Father & Son @ The Thurgood House

PENNSYLVANIA—Once in a while, a buzz goes around about a local band that catches my attention and makes me want to indulge in their sound. A few years ago I heard of a two-piece band going under the name of Father And Son, and based on the title, I just had to check them out. What I found was something truly special. These gentlemen are truly unique in their style, covering different music all across the spectrum that any person could relate to.

Three instruments make up Father And Son—a guitar, drums, and a saxophone. Now you may be wondering the same thing that I wondered at first; “How the fuck can you have three instruments, but only two players?” Well, that’s right folks. To everybody’s surprise, it turns out that percussionist Ryan Smith manages to play drums and sax while Tim Barr throws down licks on his guitar like an animal. How these men of pure musical insanity do it, nobody knows.

Being that the last time I had gotten the chance to see F&S was years ago, this was a real treat. I pulled up to a house in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania, somewhere near the Delaware Water Gap, and just parked my car on the front lawn. As I began approaching the house full of reckless, drunk folks (the party had started quite some time before I had shown up), my thoughts were filled with questions on just how far these guys have come with their music. Once I entered the house, I saw a few familiar faces and realized I had just made it on time, as F&S were in the process of setting up their gear.

They began their set with a couple of tracks off of their new EP, Angry Moon. Immediately, I noticed that the craziness and style Father And Son were shelling out had become more evolved and relatable to the scene going around since the last time I caught them. The guitar was as reverberated as ever and the drum beats were much quicker and more punishing. Their songs seemed to be a lot more aggressive and tended to lean more towards traditional punk/hardcore than the unclassifiable, out of whack sound that my ears were accustomed to. Even the older songs with the saxophone sections seemed to be played with more angst than ever. Throughout the set of fresh material, the boys brought optimism and attitude. To top everything off, a fitting “July Blones” was perfectly selected to put an end to the night with its soft nature. This song is almost tear-jerking with its higher pitch vocals and smooth notes played in a way that almost lets them careen off of each instrument with anti-gravity.

Walking away from a Father And Son show like this was rather difficult because it simply wasn’t enough. To my understanding, F&S went on their first long tour this year just a few weeks prior and I’ll bet that going out on tour like they did was responsible for the new vibes. I am now left with many more questions in mind: What will Father And Son take on next? Where will they move to? Most importantly, what new styles will they pick up in their travels? Although some of these questions may never be answered, I surely know that I will definitely be there the next time they come around.