"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.
Recent SHOWS ~
JUNE 18 - THE FREIGHT & SALVAGE, Berkeley, CA - Fathers and Sons album launch
AUG 6 - Support for Charlie Hunter Trio, HopMonk Novato, Novato, CA
AUG 19 - In-The-Round with Gretchen Peters, Craig Caruthers, & Don Henry at THE BLUEBIRD, Nashville
SEPT 24 - ANGELICAS, Redwood City, CA - Full band w/Michael Manring, Bax Robertson & Daniel Berkman
UPCOMING SHOWS ~
FALL EUROPEAN DOUBLE-BILL TOUR with PAUL Tiernan:
NOV 8 - PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT - Bochum, Germany
NOV 9 - KOMBUSE - Obendorf, Germany
NOV 10 - ZIMMER 16 - FLORASTR. 16 - Berlin, Germany
NOV 11 - PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT - Brandenburg, Germany
NOV 12 - THE PHOENIX, Heilbronnerstr. 38 - Lauffen am necker, Germany
NOV 14 - PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
NOV 15 - KANAPEE - edenstrasse 1 - Hannover, Germany
NOV 16 - KANAPEE (2nd night added) - edenstrasse 1 - Hannover, Germany
NOV 17 - gruningen sessions - gruningen , Switzerland
NOV 18 - froh aussicht - Oberrieden, Switzerland
NOV 19 - ALTE BAHNHOFSHALLE - Bahnhofstrasse 4a - Berlin-Freidenau, Germany
NOV 20 - PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT - Werl, Germany
Friday, DEC 1 - Bazaar Café - 7pm to 9pm - 5927 california street, San Francisco Acoustic double bill with guitarist teja gerkin
News & Updates
So sad to hear the news today about Tom Petty. My wife and I just saw him and both felt he looked older ...inbetween songs! RIP Tom & thanks