Gig review: The Felice Brothers, Glasgow

The Felice Brothers. Picture:
The Felice Brothers. Picture:
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GLASGOW’S No Mean City season of Americana gigs was kicked off in intermittently rambunctious style by this band of brothers – two blood and the rest spiritual – who hail originally from the Catskills and play their own version of mountain music.

The Felice Brothers


Star rating: * * *

With roots in the languorous country rock of Neil Young and The Band, a kinship with the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show and a spare toe in the land of indie rock, co-frontman Ian Felice displayed a Dylanesque relationship with pitch –teetering like a functioning alcoholic on the brink of tunefulness at times, but pulling through with insouciant personality in his tone and some natural storytelling phrasing.

Brother James was a safer pair of lungs when it came to the high lonesome harmonies. Theirs is a pick and mix relationship with country music – with James at the keyboard, the mood turned reflective and often bittersweet.

But they always scored with the audience, pints thrust in the air in appreciation when they whooped it up on the devil-may-care bluegrass numbers, making that fundamental transatlantic connection between drinking and dancing on a cover of country standard Rocky Top, their own grizzly Penn Station and especially Whiskey In My Whiskey – a tale of murder on the dancefloor with some Cajun flourishes on accordion and a cheeky wee burst of Scotland The Brave dropped in on the fiddle.

Seen on 28.08.14