One of the UK’s premier singer songwriters joins forces with one of the world’s best pedal steel players.
In The Kingdom Of Dreams is the debut solo album from Ian Felice of The Felice Brothers. The album was recorded in his childhood home of Palenville NY, with his brother Simone Felice on production duties. Simone produced and co-wrote recent hit albums from The Lumineers and Bat For Lashes. On the album, Ian was joined by the original Felice Brothers line-up of James Felice on keys, Simone Felice on drums and Josh Rawson on bass.
Ian has been the lead singer and songwriter for The Felice Brothers for over a decade. The band has put out nine records and toured ceaselessly throughout the world. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains he moved to New York when he was 18 to study art and soon after began writing songs and performing with his brothers Simone and James. The Felice Brothers was conceived in 2006 after the recording of Iantown, a 10 song album of Ian’s first songs recorded in one night in January of 2006. In the weeks and months that followed, The Felice Brothers began playing bars, restaurants and busking street corners and subways, joined by their friends Josh Rawson on bass and Greg Farley on the fiddle. They continue to play and work as a band after 12 years of prolific song writing and performance and the creation of some 9 albums of original material.
In The Kingdom of Dreams is a collection of songs Ian wrote in 2016 and recorded over the course of 4 days in February of 2017, with his brother Simone at the helm. As Ian explains :-
“When I began writing the songs that would become In The Kingdom Of My Dreams many were based on memories of my past but not necessarily all literal or in a logical sequence. I became interested in the pull between reality and unreality and also in how time affects memory. By the end of 2016 I was run down from touring America, riding out the storm of political mania and juggling a few personal dilemmas (including the revelation that I would soon be a father). The Kingdom Of Dreams became a place where I could escape from the numbing flood of data that permeates modern life and try to unravel pieces of my past, rearrange memories with dreams or lines from my imagination and construct something that functioned outside the limits of reality. Many of the songs deal with childhood memories of Palenville and its people, like the song “In Memoriam” which is partly about the death of my stepfather when I was 8, “Water Street” that confronts my fears of becoming a father, or “21st Century” that deals with mental illness and politics on a more universal level. It only seemed right that I should make the album there, along the green banks of the Katterskill Creek and with my brother Simone as producer. The result is a pretty reflective record that hopefully blows some cobwebs from the window of my psyche. Many of the things that I was writing at the time didn’t work as songs and so I published a companion book of poetry, Hotel Swampland.”
Robyn Hitchcock is one of England’s most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters and live performers. A surrealist poet, talented guitarist, cult artist and musician’s musician, Hitchcock is among alternative rock’s father figures and is the closest thing the genre has to a Bob Dylan (not coincidentally his biggest musical inspiration).
Since founding the art-rock band The Soft Boys in 1976, Robyn has recorded more than 20 albums as well as starred in ‘Storefront Hitchcock’ an in concert film recorded in New York and directed by Jonathan Demme.
Blending folk and psychedelia with a wry British nihilism, Robyn describes his songs as ‘paintings you can listen to’. His most recent album is self-titled and marks his 21st release as a solo artist. Out on April 21 2017, the album is produced by Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs). Hitchcock describes it as a “ecstatic work of negativity with nary a dreary groove.”
It has received rave reviews from UNCUT, Rolling Stone, Paste, Tidal and more.
“A gifted melodist, Hitchcock nests engaging lyrics in some of the most bracing, rainbow-hued pop this side of Revolver. He wrests inspiration not from ordinary life but from extraordinary imaginings…” – Rolling Stone
“These 10 gems slither, rock, roll, glide and shapeshift, coalescing around Hitchcock’s typically anxious, strained but striking and immediately identifiable vocals.” – American Songwriter
“Beloved of everyone from Led Zeppelin to REM, Hitchcock has only enhanced his status with this wonderful outing.” – Hot Press
“Witty, moving and seriously catchy, Robyn Hitchcock is a glorious return for a man who wasn’t really gone in the first place.” – Paste Magazine
This sit-down acoustic concert is to mark Oliver’s 70th birthday. The line-up is
CHUCK PROPHET AND STEPHANIE FINCH
LUCAS AND KING
Tickets only available from the Swiss Cottage Sessions page of this website.
PS. Sorry about cutting their heads off!
We’ve changed the format of the festival this year – hope you will enjoy it! We’re part of a great music festival on the Island and our stage will operate on the Saturday afternoon, July 14.
HYMN FOR HER
LUCAS AND KING
MA POLAINE’S GREAT DECLINE
ROBERT CHANEY AND LAURA TENSCHERT
Tickets are: https://www.rhythmtree.co.uk
SPECIAL GUEST: JINDER
A swift welcome back to a great band from LA.
“Genius twenty-first century musicians that are reinventing American heritage music for this century. And it sounds even better this century.”
T Bone Burnett | Telluride Film Festival
“From the first rolling guitar notes, carrying sadness and defiance like dust, this sweeps me up: I want to know everything about where that feeling came from, and where it’s going.”
Greil Marcus | Pitchfork
Anthony Wall | BBC 6
“Some of the best songwriting I’ve heard in years.”
Ryan Bingham | No Depression
Special guests: THE GLORIAS
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires are set to return to Europe for more festivals and shows August and Sept 2018. A successful run in August and Sept of 2017 in support of their third LP ‘Youth Detention on Don Giovanni records saw the band converting fans across the UK for one of the best live shows you will ever hear with one of the strongest messages.
The new double LP spans 17 songs, it is the band’s most ambitious work to date — a sprawling and visceral record given to both deep introspection and high-volume spiritual uplift. The Glory Fires’ music draws deeply from punk, but also soul, power pop, country, and gospel. The four piece from Birmingham, Alabama include Lee, Eric Wallace and brothers Adam & Blake Williamson. The band just finished touring across Europe with lead singer Lee Bains breaking his leg in the first week but no gigs were cancelled with the band hitting Holland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Norway.
Where The Glory Fires’ previous LP Dereconstructed (Subpop 2014) sought to dismantle one-dimensional notions of Southern identity and culture, Youth Detention has a similar, but more personal intent. “It’s about dismantling myself and the narratives that I’ve taken on,” explains Bains. “It’s an examination of youth and the processes through which we begin to consider ourselves, our identities, and what various communities we belong to or are in tension with.” Often, the songs detail moments in which cultural boundaries and biases become apparent — scenes in which systems of privilege and oppression become visible, particularly as they relate to race, class, and gender. Everyday settings — a church, a ballpark, a cafeteria — are revisited again and again, to explore these fleeting moments of revelation from different perspectives and roles. It’s a record defined by accumulation. Stories, images, and thoughts pile up to create confusion and cacophony in the narrative.
UNCUT magazine recently compared them to the best of Drive By Truckers Southern epic songs and says “Bains admits the influences of Britsh bands like The Kinks, Jam and Blur but also 80s college rockers such as The Primitons, Let’s Active and REM”
Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Battletapes with engineer Jeremy Ferguson and producer Tim Kerr, Youth Detention captures the band in raw form. Each song was cut live to tape, with the four performing in the same room without headphones or baffling. The result is thoroughly human, Lynn Bridges’ mix retaining the band’s live energy and looseness at the expense of a few out of tune strings. It’s equal parts careful curation and geographic inheritance. “It’s the sound of my place,” says Bains. “I want to know it. I want to argue with it. I don’t want to be a band from anywhere that could be doing anything. For me, that’s what punk is about — figuring out who I am and how to be the best version of myself. I can’t do that by pretending to be something I’m not.”
The songs are deeply rooted in Bains’ experience of his hometown, Birmingham, AL. Youth Detention depicts a Southern city in the decades surrounding the turn-of-the-millennium: in the throes of white flight, urban disinvestment, racial tension, class struggle, gentrification, gender policing, homophobia, xenophobia, religious fervor, deindustrialization, and economic upheaval.
The lyrics could ring true anywhere, though. The South exists in the world and, like the South, the world is increasingly beholden to many of these same tensions and forces. The songs on Youth Detention are meant as small acts of resistance to those systems. Documenting minor moments — the refusal to sit quietly through a display of bigotry, the act of quieting down and listening to somebody’s struggle, sticking up for friends targeted for their difference — that, hopefully, serve as the beginnings of a more profound awakening.
Special Guest: CHRISTOPHER REES
It’s unusual to find someone who’s as good a songwriter as an instrumentalist. Vera van Heeringen is that person. A consummate guitarist, highly acclaimed by her contemporaries, she brings the instrument to life in way that is entirely her own. Vera also writes tunes and songs which deliver straight to – and from – the heart. Firmly rooted in Transatlantic traditions, her original contemporary Americana showcases both these skills: firebrand instrumental virtuosity and poignant, emotionally astute songwriting.
An early starter, raised in the bluegrass scene in her native Holland, Vera has long been recognised for her elegant yet gutsy guitar style – a skill which transposes to pretty much anything with strings! A musician with integrity and style in equal measure. In 2015, Vera released her second album, Proper Brew, which features a roll call of top-drawer musicians who share her musical aesthetic, and hold her in high esteem – amongst them Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, Rayna Gellert and Kris Drever. Vera’s now working on her third album.
Her live performances are intimate, understated affairs, allowing the music to speak for itself. Stripped back, potent, and full of groove. Outstanding flatpicking, fulsome fiddle playing, heartbreaking lyrics, and assured natural vocal tone and driving tunes are all integral to the show.
Currently Vera tours with a watertight acoustic trio featuring harmony king Dave Luke on guitar, vocals and mandolin, and double-bass stalwart Andy Seward. Dave has been the backbone of many hard-working country bands and toured extensively with Nashville singer songwriter Gail Davies, playing venues like the Grand Ole Opry. Musician and record producer extraordinaire Andy Seward was part of folk daling Kate Rusby’s band as well as working with Eddi Reader, Richard Thompson, Andy Cutting, Martin Simpson and Brooks Williams.
Go to the Swiss Cottage Sessions page for tickets.
Oliver Gray’s day job is writing school text books and non-fiction items, but his hobby is promoting live shows by visiting roots artists from the US and Canada. When contemplating his first foray into fiction, he was advised to “write about what you know about”. It’s therefore no surprise that “Zander” is set in the world of small-time music promotion.
When American roots musician Corey Zander sets out on his first UK tour, things start badly and rapidly get worse. Not even his drug-strewn rock and roll past could prepare him for the violence of his reception in provincial England.
We hope you will enjoy it.
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