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Favorite Waitress
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  • After exploring new creative boundaries on 2011's Celebration, Florida, the Felice Brothers lost drummer and founding member Simone Felice in 2012, and as they regroup with a new lineup on their 2014 release, Favorite Waitress, they clearly find themselves turning to one of their primary influences, the Band. In fact, the album finds them focusing on a very specific era of the Band's history -- the months when they were woodshedding with Bob Dylan post-motorcycle accident and creating what would come to be known as The Basement Tapes. While the surfaces of Favorite Waitress are significantly more polished than that (this is the Felice Brothers' first album to be cut in a proper recording studio), this music often has the slightly shambolic, loose-yet-committed tone of those early sessions at Big Pink, and the songwriting certainly follows the rumpled blend of impressionism and silliness that marked Dylan's Basement Tapes classics like "Quinn the Eskimo" or "Million Dollar Bash," bolstered by the Zimmerman-flavored drawl of Ian Felice's vocals. Favorite Waitress feels mildly schizophrenic as it jumps from moody, cinematic numbers like "Alien" and "Chinatown" to the playful, boozy swagger of "Cherry Licorice" and "Woman Next Door," but the overall effect is a band that's dug in their heels in the studio and is going to make the most of the way the individual voices bounce off one another, and if they're shooting for something less challenging on Favorite Waitress, the feel of the music clearly seems to suit them. This lineup -- Ian on vocals and guitar; James Felice on accordion, keyboards, and vocals, Greg Farley on fiddle and vocals, Josh Rawson on bass and vocals, and David "Esta" Estabrook on drums -- manages to play with greater precision than the original edition of the Felice Brothers without ever sounding like they're reaching for anything more "professional," and Favorite Waitress suggests this band has learned how to raise goofing off to the level of an art form. Not quite the way the Band and Dylan did on The Basement Tapes, mind you, but pretty close for a bunch of former buskers and self-professed "scumbags." ~ Mark Deming
Professional Reviews
CMJ - "FAVORITE WAITRESS sets itself apart with an unmistakable love of life. The Felice Brothers' tone is somehow perpetually content."

Paste (magazine) - "FAVORITE WAITRESS challenges the pressures of modern society with the hope of a better, simpler life."
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