Ian Felice has been the lead singer and songwriter for the Felice Brothers for over a decade. Born and raised in the small town of Palenville NY, situated in the Catskill Mountains, he moved to NYC 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 and were joined by their friends Josh Rawson on bass and Greg Farley on the fiddle. All being self-taught, they learned their instruments and evolved together and 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. He is also a painter and poet who’s first book of poetry, Hotel Swampland, was published in 2017. He is based in the Hudson valley of upstate NY.
“In The Kingdom of Dreams is a collection of songs I wrote in 2016 and recorded over the course of 4 days in February of 2017 with my brother Simone in Palenville NY, the town where we grew up. When I began to write the songs that would be In The Kingdom Of 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 traveling America, riding out the storm of political mania and juggling a few personal dilemmas (not to mention 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. The universe of the album became more or less a maze of my own personal symbolism, its backdrop changing as I advanced through the sequence. Many of the songs on the album deal with childhood memories of Palenville and it’s people like the song “In Memoriam” which is partly about the death of my stepfather when I was 8 or “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.”
NICK PANKEN (SPIRIT FAMILY REUNION)
Spirit Family Reunion began singing together on the street corners of New York City in 2009. Since that time they have travelled the highways of America delivering raw, high energy, honest music. They have shared the stage with musical heroes such as Pete Seeger and Levon Helm, and have given notable performances at festivals including Stage Coach, Austin City Limits, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and the legendary Newport Folk Festival three times.
The band has self-produced and self-released two full-length studio albums – “No Separation” (2012) and “Hands Together” (2015) – along with multiple songbooks and other collections of recordings. They are currently working on a new record.