SHOW REVIEW: The Felice Brothers At Union Transfer

On Thursday night, The Felice Brothers entertained a large crowd of folk lovers at Union Transfer. Their fan favorites combined with recent releases off their album Favorite Waitress called for an exciting show. The show kicked off with the mellow folk of Robert Ellis which was extremely relaxing on the ears. The contrast between the softness of Ellis and barnyard-brawl-like commotion of The Felice Brothers was what the crowd wanted, as more and more people filled in to pack the house for the headliner.

The amount of energy shown by The Felice Brothers was wild. Greg Farley on fiddle was especially rambunctious when it came to getting the crowd involved. He waved his bow into the air like a conductor and shouted the lyrics for the call and response part to the fans to get them screaming back at him. “Lion” made the crowd start dancing immediately and the rustic venue worked really well with the folk rock the band produced. James Felice on accordion has a tremendous amount of charisma and you can’t help falling for his ruggedness. He would smile and laugh to his accordion like it was his favorite puppy and during “Woman Next Door,” he wooed the crowd on piano.

There was some awkwardness in the show when it came to the setup of the stage. Vocalist Ian Felice and bassist Josh “Christmas Clapton” Rawson shared one microphone, which meant during songs where they sang different lines non-simultaneously, they had to keep backing away to let the other one use the mic next. They were also positioned very close to the edge of stage left. James Felice did a lot of singing on center stage, and it made it seem like his brother at the end of the stage was an afterthought.

Felice Brothers at Union Transfer

Felice Brothers at Union Transfer

There’s so much to praise about The Felice Brothers’ performance, like the individuality of the band members. Rawson on bass was on the quieter side, but his bass playing was spot-on. David Estabrook on drums kept the crowds’ cowboy boots thumping on the floor all night. Farly traded his fiddle in for a washboard for a song for that special little kick. The folk rock that the brothers and friends created is something that even country haters can enjoy. The accordion and fiddle add to the country-like vibe, but they have the energy of a full on rock band.


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