re burning the heretics again / it’s awfully bright.”

Felice’s forked tongue is still in cheek on “Jack at the Asylum” when he toasts the country for all of it’s grandeur but also it’s ugliness.  “I’ve seen your pastures of green / the crack whores. The wars on the silver screens.” But things get more earnest on the album’s standout track “Triumph ‘73”, a four minute goodbye to a lost lover with a town in the rearview mirror, told from a solitary rider on a speeding motorcycle.

Which is not to say the album is devoid of fun. Throughout the record, the band’s snide smiles and perky instrumentation keep the whole affair afloat. “Dancing on the Wing” is a jam, even if the plane happens to be going down. “Sally” is a 90-second (mostly) instrumental stomper.

On the whole, the record is a keeper. Its lyrics reward repeat listens and the tunes rattle around between the ears after the album stops. It’s a poignant reminder that our time is running out, which sucks, but all the more reason to have fun along the way.

PreOrder "Life in the Dark" and Catch the Felice Brothers on  tour!



Words by Brian Hodge

Video by Adam Richert & Maurice Morales


Green River Festival recap

By Seth Mitchell

Who would have thought that a family friendly festival - complete with children’s tent and a train - could actually rock?  Green River Music Festival in Greenfield, MA blew all preconceptions from my mind.  Now in its 24th year, the Green River Festival, which is held on the sprawling campus of Greenfield Community College, has had time to work out the kinks that plague most music festivals.  Great performers, shows that actually start on time, plenty of bathrooms and an air conditioned shuttle to transport festival- goers from the free parking lots can even make up for the lack of any on-site camping (though there are plenty of nearby state and private campgrounds, and even a few hotels).   

Families and children made up the majority of the crowd, and led to its overall friendly “mom and pop” atmosphere.  Umbrellas, chairs, and blankets took up 3/4 of the field, but allowed for those intrepid enough to actually sit on the ground or -gasp!- stand for a set to catch even the largest acts from the first or second row without any trouble.

Musical highlights of the weekend included:

A set by North Carolina bluegrass veterans Chatham County Line.  The well-dressed string quartet, who have released five albums over the past 7 years, brought huge cheers from the western MA crowd.  Their foot stomping fiddle and banjo playing brought an uncommon intimacy to the early Saturday afternoon that set the tone for the rest of the festival. 

Chatham County Line bring their folk-bluegrass to the main stageThe Felice Brothers, one of my most-anticipated sets at Green River, didn’t disappoint.  These rag-tag folk-rockers (complete with cut-off t-shirts and bandanas) mashed southern rock into bluegrass and folk in a way that would make Dylan or The Band proud.

James Felice rocking the accordion with the rest of the brothersDavid Wax Museum, one of the most energetic and entertaining acts out there, were the only performers of the festival (that I saw, anyway) to get a standing ovation large enough to warrant an encore- at which point the surprised festival planners wisely ushered the band back onstage.  Playing in the side tent, David Wax Museum whipped the crowd into a dancing frenzy with their Mexicana/folk-rock mix, with a sound so unique that the only relatively apt description would be a hybrid of Calexico meets Elvis Perkins.  David Wax (the band’s namesake) has a smile and stage presence that recalls Josh Ritter, and with such diverse influences and instruments as donkey jawbones and upright basses, his talented “Museum” seems poised to break through to new audiences. 

David Wax Museum amongst the crowdI have to admit that as a Green River virgin I entered the weekend with a pessimist’s before-realized fears for remote location festivals (anyone else remember the ill-fated Shangri-La festival of 2008? No?) 24 years in, and only 2 hours from Boston or Albany, all fears for Green River were unfounded.  This festival will continue to survive based on the locals alone.  While it is obviously a different beast than, say, Bonnaroo, that difference is a positive one.  Low key and laid back, but also festive and much more manageable.  And probably the best thing about the Green River Music Festival?  With only two stages and intelligent scheduling, you can actually see all the bands that you drove so far for.


Preview: Green River Music Festival

There's something special about local music festivals - while Coachella and Bonnaroo are great, some of my favorite festival memories are from the more intimate local festivals.  And there's no better setting for live music, in my opinion, than outdoors in the clean air of the Berkshires.  Therefore, you can understand my excitement for next weekend's Green River Music Festival.  The festival, now in its 24th year (!), features an electic mix of music -- ranging from bluegrass to folk to R&B -- and both local and national artists.  Things kick-off Friday night with a free show headlined by Hi-Country Lo-Fi (Jeffrey Foucault and Kris Delmhorst) and extends through Sunday evening with sets from Allen Toussaint, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Low Anthem, Calexico, The Felice Brothers, David Wax Museum and many more.

Tickets are a very reasonable $60 for a weekend pass - available here

Enjoy a few free tracks from some of our Green River artists and watch visible voice for full post-festival coverage:

Allen Toussaint - Southern Nights
Calexico - Sunken Waltz
The Felice Brothers - Frankie's Gun
The David Wax Museum - Persimmon Tree

Full Green River lineup:

Friday July 16: High Country Lo-fi / Joy Kills Sorrow / Academy Freightshakers

Saturday July 17
Old Crow Medicine Show / Allen Toussaint / Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars / Sweetback Sisters / Chatham County Line / Joy Kills Sorrow / Brooks Williams / Donna The Buffalo / Red Stick Ramblers / Rubblebucket / Primate Fiasco / Gandalf Murphy / Fancy Trash

Sunday July 18
Cake / Calexico / The Felice Brothers / The Low Anthem / David Wax Museum / Lake Street Dive / Unit7 / Rusty Belle / Anais Mitchell