SONS OF FATHERS
2011 – Blanco River Music
Texas band, Sons of Fathers was initially just a duo of David Beck (aka Whitbeck!) and Paul Cauthen but they added Regan Schmidt on guitar and lap steel and Dees Stribling on drums to really give them this excellent full band folksy soulful country rock sound. It is not the classic country rock of the 1970s but there are elements of it, with the superb harmonies and hard edges of roots bands such as the Avett’s, but also including some of the ringing sounds of the Byrds. Both are excellent vocalists in their own right and obviously also possess great imagination and skill to have come up with a style that will probably over the next few years make their sound recognisably their own.
Refreshingly, the subject matter of these well written songs, all penned by Cauthen and Beck, doesn’t relate to romance but to family and lifestyle. For me the strongest song on this album of strong songs is the superb The Country, a gorgeous ballad with lovely steel and fiddle, about a city dweller missing his country roots and with vocals highly reminiscent of David Palmer, lead vocalist on the first Steely Dan album. It is that sort of an album. Much of it gives reminders about other performers but always with this excellent bands own style. Out Of Line, whilst a decent enough song, was probably the least impressive, almost sounding like a rootsy Hall and Oates whilst Wind Turbines is another superb song with tremendous harmonies and a quietly loping mid tempo feel. Ruthless creates a quite spectacular country soul atmosphere and is immediately followed by Adam and Eve a song that evokes the spectacular harmonies of early 1970s ‘America,’ but with a much harder edge than that great harmony band ever possessed.
This is a really good album that certainly can be placed under the ‘country rock’ banner despite many of the songs including elements of other strands from the roots music ‘genre.’ Maybe this almost coverall style will eventually be the thing that sets them apart from other bands with similarities, although it is very much an album of contrasting appeal depending on the listeners individual musical taste. However, they really are an excellent band with a superb vocal sound and definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.