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Simone Felice Announces New Release
‘From the Violent Banks of the Kaaterskill’
Double Live Album.
'From the Violent Banks of the Kaaterskill’ showcases selected works from Simone’s extensive and breathtaking catalogue. This collection will be released on Felice’s newly launched label Mighty Hudson Records / Warner Music Australia and truly captures Simone's rare gift as a songsmith, poet and visionary.
This special anthology is vivid proof that Felice's rabid cult following is sure to grow into the stuff of legend. 'From the Violent Banks of the Kaaterskill’ includes raw ballads of squandered grace and dereliction, songs of transient lust and whispered hopes at last light, all delivered with a haunting urgency that speak directly to the wilderness we all possess within.
Simone Felice is a celebrated songwriter, author, and poet. He was born on 4 October 1976 in Palenville, New York, a small working-class hamlet in the Catskill Mountains.
At the age of twelve Simone suffered a brain aneurysm and was pronounced clinically dead for several minutes. Recovering from emergency brain surgery in a local hospital, he spent two months in intensive care, relearning basic motor skills, including reading and writing.
Simone began writing songs with his brother Ian. Together they retreated to the woods they grew up in where, jobless with a cheap guitar, they wrote and made recordings (two collections know as The Big Empty and Mexico) with their friend Doc Brown. In this manner the two brothers clocked five years in complete obscurity, sewing the seeds of what would become (with the edition of their younger brother James in the Winter of 2006) The Felice Brothers, whose subsequent albums Through These Reigns And Gone, Tonight at the Arizona, The Felice Brothers, and Yonder is the Clock have garnered international praise, earning these Upstate New York natives an inarguable place in the Great American Songbook. Over the group’s early history, from starting out playing New York's subways and streets, to Radio City Music Hall and beyond, brother Simone has been one of it’s key lyricists and arrangers, co-writing some of the boys' most beloved songs, including Don’t Wake The Scarecrow, Frankie’s Gun, Run Chicken Run, Ruby Mae, Whiskey in My Whiskey, Love Me Tenderly, Hey Hey Revolver, Mercy, Wonderful Life, Your Belly In My Arms, The Devil Is Real, and Radio Song to name a few.
At the request of iconic record producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Beastie Boys, Adele, et al), Simone flew to California in the late summer of 2008 to play drums on the Columbia Records release I and Love and You by The Avett Brothers. Lending his signature Catskill Mountain dirtbag swing to the Avett’s riveting songwriting and Rubin’s thoughtful production, Felice appears on some of the albums stand-out songs, including the title-track and lead single I and Love and You, which helped send the album to #1 in the Billboard folk charts
In the winter of 2009 personal tragedy reared its head when Simone and his long-time love lost their first child in a late-term miscarriage. It was then that he retreated to a cabin in the Catskill’s with old friend Bird and began writing and recording the songs that would (unknown to them at the time) become The Duke & The King’s album debut. Taking their name from the itinerant Shakespeare theatre grifters in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the project released its gripping Nothing Gold Can Stay in the Summer of 2009 to critical acclaim, being hailed as one of the most haunting and honest albums of the year. 2010's followup Long Live The Duke & The King has been similarly praised.
Felice's first novel, Black Jesus, was released by award-wining publisher Allen & Unwin (Atlantic Books/Faber&Faber) and Random House Germany. It tells the story of a young Marine shipped home to his nowhere town after being blinded in action by a homemade bomb, and the unexpected friendship he finds with a mysterious dancer who arrives one day fleeing darkness and violence of a different kind. Part love story, part protest of the broken promises lying at the heart of the American dream, Black Jesus is a passionate, twisted hymn to the marginalized and forgotten.
On 2 June 2010, after a series of fainting spells, Simone underwent emergency open-heart surgery at Albany Medical Center when doctors discovered that a childhood congenital disorder had left the thirty-three year old with an irreversible calcification of the aortic valve, leaving only 8% blood-flow to the body and brain. Just two weeks after the surgery he joined his brothers on stage at Pete Seeger's annual Clearwater Festival to help rid their beloved Hudson River of industrial waste. The following month his daughter, Pearl Simone Felice was born, a healthy blue-eyed girl who came in a summer thunderstorm. April 2012 saw the release of his self-titled debut solo album, among other accolades, Nick Hasted of The Independent called the record: 'A taut masterpiece of terrifying, exhilarating American tales.' Simone's second solo album 'Strangers' was released in 2014.