The Duke & The King: Nothing Gold Can Stay (Loose Records, 2009)
One more american record… or maybe the american record of the year. Okay, some treasures like The Avett Brothers album haven’t been released yet, so let’s not start making those end of the year lists now. However, The Duke & The King have really created an almost perfect album and I have completely fallen in love with it.
The Duke & The King are Simone Felice & Robert “Chicken” Burke. Simone Felice was the drummer for The Felice Brothers which is one of my favourite bands and therefore I had really high hopes for The Duke & The King, but I still wouldn’t have guessed I would end up loving this even more than any The Felice Brothers album (that’s a lot of love, almost like an overdoze). Simone Felice is also an author and it’s no wonder that Nothing Gold Can Stay is lyrically strong and contains heartbreaking storytelling wrapped into beautiful americana, folk and even country-soul songs. The characters of the songs have met the darker corners of life, but there’s a sense of vulnerable optimism around. I kind of love the simplicity of the record. It might even sound lazy, but this bare and sensitive approach is always the best way to go.. if you can write songs, you don’t need to hire the royal philharmonic orchestra. Especially If You Ever Get Famous, The Morning I Get To Hell, Union Street, Water Spider, Summer Morning Rain and One More American Song are utterly wonderful songs and Nothing Gold Can Stay is one of the finest albums of the year.