"This is a strong album. 'The Beautiful Princess of Never Come True' is a total sledge hammer to the heart!" - Peter Finch, The Finch Files (formerly of KFOG San Francisco)
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.
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 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 while other contributors 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, also make a guest 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, Green Day) and mastered by Randy Merril at New York’s Sterling Sound (John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon). Randy won this years mastering Grammy for his work on Adele's 25.
John has released six albums to date: “Live at the Freight and Salvage” in 2001, “Big Dreams and the Bottom Line” in 2003, “So Many Reasons” in 2007, "Jazz?" in 2012, "Live ~ with Paul Tiernan" in 2015., and now “Fathers and Sons” in 2017.
Back in San Francisco after over a decade living in Europe and two years in New York City, John has carved a niche touring circuit throughout the US, the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. As a solo performer, he has created a unique show featuring his 100-year-old upright bass named Sarah (after Sarah Vaughan, for her lovely vocal-like quality). He also plays acoustic and electric bass guitars, as well as baritone steel string guitar, nylon string guitar, and ukulele, at times utilizing a loop recorder to create live tracks for his songs and improvisations. See the Shows page for upcoming tour dates.
John is now booking live shows in support of his new album Fathers and Sons.
Friday, may 17 ~ acoustic duo at cypress meadows, moss beach, Ca - 7pm to 9:30
I’ll be returning to this lovely all-acoustic series here on the coast just south of San Francisco. Cypress Meadows hosts a once a month singer-songwriter series in a great sounding room. No PA, no mics, just the natural sound of vocals and instruments. I’ll be playing bass and ukulele and will be joined by guitarist David Schibner. This is a house concert style show with aa donation taken at the show. If attending rsvp Sharon at: email@example.com
saturday, july 27 ~ bass0 trio at jupiter, berkeley, Ca - 8pm to 11pm
Jupiter is my favorite East Bay hang. Outdoor beer garden, casual atmosphere, no cover charge. I’ll be playing this evening with my jazz trio featuring sax, drums, and yours truly on bass and vocals. We hit at 8pm and play three sets. Lineup tba
Jupiter - 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
sunday, september 22 - san gregorio general store, san gregorio, ca - 2pm to 5pm
Fancy a September Sunday drive down the coast between San Francisco and Santa Cruz? Swing by the San Gregorio General Store and catch me playing solo and with a few special guests. While there, make sure to browse the store should you need lanterns, seeds, cast iron cookware, aspirin, advice, wines fine to rot gut, western and work clothing, groceries, hardware, bullshit, toys, cow technician hats, beeswax, or books (literature, poetry, gender and environmental politics).
Located at the corner of Hwy 84 and Stage Road - 7615 Stage Road, San Gregorio, California 94074
saturday, october 5 ~ bass bureaucracy at jupiter, berkeley, Ca - 8pm to 11pm
Jupiter is my favorite East Bay hang. Outdoor beer garden, casual atmosphere, no cover charge. I’ll be playing this evening with my ‘all basses and beats’ looping project “Bass Bureaucracy”. We hit at 8pm and play three sets. Guest drummer tba
Jupiter - 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Fall 2019 European double bill tour with Paul Tiernan - November 6th thru 18th
Paul Tiernan and I will bring our acoustic duo back The Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland this November. Stay tuned for more specifics as the tour gets closer.
WEDNESDAY NOV 6 - PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT - BOCHUM, GERMANY
THURSDAY NOV 7 - PRIMA VISTA - BADEN, SWITZERLAND
FRIDAY NOV 8 - tba - SWITZERLAND
SATURDAY NOV 9 tba - SWITZERLAND
SUNDAY NOV 10 - THE PHOENIX, LAUFFEN, GERNAMY
TUESDAY NOV 12 - HOUSE CONCERT - AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
WEDNESDAY NOV 13 - HOUSE CONCERT - MONNIKENDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
THURSDAY NOV 14 - KANAPEE - HANNOVER, GERMANY
FRIDAY NOV 15 - KULTURCONSUM - ORANIENBERG, BERLIN, GERMANY
SATURDAY NOV 16 - HOUSE CONCERT - LIEBENWALDE, GERMANY
SUNDAY NOV 17 - ALTENBAHNOFF HALLE - FRIEDENAU, BERLIN, GERMANY
MONDAY NOV 18 - HOUSE CONCERT - DORTMUND, GERMANY
For booking info please contact my record label Ambit Acoustic Records at firstname.lastname@example.org
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