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New chapter: Felice Brothers release album, hit the road after personnel changes

The Felice Brothers are touring in support of their latest album, “Undress.” (Courtesy of Lawrence Braun)

With a couple days off, James Felice took the time to decompress.

Life on the road can get hectic, and a break is always welcome.

As Felice knows, it doesn’t last forever.

This time around, Felice and his band are doing it on their own.

“It’s a small crew, and we do everything,” he says in a recent phone interview. “We’re just trying to get it to run as smoothly as possible.”

Felice is a member of the folk-rock band The Felice Brothers. He is joined in the band by brother Ian, as well as Will Lawrence and Jesske Hume.

The Felice Brothers recently released its album, “Undress,” and will perform a show at Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery in Santa Fe on June 14.

The band has come a long way since starting out performing in New York City subway stations in 2005. It has also released more than a dozen albums.

Work on “Undress” began in spring 2018, though the band didn’t get into the studio until August.

For months, Felice and crew sat on the album until its release in May.

“Honestly, I forgot about the album,” he says. “It’s out of sight, out of mind. Doing these interviews reminds me of the record. In the past couple months, we’ve had to relearn all of the songs. To play them live is a very different process. We worked some of the songs out live during the summer last year. We’re getting in gear to get the majority of the new album in the set.”

Ian Felice writes the majority of the songs, although each member has the opportunity to put a mark on the tracks.

Ian Felice wrote 20 to 30 strong ideas for “Undress.”

“Ian’s good about taking criticism and usually has the 10 strongest songs out front for us,” James Felice says. “He’s such a talented songwriter, and he holds himself to a higher standard.”

“Undress” also marks a new chapter for the group, which has undergone significant personal and professional changes.

During the break between 2016’s “Country Ham” and the newly released “Undress,” Ian Felice became a father and released a solo record and a book of poetry. And Hume and Lawrence joined the band after the departure of two longtime members.

“Everything is going great, and we couldn’t be happier with the album and the band right now,” James Felice says. “We’re excited to get back to Santa Fe, because we’ve felt the love each time we have been there.”

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