Simone Felice is work-out lean with eyes that pierce the darkness to silence someone talking over his intro to a song.
But while the man from the Catskill Mountains of New York State may be intense, he's fun as well, especially in a hugely enjoyable, knockabout encore where he effortlessly flowed from an upbeat Neil Young's "Helpless" to a vibrant version of Dylan's "Knocking On Heaven's Door" with a near full-house gleefully singing along.
With Gabriel Dresdale on cello and Matt Green (guitar, dobro and mandolin) on board - Felice occasionally played drums - the trio raced through a fine set embracing tracks from "Strangers", his latest album release as well as songs from his earlier musical outings with The Felice Brothers and The Duke and The King, with whom he's appeared at this venue.
"You and I Belong" provoked audience participation while "If You Go To LA," "Shaky", "Molly-O" and "Radio Song" showed the range of materials and styles Felice can tackle without difficulty.
There's a timeless air to his songs though a lot are clearly based on personal traumas or memories. He's got all the tributes for a band frontman - excellent voice, ability to engage and the good fortune to have strong, imaginative material in his locker to underpin it all.