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The Felt Fedoras: “Live At the Village” is Genuinely and Unmistakably Brilliant to the Core!

In an unexpected twist of creative events, The Felt Fedoras organically formed from the Grunge-rock collaborations of SoCal singer/songwriter John Clinebell and accomplished Italian composer/guitarist Alessio Miraglia. When they were taking a break from writing operatic rock songs, John noticed that Alessio plays the ukulele beautifully. Immediately, John wanted to write some ukelele tunes with Alessio as well! The result? Short, sweet and tender vignettes lasting no more than a couple of minutes each. Simply one ukulele and one voice. Capturing little slices of life, The Felt Fedoras joyously celebrate through music the fleeting moments we hold so dear.

Straight off the cuff, this is a great CD. Twenty-one tracks which has everything you won’t find in the typical music of today. It’s honest, raw, and melodic. Whether it’s the ukulele strumming and picking, the wonderful vocals, or the poignant lyrics, “Live At the Village” has a lot to offer.

The Felt Fedoras’ ‘scrappy’ brand of folk-rock-roots music coupled with strong songwriting is a refreshing aural tonic. The difference between this band and others is that they’re not just telling you a story, they sound like they actually mean every word and that comes across on this album. It’s the reason so many of us become instant fans. They connect with you and sing about places you’ve been in your life, and you just know they get it.

There is an intimacy that makes their songs sound like old friends at once, song’s that were reminiscent of sitting around a campfire; passing a bottle and whatever else someone happened to have. The songs are well composed, beautiful, and full of depth and insight.

The Felt Fedoras are inspirational. Their music will speak to you and restore your faith in the artistry of music. This band is a reaction against the soulless music filling the airways and explore sounds deeply rooted in core musical cultures while giving them new life and direction. Missing this band would be doing a disservice to yourself.

They have a way of cutting topics down to the simple heart of the matter, always revealing something very true. And all the while they sound like guys having a whole lot of fun, and sounding good doing it too!

Their music is exactly what a discerning music lover might be looking for- a somewhat indescribable combination of folk, Americana, bluegrass, country, pop, and crooning.  I especially loved, “I’m Brought to Life”, “Don’t You Know”, “Godzilla”, “ I Remember”, “The Dance”, “What You Goin’ to Make”, “Baby Stars” and “Every Angel Needs a Devil”, but there is just so much material here that you’ll easily be able to make your own choices.

For me, “Live At the Village” is genuinely and unmistakably brilliant to the core: the beautiful, melodic and powerful vocals, the gritty, biting sound of the ukulele mixed with the clever, poetic genius of the lyrics. You’ll find a pleasant mix of unforgettable, up-tempo romps and slow, melodic ballads perfect for those long, thoughtful drives through the country-side.

The plain truth is that this is a great album, full of unforgettable songs, strong melodies and crystal clear instrumental and vocal performances, recorded in Ken Calliat’s personal project studio and expertly produced by Tim Starnes at the world-famous Village Studios in West L.A.

photo: michael wilsker | pixillusion.com


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