Paste Magazine

Wednesday, 5th August 2009


Unpretentious Americana from folk royalty.

The Duke and the King are best known for conning and manipulating their way downriver with Huck and Jim in Mark Twain’s classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and the duo has inspired Simone Felice’s (yes, of those Felices) new folk outfit The Duke & The King. Their debut album Nothing Gold Can Stay certainly sounds like it was motivated by a few days lost in thought on a raft, with most tracks featuring a lazy, sun-soaked feel and reflective lyrics. The album is at its sweetest with love-laced tracks like "Water Spider" and "Summer Morning Rain," but it truly shines when it tackles deeper issues. "Union Street," a story of growing up with pills and familial dysfunction, blends right into "Lose My Self," a haunting three minutes of the repeated line, "It makes me want to lose myself." But closer "One More American Song," on which Felice makes bittersweet nostalgia especially heartfelt, really keeps Nothing Gold Can Stay from being just one more American folk album.85/100