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Hopewell Theater
5 South Greenwood Avenue
Hopewell, NJ 08525
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(609) 466-1964
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XPN Welcomes The Felice Brothers with Johnathan Rice

XPN Welcomes The Felice Brothers with Johnathan Rice
Sunday, May 12 - Please note: anytime meal options will not be available at concessions for this show. Beverages, popcorn, candy and grab and go items will be available. 

Cut live to tape with very little overdubbing, Undress was recorded in the late summer of 2018 in Tivoli, New York. Band members Ian Felice, James Felice, Will Lawrence (drums) and Jesske Hume (bass) teamed up with producer Jeremy Backofen to record their most personal and reflective album to date.

“Many of the songs on the new album are motivated by a shift from private to public concerns,” says songwriter Ian Felice. “It isn't hard to find worthwhile things to write about these days, there are a lot of storms blooming on the horizon and a lot of chaos that permeates our lives.  The hard part is finding simple and direct ways to address them.”

Undress follows the band’s 2016 album Life In The Dark, and finds the group in a very different place three years later. Between personnel changes, families growing and the political landscape, the result is a tighter, more-paired down release. “Every song is a story,” said James Felice. “On this album everything was a bit more thoughtful, including the arrangements, the sonic quality and the harmonies.”

Ian and James Felice grew up in the Hudson valley of upstate NY. Self taught musicians, inspired as much by Hart Crane and Whitman as by Guthrie and Chuck Berry, they began in 2006 by playing subway platforms and sidewalks in NYC and have gone on to release nine albums of original songs and to tour extensively throughout the world. Following the release of Life in the Dark, The Felice Brothers served as the backing band for Conor Oberst’s 2017 release Salutations and the subsequent tour.

Johnathan Rice will open for The Felice Brothers. Hailed by NPR’s World Café as a songwriter capable of being both “wry and brooding,” Rice has always contained multitudes: he signed his first record deal at 19, the same year he made his film debut as Roy Orbison alongside Joaquin Phoenix’s Johnny Cash in Walk The Line; he released three solo records that earned tour dates with artists as varied as R.E.M., Ray LaMontagne, Pavement, and Phoenix; he wrote and produced for a slew of well-known artists and collaborated with everyone from Elvis Costello to Jonathan Wilson; and he even published an acclaimed book of poetry. But Rice’s latest album, ‘The Long Game,’ demonstrates a new kind of range and depth, stripping his songs back to their most elemental selves in order to reveal naked reflections on loss, pain, acceptance, and growth. Written during a time of turbulent emotional upheaval and self-discovery, the collection finds the Scottish-American songwriter’s full-bodied baritone in the spotlight like never before, often relying on nothing more than his deeply evocative voice and poetic grace to conjure up whole worlds of darkness and light. The songs are bold in their austerity, unafraid of empty space and raw vulnerability, and the starkness of the performances enables even the subtlest flourish to land like a hammer. There is no pretense of artifice or affectation here; the lines between singer and song are erased, and for Rice, that’s been a long time coming.

For more information about XPN and XPN Welcomes, visit www.xpn.org.
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