The Felice Brothers | Yonder Is the Clock

Team Love (2009)
By ROB TURBOVSKY  |  April 28, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars

090501_Felice_m

You want to believe that an album like Yonder Is the Clock is conjured rather than recorded — preferably with beards and whiskey in a bathtub cauldron. Even if these songs aren't happy accidents, the raggedness is sincere enough to make me a convert.

Singer/guitarist Ian Felice hits his lines and chords like an agreeable Dylan, alternating between boozy, hootenanny-style stomps and wistful ballad wind-downs. "Run Chicken Run" and "Memphis Flu" will have you reaching for your least ironic pair of dancing overalls, but as on any good record, the songs that swing do so with a touch of chaos and despair, whereas the slower tunes (the elegiac "All When We Were Young") nearly quiver with it.

Whatever their giddy feelings about fate, the Brothers Felice — Ian, accordion/organ/piano player James, and drummer Simone — plus washboardist/fiddler Greg Farley and a bassist with the unlikely name of Christmas Clapton are sure that rail-riding hobos had the best parties. Yonder Is the Clock makes the case for looking outward again, into the spaces and stories of America's endless highway. It's more moonshine than miracle, yet the sound can still transport you to the basement of a ramshackle mountain house in 1967. You'll know the place, and the relief will be revelatory: even in the 2009 economy, Big Pink is worth something.
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