The Felice Brothers shouldn't come as a surprise. They've been around since 2006 (albeit in settings from the New York subway to taverns the United States over), and their particular brand of grassrock (man, I love fake-genre names) has been burning ever since. Now, I seriously hate referencing specific musical artists in columns about different specific musical artists, but I feel the need to provide a disclaimer: if you don't like Langhorne Slim, you will not like the Felice Brothers. Other folkies, too, could be clumped in here as examples, but Mr. Slim pretty well covers it. The Felice Brothers are unapologetically Americana; they let their harmonicas shriek and their fiddles run. They feature washboard solos and four-part twang harmony. The name of their fifth album (though second in terms of major releases) was pulled from a Mark Twain quote. They have a member named Christmas that used to be a travelling dice player.
You can't even make this shit up.
I would say that this is strained; that 1930s down-home suspenders-wearing calamity draws just as much from American myth as American history, and that the Felice Brothers have to be monopolizing on that mythos (conciously or not). I would say that except that the thing about that image-- the jugband bluegrass railrider, the stoic rocker, the loner-- is that people truly believe it. It's not an image anymore. It is (one part, of many parts, of) Americana. And the Felice Brothers are just so goddamn good at it. They know their way around their insturments and upside down, over, crashing through their songs. And the fact that they seem to love what they sing, and believe in it, and believe in the history (or mythology) it's coming from, is clearly pumping through every song.