The Duke & The Kings debut album Nothing Gold Can Stay was one of 2009s most acclaimed albums, with its heady mix of rootsy folk-rock and vintage soul earning comparisons with artists ranging from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to Sly & The Family Stone. Little over a year later, the band lead by Simone Felice and Bobbie Bird Burke prepare for the September 27th release of their second album, the extraordinary Long Live The Duke & The King on Loose Music/ Silva Oak.
Entirely self-produced, Long Live the Duke and the King was recorded in the bands own studio/shack deep in their home woods of Bearsville, New York, just across the creek from the grave of Bob Dylan’s notorious manager Albert Grossman. Exalting in their ongoing love affair with rock, folk, soul and psychedelia, The Duke & The King have officially knighted two irreplaceable members to the cast, Nowell “The Deacon” Haskins (of Parliament-Funkadelic liniage), and The Sensational Simi Stone, both of whom contribute golden vocals throughout this stunning collection of songs. To crystallise the vision, the band turned to the legendary mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, renowned for his work with iconic artists such as Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix and The Band. A huge fan of the D&K, Ludwig compares Dont Take That Plane Tonight, the albums bizarre climactic final track to his work with Frank Zappa, and their song ‘Hudson River’to his work with soul legend Sam Cooke.
Yet, behind the albums inherent mood of hope, love, and home-grown mystic soul lies the great tribulation the band faced as the album edged towards completion. In the last days of mixing Simone Felice discovered he must undergo emergency heart surgery to correct the slow degeneration of his aorta brought on by a mystery childhood illness. Unbeknown to Felice, the problem had meant that his body had been fuelled by just an eighth of the blood and oxygen supply needed to survive. Having opted for an examination on little more than a hunch that something was wrong, Felice was told that without immediate treatment it was unlikely hed have survived another year. Indeed, at the very moment Felice was undergoing surgery, Bird was in Maine mastering the album with Ludwig. As Felice recalls, He wanted to stay with me at the hospital until I came to, but I told him to get to Maine and make sure this music gets out no matter what happened to me. Happily, Felice is now on the road to recovery; his creativity freshly inspired by his improving health.
The album is preceeded by single Shaky, released on September 20th.
The bands many unforgettable shows included a headline appearance at Londons Union Chapel and an attention-grabbing performance of album favourite The Morning That I Get To Hell on Later with Jools Holland.Simone Felice returns to the UK in August for a full solo tour as well as festival appearances at Green Man and Edinburgh. The Duke & The King are set to return to these shores for their biggest gig to date at Londons Electric Ballroom on October 27th.
DOWNLOAD album track “Shine on You” for FREE here: www.thedukeandtheking.co.uk