AmericanA to Z: Simone Felice

When Simone was thirteen, he died. He flatlined in a frozen New York state January after suffering a brain haemorrhage. No one expected him to make it, but somehow he did. The doctors had to remove a part of his brain associated with music, art, and creativity. He should never have been able to play music, but somehow he did. Felice has spoken about this experience on stage, and about the resultant feeling that his life is borrowed, or somehow not his own. He speaks with a strangeness and intensity that seems to flow out of the depths of his very being. This same, almost spiritual, intensity is embodied in all his music, from the frenetic, joyful caterwauling of The Felice Brothers, to the intimate vulnerability of his solo records. He is Lazarus Presley. Risen from the dead to play rock’n’roll. Continue reading “AmericanA to Z: Simone Felice”

Simone Felice + Diana DeMuth, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, 15th January 2020

The Slaughtered Lamb is a tiny space for a headliner as big as Simone Felice – it’s a basement room below a pub with maybe a capacity of a hundred, or a hundred and fifty at a push, set up with tables, stools, side benches and a standing area behind all of these. No surprise then that it was already near full for support Diane DeMuth, whose new album ‘Rose of Nantucket‘ was produced by Simone Felice. DeMuth is a leather jacketed troubadour with a powerful voice. Her set found its ground with what were – more or less – love songs, but really hit its stride with the songs that had that Felice influence. Continue reading “Simone Felice + Diana DeMuth, The Slaughtered Lamb, London, 15th January 2020”

Simone Felice, Leaf, Manchester, 30th April 2019

Dressed in black jeans, black shirt and a crumpled black jacket; with unkempt hair and a greying, wispy beard, Simone Felice shuffled unceremoniously on to the stage to open the first of two sets he delivered tonight.  Accompanied for the evening by only his acoustic guitar, Felice gave a cursory nod to his audience before opening the evening with the familiar ‘One More American Song’ from the 2009 The Duke and The King album ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’. From the start, a hushed room hung on every note and every word and this remained the case for the remainder of the night. Continue reading “Simone Felice, Leaf, Manchester, 30th April 2019”

Simone Felice, Mackintosh Queen’s Cross Church, Glasgow, 13th May 2018

When Simone Felice and his brothers went to high school they would hop on a bus in their hamlet of Palenville and ride thirty minutes or so to the county town of Catskill, passing a mural of its most celebrated resident: Iron Mike – The Dynamite Kid. After Tyson fell from grace the mural became neglected and eventually disappeared. Fleeting fame is a recurring theme in Simone Felice’s work. Tonight  he half sang, half spoke a vaguely recognisable rhyme that eventually revealed itself as the chorus of ‘Fast Car’, “Be someone …” then seguing neatly into ‘If You Ever Get Famous’. This is one of three “The Duke and the King” songs performed tonight from his acclaimed post Felice Brothers project from around 2010, a critically praised partnership that doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Continue reading “Simone Felice, Mackintosh Queen’s Cross Church, Glasgow, 13th May 2018”

Interview: Simone Felice

A long time has passed since we witnessed a shirtless, sweating Felice clambering over a rickety drum kit hollering “Yankees In The House” at  The Basement in Nashville after an incendiary Felice Brothers show that was described on this very site as ‘the future of rock’n’roll.’ These days Felice is one of the golden boys on the Americana scene, a stunning, at times ethereal songwriter that is known for live shows that really leave a mark. His new album ‘The Projector’ is arguably his best yet, a poignant, lo-fi masterstroke of a record that will only enhance Felice’s reputation as a heart-breaker and soul searcher.   AUK’s Alan O’Hare talks to the New York songwriter ahead of May UK dates.  Continue reading “Interview: Simone Felice”