Yonder Is the Clock

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
These upstate New York hooligans drew easy comparisons to the Band, with their shaggy songcraft, olde-timey instrumentation, and lurching rhythm section. But Yonder Is the Clock grants them membership in the old weird America on their own merits. The revival-tent aspect of their music, blowzy trombones and honky-tonk piano, has been subdued, and Ian Felice’s Dylanesque rasp takes on a funereal tone from the first track. “The Big Surprise” is an exercise in delayed gratification, as the band hints at a release that doesn’t arrive until midway through the disc, on the picaresque “Run Chicken Run,” a propulsive jam that’s the closest thing here to past sing-alongs such as...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
These upstate New York hooligans drew easy comparisons to the Band, with their shaggy songcraft, olde-timey instrumentation, and lurching rhythm section. But Yonder Is the Clock grants them membership in the old weird America on their own merits. The revival-tent aspect of their music, blowzy trombones and honky-tonk piano, has been subdued, and Ian Felice’s Dylanesque rasp takes on a funereal tone from the first track. “The Big Surprise” is an exercise in delayed gratification, as the band hints at a release that doesn’t arrive until midway through the disc, on the picaresque “Run Chicken Run,” a propulsive jam that’s the closest thing here to past sing-alongs such as “Frankie’s Gun!” Indeed, the surprise is the depth of the brothers’ artistry. For all the joy that their rustic punk rock has brought, there’s been a sneaking suspicion that their music was somehow another con, much like the ones they sing about so fervently -- the wiseguy tale of a bunch of yokels pulling the beards of grizzled folk types and then going back home to listen to Led Zeppelin. Felice songs never address the universal when they can name-check a particular -- a rogues' gallery of Frankies, Lucilles, Anns, moms, cousins, and sisters. Yonder lays the shtick aside, and instead of backwoods Bruce Springsteen, the songs summon the genuinely creepy and desperate -- Tom Waits without the art house cinematography. The low-tech hootenanny “Memphis Flu” shows they really do know their roots; it’s a revival rant recounting the 1918 flu epidemic, and the desperate “Boy from Lawrence Country” chillingly imagines the motivations of a bounty hunter seeking Jesse James. In short, it’s the kind of great leap forward fans of this hardscrabble collective have been waiting for. Maybe not such a big surprise, after all.
All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
The Felice Brothers had a banner year in 2008, ditching their gig as New York City street performers in favor of a record contract, increased distribution, and international tour dates. Released just 13 months after the self-titled Felice Brothers -- an album that served as the band's de facto introduction to the world at large -- Yonder Is the Clock offers another confident, rustic batch of northeastern Americana. Painted with earth tones and dotted with the same American archetypes that previously peppered Music from Big Pink, these songs draw easy parallels to the influences that spawned them, from Bob Dylan's drawl to the Band's rickety harmonies. Yonder Is the Clock certainly makes no attempt to disguise its roots, and while it often lacks the technical skill of Robbie Robertson or the poetic prowess of Dylan, the musicians do shoulder the weight of their predecessors. The Felice Brothers have always prized storytelling above instrumental chops, and Yonder Is the Clock (whose title borrows from Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger) spins its sepia-toned narratives with conviction and authenticity, like a traveling band playing folk ballads by campfire. This is an album that references Depression-era plagues and cold New England winters with a hardened grin, an album in which turn-of-the-century ballplayers like Ty Cobb populate the nostalgic ballads. As with the previous record, Clock flirts with ramshackle country (particularly during the two fowl-related numbers, "Chicken Wire" and "Run Chicken Run") but devotes more of its time to slow, melancholic twang, while producer Jeremy Backofen eschews excessive knob-twiddling for a casual, live-in-the-studio ambience. The best introduction to the Felice Brothers still rests in the band's live show, where even the most leisurely songs brim with rich hootenanny appeal. Nevertheless, Yonder Is the Clock is the band's most nuanced effort to date, an effortless piece of Catskills folk and narrative know-how that shows just how far a band can grow in one year's time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/7/2009
  • Label: Team Love Records
  • UPC: 810430013927
  • Catalog Number: 139
  • Sales rank: 6,406

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Big Surprise (4:22)
  2. 2 Penn Station (3:58)
  3. 3 Buried in Ice (3:10)
  4. 4 Chicken Wire (2:43)
  5. 5 Ambulance Man (5:26)
  6. 6 Sailor Song (3:30)
  7. 7 Katie Dear (3:58)
  8. 8 Run Chicken Run (5:00)
  9. 9 All When We Were Young (3:25)
  10. 10 Boy from Lawrence County (5:21)
  11. 11 Memphis Flu (3:02)
  12. 12 Cooperstown (6:13)
  13. 13 Rise and Shine (4:25)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Felice Brothers Primary Artist
Greg Farley Group Member
Ian Felice Group Member
Simone Felice Group Member
James Felice Group Member
Christmas Clapton Group Member
Technical Credits
Richard Morris Mastering
Traditional Composer
The Felice Brothers Arranger, Composer
Jeremy Backofen Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Todd Rawson Cover Design
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    Posted September 1, 2009

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