"Frankie's Gun!!" by The Felice Brothers
Why is it so much fun listening to The Basement Tapes and not that much fun listening to bands inspired by The Basement Tapes? It has a lot to do with reverence. Bob Dylan and The Band didn't have much use for it, yet their followers cling to it fruitlessly. Fortunately, native upstate New Yorkers The Felice Brothers bring a sort-of irreverent reverence to their self-titled American-label debut. The Felice Brothers is loose, sloppy, funny, and more than a little drunken, which is to say, it nails the mood of The Basement Tapes pretty much perfectly. But it's the songwriting that helps move The Felice Brothers out of the long shadow of their influences. The best of the lot is "Frankie's Gun" (one of the five songs re-recorded from the independently released Adventures Of The Felice Brothers Vol. 1), a ramshackle, accordion-powered goof about one palooka who shoots another. It sounds timeless, yet tossed-off. Best of all, it's a real blast, just like messing around with your drinking buddies (rock legends or not) should be.