John Lester’s new album, Fathers and Sons, is a collection of his most personal and powerful work yet. Inspired by the often unspoken family relationships between men, each song messages the love, pain, tension, struggle, and questions that arise and confound these ties and bonds. From the full acceptance and embrace of a young boy’s gender fluidity in “The Beautiful Princess of Never Come True”, to the merciful attempts at reconciliation with an estranged father during his final days in “The High Road”, to the feeling of forever growing family love in “Real, Real Love”, John’s life experience as a father, husband, son, teacher, and songwriter is felt throughout each song as well.
John has collaborated with incredibly talented musicians from around the globe and from many phases of his career for this recording. With John on vocals, acoustic basses, guitars, and his 1930 era Martin ukulele, the core band is rounded out by his long-time European touring partner Paul Tiernan on acoustic guitars and background vocals, and New York drummer Tim Bulkley. Grammy-nominated songwriter Gretchen Peters (background vocals) and Nashville pianist Barry Walsh guest on the opening track. Other guests include Bay Area drummer Michael Urbano, Baxter Roberston on Hammond organ, six string bassist Steve Lawson, and Grammy-award winning fretless bassist Michael Manring. John’s two sons, ages eleven and nine, make their debut appearances on vocals.
Fathers and Sons was recorded in the San Francisco Bay Area at 25th Street Recording by Grammy-award winning engineer Michael Rosen (Rob Wasserman, Santana, Country Joe McDonald). It was mastered at New York’s Sterling Sound (John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon) by Randy Merrill, who won this year’s mastering Grammy for his work on Adele’s album ‘25’.
released June 18, 2017
John Lester ~ vocals, bass, guitar, and ukulele
Paul Tiernan ~ background vocals and guitars
Gretchen Peters ~ guest background vocals
Kai and Aaron Lester ~ guest vocals
Barry Walsh ~ piano and accordion
Baxter Robertson ~ Hammond organ
Tim Bulkley ~ drums
Michael Urbano ~ additional drums and percussion
Michael Manring ~ fretless bass
Steve Lawson ~ soundscapes
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