Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
"I'm a son of my father and that ain't never gonna change," David Beck and Paul Cauthen of Sons of Fathers sing on the song that shares its name with the band. It comes in the middle of a song that doesn't sound happy or sad, just a little possessed. It takes pains to address the hands that all men are dealt when they're given life. You are the makings of your daddy, whether you like it or not, whether he's a noble, hard-working, gentleman of a fellow or the biggest shithead deadbeat the world's ever had planted on it. There's no getting around it.
You could be one of those kids who, while young enough to look like nothing, everyone's quick to comment that you look so much like your doting mother - perhaps a woman who couldn't be happier to be the greatest contributor to your resemblance. Just give it a few years and that chin will change, the facial features will shift enough, the arms will grow in, the frame will take hold and before long, standing right there in front of that doting mother is the spitting image of the man she'd like to forget.
Of course, this all can be recorded in the opposite way as well, as a boy turns into that respected father, a person who is a provider, a nurturer and an all-around good man. Our lineage beats on us like a pissed off rain sometimes. It's what gives us our height and it's what sometimes gives us that beautiful tenor in our throat. It's also what gives us our insecurities and some of our flaws. We're at the mercy of it, always and the songs of Sons of Fathers play into that gritty conclusiveness of it all.
We're stuck with what we were handed and we can only shuffle the deck so much. Our nastiness and our short fuses are sometimes impossible to avert or lengthen. Then again, our chivalry and the way we hold our babies is also something that's hard to learn. It's not taught, but in our blood and we're happy that it's there.