The Felice Brothers
The Felice Brothers
You know that feeling when a friend introduces you to a restaurant you've never been to before? The hidden gem on a side street in the part of town you never frequent, with a menu that owns some of the best food you've ever eaten. You find yourself eagerly seeking out this restaurant on your own, then suddenly dragging other friends along so they can find out for themselves how great it is. Well... In this case the "Friend" was the French motorcycle blog Riding September, and the "Restaurant" was The Felice Brothers. I immediately fell in love with what was put under my nose, their song "Frankie's Gun", and returned several times to enjoy what sounded to be The Band reincarnated. Soon I found myself trying different items, and ultimately the entire menu, or album in this case. Like it was a big steamy plate of chicken carbonara, I dove right in, and the sauce and satisfied smile lingered on my face for a while afterwards.
At first I was under the impression that The Felice Brothers were a band from the 70's that I had never heard of before. I asked my mother if she had ever heard this amazing song before, to which she declared she hadn't but looked like she should have. "Frankie's Gun" opens with a lone accordion squeezing beefy chords, then enters the band, and then the singer. His voice is the epitome of 70's country rock, casual and rough and real. The song is about a man who kills another while "picking up some cargo" from Chicago. There's money involved, and the protagonist seems to be skimming some off the top. It just seems to be a classic, but, to my surprise, was released in 2008 on The Felice Brothers, self titled album.
From there I knew I had to taste everything else. Some songs were bland, others spicy, a few were rich and others were balanced perfection (Frankie's Gun among them). With a palate ranging from jangly country to folk and roots, rock, blues, and a pinch of musical oddity thrown in like salt, this album touches many taste buds. Some songs would appeal to a Beatles fan, others to CCR lovers. Doobie Brothers? Sure! And if you like Tom Waits, you'll love chewing on this.
Stand out tracks aside from "Frankie's Gun" include "Take This Bread", "Love Me Tenderly" and "Murder by Mistletoe".
I find it funny when people complain that today's music is all terrible, kind of like how some think that fast food is "real" food which deserves critiquing. You have to ignore the radio and MTV and do some searching of your own, great bands like The Felice Brothers are out there waiting, just like that little place on that side street. They exhibit timeless talent and a taste for real music, patching up the gap between classic and new.
Hey, by the way, you have to check out this restaurant …
Find The Felice Brothers on iTunes and see the video featuring "Frankie's Gun" at www.ridingseptember.blogspot.ca