Monday, March 24, 2014


Simone Felice live on Bonanza & Son on ResonanceFM

Wednesday 26th March 2014 4:30pm (UK Time)

Interview and live session with the celebrated songwriter, author and poet Simone Felice.

Simone Felice life story is a fascinating one and reads like a tragic, classic Country death ballad full of life, love, death and tragedy in equal measures. So much so that The Guardian recently commissioned Felice to write a personal memoir on the subject of his near-death experiences first as a young boy, then as a grown artist and most painfully with the death of his unborn child. He described how these cruel brushes with 'the other side' have influenced his work.

Having had both critical and commercial success with his family band The Felice Brothers, Simone has gone on to solo success and his new LP ’Strangers’ is a work of consummate beauty that is sure to top many critics album charts of 2014 and it’s only March.

+ As always Martyn Bonanza will be playing the best of all the upcoming Country & Americana releases including forthcoming albums from Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jeff Finlin, The Delines, Marah, Carlene Carter, Buzz Cason plus plenty of vintage vinyl nuggets from the ever-growing Bonanza & Son archive.

Bonanza & Son ResonanceFM
Tracing the roots and subsequent influence of the pioneers, innovators, outlaws, renegades and mavericks of Country Music and Americana’s past, present, and future.

Tune in at 4:30pm on 104.4FM in London or online
(Repeated Saturday at 8am)

Additional info:
Simone Felice was born on 4 October 1976 in Palenville, New York, a small working-class hamlet in the Catskill Mountains.

At the age of twelve Simone suffered a brain aneurysm and was pronounced clinically dead for several minutes. Recovering from emergency brain surgery in a local hospital, he spent two months in intensive care, relearning basic motor skills, including reading and writing.

When he was fifteen he formed a punk band with friends, making weird noise-rock in his grandpa’s barn. Their emphasis was on head-banging and freaky storytelling. By eighteen, he had quit school to panhandle and play bars and low down clubs, including New York City's fabled CBGB.

It was around this time that Felice began writing poetry and vignettes, eventually leading to the publication of his first collection, The Picture Show, when he was twenty-two years old. He began performing these bizarre monologues regularly at the historic Nuyorican Poets Café in New York's lower east side, garnering the young poet invitations to read in London, Harvard University, San Francisco and Berlin.

In 2004 and then 2005 Simone's first works of short fiction were published: Goodbye Amelia, a coming of age story about a small-town girl with secrets to keep and a hunger to see the world, and Hail Mary Full of Holes, a fable noir about a runaway prostitute lost in the dawn of the Reagan era.

In the Fall of 2001, just after the attacks on New York City, Simone began writing songs with his brother Ian. Together they retreated to the woods they grew up in where, jobless with a cheap guitar, they wrote and made recordings (two collections know as The Big Empty and Mexico) with their friend Doc Brown. In this manner the two brothers clocked five years in complete obscurity, sewing the seeds of what would become (with the edition of their younger brother James in the Winter of 2006) The Felice Brothers, whose subsequent albums Through These Reigns And Gone, Tonight at the Arizona, The Felice Brothers, and Yonder is the Clock have garnered international praise, earning these Upstate New York natives an inarguable place in the Great American Songbook. Over the group’s early history, from starting out playing New York's subways and streets, to Radio City Music Hall and beyond, brother Simone has been one of it’s key lyricists and arrangers, co-writing some of the boys' most beloved songs, including Don’t Wake The Scarecrow, Frankie’s Gun, Run Chicken Run, Ruby Mae, Whiskey in My Whiskey, Love Me Tenderly, Hey Hey Revolver, Mercy, Wonderful Life, Your Belly In My Arms, The Devil Is Real, and Radio Song to name a few.

At the request of iconic record producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Beastie Boys, Adele, et al), Simone flew to California in the late summer of 2008 to play drums on the Columbia Records release I and Love and You by The Avett Brothers. Lending his signature Catskill Mountain dirtbag swing to the Avett’s riveting songwriting and Rubin’s thoughtful production, Felice appears on some of the albums stand-out songs, including the title-track and lead single I and Love and You, which helped send the album to #1 in the Billboard folk charts

In the winter of 2009 personal tragedy reared its head when Simone and his long-time love lost their first child in a late-term miscarriage. It was then that he retreated to a cabin in the Catskill’s with old friend Bird and began writing and recording the songs that would (unknown to them at the time) become The Duke & The King’s album debut. Taking their name from the itinerant Shakespeare theatre grifters in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the project released its gripping Nothing Gold Can Stay in the Summer of 2009 to critical acclaim, being hailed as one of the most haunting and honest albums of the year. 2010's followup Long Live The Duke & The King has been similarly praised.

Felice's first novel, Black Jesus, was released by award-wining publisher Allen & Unwin (Atlantic Books/Faber&Faber) and Random House Germany. It tells the story of a young Marine shipped home to his nowhere town after being blinded in action by a homemade bomb, and the unexpected friendship he finds with a mysterious dancer who arrives one day fleeing darkness and violence of a different kind. Part love story, part protest of the broken promises lying at the heart of the American dream, Black Jesus is a passionate, twisted hymn to the marginalized and forgotten.

On 2 June 2010, after a series of fainting spells, Simone underwent emergency open-heart surgery at Albany Medical Center when doctors discovered that a childhood congenital disorder had left the thirty-three year old with an irreversible calcification of the aortic valve, leaving only 8% blood-flow to the body and brain. Just two weeks after the surgery he joined his brothers on stage at Pete Seeger's annual Clearwater Festival to help rid their beloved Hudson River of industrial waste. The following month his daughter, Pearl Simone Felice was born, a healthy blue-eyed girl who came in a summer thunderstorm.

In the subsequent years following his operation and Pearl's birth, with a new mechanical heart-valve ticking away the time, Felice did what it seems he's always done: He wrote songs. With a renewed clarity and sense of purpose, Simone bent to his new work, leaving behind any past monikers, in search of something pure, something truly his own.

April 2012 saw the release of his self-titled debut solo album, featuring songs such as New York Times, You & I Belong, and Charade which have become staple highlights in his live appearances. Among other accolades, Nick Hasted of The Independent called the record: 'A taut masterpiece of terrifying, exhilarating American tales.'

Simone's new full-length album, Strangers, (due out March 2014) is a ten song collection recorded in the Catskills with producer / friend David Baron, along with guest artists The Felice Brothers, Leah Siegel, and Wesley Schultz & Jeremiah Fraites of The Lumineers. Here is a body of work that truly captures Simone's rare gift as a poet, song-crafter, and unique visionary; an album certain to cement Felice’s place as one of the great songwriter-poets of his generation.

Recently Britain's Guardian newspaper commissioned Felice to write a personal memoir on the subject of his near-death experiences, first as a young boy, then as a grown artist, and how these two odd brushes with 'the other side' have influenced his work. The piece begins with a lyric from The Wizard Of Oz:
I would not be just a nuthin’, My head all full of stuffin’,
My heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry,
Life would be a ding-a-derry,
If I only had a brain...
Simone lives less than a mile from the creek-house he was born in, and travels his own country and abroad sharing his songs and stories

Live sessions from:
Simone Felice
The Deep Dark Woods
Basia Bulat
Austin Lucas (Full Band)
Paul McClure
John E Vistic

Friday, March 21, 2014

Latest podcast show...

We are slowly but surely catching up with our recent ResonanceFM radio show uploads and podcasts...

Here’s the latest uploaded show from 12th February which features a scorching live session from Kentucky born Sturgill Simpson. As well as the blinding live set he discusses the current state of Country music and his roots in the mining industry.

Plus the usual showcasing of the best forthcoming releases as well as vintage vinyl from the Country and Americana archives including Baskery, Laura Cantrell, The Sweet Lowdown, Damien Jurado, Skip Battin and lots more... Just click the link below to listen at your leisure.

Bonanza & Son on ResonanceFM: Sturgill Simpson live session 12th February 2014 by Bonanza & Son on Mixcloud

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Todays radio show for your pleasure...

Just click the link below to listen to todays Bonanza & Son on Resonance FM which includes part two of our interview and live session with Austin Lucas...

Plus tracks from our album of the year so far?

As well as songs new and old from Sacri Cuori, Simone Felice, Buzz Cason, Buzz Rabon, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Noah Gundersen, Jonas Fjeld, Marah, Souled American, The Meat Puppets and lot, lots more.

Tune in at 4:30pm (UK time) on

Friday, March 14, 2014

Simone Felice just confirmed for Bonanza & Son on ResonanceFM

Bonanza & Son on ResonanceFM has just confirmed Simone Felice for a live session and interview on Wednesday 26th March 2014… Boom!

Simone Felice, ex of The Felice Brothers, new album ‘Strangers’ is a work of great beauty and truly captures his rare gift as a poet, song-smith and unique visionary.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Austin Lucas live on Bonanza & Son on ResonanceFM

Howdy Folks,
We have just put the finishing touches to the edit of our live session with New West supremo Austin Lucas and man can that boy sing! He’s got the voice of a nightingale!

You’re in for a treat tomorrow if you listen to our broadcast at 4:30pm on ResonanceFM. The session will include an exclusive, brand new, never-before-heard song that Austin wrote the day we recorded the session! Full details below.

Then the rest of the week is a quiet one for Bonanza & Son until Sunday when it’s time for our monthly VJ/DJ set at The Defectors Weld where we provide a backdrop of classic and cult films and play the best film soundtracks and other laid-back Sunday tunes whilst you down a few pints, nosh on the best Sunday roasts around or maybe take advantage of two-for-one cocktails. The perfect Sunday...
The Bonanza & Son Film Set
The Defectors Weld
170 Uxbridge Road,
Shepherds Bush
Free Entry 6-11pm

Have a fantastic week folks.
Bonanza & Son.

Bonanza & Son on ResonanceFM
Wednesday 12th March 2014 4:30pm (UK Time)

Live session:
Austin Lucas:
Interview and live session from New West’s latest hot signing not to mention one of Bonanza & Son's Top 25 LPs of 2013 Mix.

Austin Lucas’ Stay Reckless LP was hardly off the Bonanza & Son turntable last year with it’s capable hybrid of traditional Western aesthetics and Alternative-Rock posture topped off with the voice of an angel.

Raised in the backwoods country of Monroe County, Indiana, Austin Lucas was born into a Folk and Bluegrass lineage. His father, Bob Lucas, is an accomplished musician and performer in his own right, having earned songwriting credits on two of Allison Krauss’ albums. Learning to harmonize before learning to read, Lucas honed his vocal control as a member of the nationally-acclaimed Indiana University Children’s Choir. In a narrative as well-worn as it is true, Lucas rebelled against his upbringing, leaving his Americana roots for the catharsis of punk rock. After the better part of a decade spent criss-crossing the globe with a series of bands in broken-down vans, Lucas hit a musical glass-ceiling, eventually finding respite for his ringing ears in the delicacy of traditional songcraft.
Singing with the conviction of a preacher bereft of his faith, Lucas tackles recurrent themes of the soul, sin as personal purgatory, and the possibility of finding redemption in this life. The fallacies of man take center stage as the righteous false prophet is denounced as a “hollow vessel with unsteady hands.” Turning the harsh light of hindsight on himself, Lucas addresses the hard lessons learned in the passing of youth, ruminating on the failures and missed opportunities, pledging, “If there’s a light shining/ Point the way there/ A straight way of walking/ I’ll be like an arrow.”

+ We also have Tristan and Danny Tippin from Clubhouse Records coming in to talk about their London based Americana label with its fine roster of musicians. They will also be donating a huge goody bag of CDs, T-shirts, badges and suchlike to the on-going ResonanceFM fundraiser. Tune in for a chance to bag the goodies!

As always we will be playing the best of all the upcoming Country & Americana releases including forthcoming albums by Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jeff Finlin, The Delines, Marah plus plenty of vintage, vinyl nuggets from the ever-growing Bonanza & Son archive.

Bonanza & Son on ResonanceFM
Tracing the roots and subsequent influence of the pioneers, innovators, outlaws, renegades and mavericks of Country Music and Americana’s past, present, and future.

Tune in at 4:30pm on 104.4FM in London or online
(Repeated Saturday at 8am)

Live sessions from
Simone Felice
The Deep Dark Woods
Basia Bulat
Austin Lucas (Full Band)
Paul McClure

Friday 21st March 2014
Bonanza & Son DJ Set
The Three Crowns
Stoke Newington High St, N16

Sunday 23rd March 2014
Bonanza & Son DJ Set
The Three Crowns
Stoke Newington High St, N16

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DEER TICK live on Bonanza & Son on ResonanceFM

We’ve just uploaded a recent Bonanza & Son on ResonanceFM which features a live session and interview from Deer Tick. (just click the link below)

Rhode Island’s favourite Sons took time out from their busy European tour to play us intimate versions of songs from their critically acclaimed LP ‘Negativity’ plus the guys gave us a couple of exclusives regarding their Uk, summer festival dates.

As usual Bonanza & Son play the best of all the forthcoming Americana and Country releases including brand new LPs by The Hard Working Americans, Damien Jurado, The Deep Dark Woods, Paul McClure and vintage vibes from The New Riders of the Purple Sage / NRPS plus lots more… Enjoy.

Bonanza & Son: Deer Tick live session 5th February 2014 by Bonanza & Son on Mixcloud