BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
There’s something about kinship these days that seems to ensure an offhanded approach. Just look at the Avett Brothers and the way their sibling connection has them making music that’s both casual and compelling all at the same time. Perhaps it’s their intuitive instincts at play, or their natural affinity for one another’s designs, but whatever it is, the results are certainly demonstrative. That familial factor might also apply to Sons of Fathers, and while the two offspring in question aren’t related — bassist David Beck is the son of Bill Whitbeck, a veteran touring musician, while guitarist Paul Cauthen actually credits his grandfather for teaching him how to harmonise — the affinity they share between them gives their efforts a sympathetic feel.
Still, this sophomore album Burning Days is more than a mere backwoods mash-up; while Beck and Cauthen do occasionally resemble the Avetts in their unabashed exhortations and deliberate twists and turns, their’s is a sound entirely of their own creation. Whether it’s the gospel-like dynamic of “Hurt Someone,” the quiet glide of “Not This Time” or the tender trappings of “Selfish Mind,” the pair pull things off with great aplomb, varying the elements and keeping things unexpected. “Burning Days” is perhaps the best example; although it starts off with deceptive calm, in no time at all it goes from a shuffle to a shout out. Likewise, closing track “The Mansion” first establishes itself as easy and agreeable, only later to culminate in a rousing refrain. Sure, fathers know best, but these Sons seem to have learned their parental lessons well.
DOWNLOAD: “Selfish Mind,” “Burning Days,” “The Mansion”
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