Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, March 23

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Review: Yelle @ Bottom Lounge, 5/6 Review: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead & Surfer Blood »

Review Sun May 08 2011

Review: The Felice Brothers @ Lincoln Hall

scrap•py/ˈskrapē/Adjective: Consisting of disorganized, untidy, or incomplete parts; Fragmented; Full of fighting spirit. There is no other word which more accurately summates The Felice Brothers set Friday night at Lincoln Hall; from the musical arrangements, to the plaid shirts and shaggy haircuts. The down-home five piece, consisting of a pair of Catskill raised brothers surnamed Felice, a former traveling diceman and two close friends, can't help but make authentic, backcountry folk-rock music. But as down-home as that may sound, they are most certainly not just another backporch washboard band. They took their root sound and disjointed and dirtied it up with an old-world like accordion, 808's, trumpets, samples and synthesizers (yes, synthesizers).

The ragtag bunch took the stage, to an almost full house, lead by the Dylan-like vocals of Ian Felice (guitar/vocals) and supported by James Felice (accordion/keyboards/part-time vocals), Christmas Clapton (bass/part-time vocals/former diceman), Greg Farley (fiddle/drum machine/part-time drummer) and Dave Turbeville (full-time drums). They've gained a certain notoriety over the past five years, particularly due to a Newport Folk Fest set in which they played acoustically because of a weather induced power outage, but also for getting their start as subway musicians and recording their first three albums in chicken coops — Like I said, scrappy. After a few warm up songs, the recognition was obvious and on lips of the front row Lincoln Hall crowd — most of them repeated lyrics back to the band while dancing in a disorganized manner.

Felice Brothers (photos by Ryan Bourque)

The set started out in true Dylan fashion, with the workingman song, "Hey Hey Revolver" (Hire me on better grounds /I can't afford no gas/I walk to work on the overpass/My teenage daughter's knocked up). But, unlike Dylan, their story lines don't necessarily follow any particular themes. There was "Let Me Come Home", about a poor boy begging to be welcomed home (the accordion lent the song a Scottish-folk feel), "Run Chicken Run" a foot-stomping jam about a girl in trouble, and "Ponzi" which starts out with a sample and chronicles the financial scandal of a wallstreet type from the viewpoint of his wife (get it, Ponzi!). They also played with some shifty characters — like a seedy women who pops Aderall or a couple of guys who robbed a warehouse and raced around in a shot up Honda Civic.

Felice Brothers (photos by Ryan Bourque)

Departing from financial scandal, The Felice Brothers slipped into dancehalls with "Back in the Dancehalls". The song, somewhat appropriately, intro'd with an electronic drum beat provided by the 808 drum machine, but its tempo evened out to melodic lull mid song, while the lyrics confessed the band's love for comedian Richard Pryor. Before winding the evening down, the other Felice, James, hopped on the mic for the crowd favorite and barroom sing-along, "Whiskey in my Whiskey" — a little inconsistent with the bottle of Patron onstage but who's paying that much attention? And, in "Fire at the Pagent", the group yelled "Fire" in unison at the crowd to background sirens and children shouting. At one point Farley (fiddle) joined Turbeville on the drums and, like a four-armed drummer the two banged out the track together. Finally, calming us all down, Ian cupped the microphone while he crooned out the caring, love song "Lady Day".

The Felice Brother's fourth album, Celebration Florida, released on Fat Possum, is out Tuesday, May 10th. Definitely worth checking out.

GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15