The Duke & the King

The Duke & the King

The Duke & The King

So Recordings

If you can make it to the end of the The Duke & the King‘s first cut “If You Ever Get Famous” without a lump in your throat, mister, you’re a better man than I. Softly spoken vocals glide atop bells, ushering you in until you’re transfixed, and you don’t know if the song is about a warning from the singer — or one given to him. Truly haunting. Then you follow it up with “Shakey,” which has the classic line The Jackson 5 grew up so fast — think about that for a while as the music grooves.

This self-titled record, made up from 2009’s Nothing Gold Can Stay and 2010’s Long Live the Duke & the King, is a showcase of Simone Felice (ex-Felice Brothers) and Robert “Bird” Burke, (ex-George Clinton and Garry Shider p-funker) along with Simi Stone and Nowell Haskins. If you didn’t know from where or when this came, you’d say 1969 and Crosby, Stills and Nash, or the acoustic journeys of Neil Young, or maybe Muscle Shoals and “Southern Soul,” with a little of the Avett Brothers’ I and Love and You (which Felice contributed on) mixed in. The group sounds timeless, or at least far more wizened than their years — they know what makes the music tick, and do it effortlessly. This might be your first hearing of The Duke & the King. I doubt will be your last.

So Recordings: www.sorecordings.com

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