The Young and Restless

Seven local South by Southwest 'Picks 2 Click'

The Young and Restless
Photo by Shelley Hiam

Sons of Fathers

Wednesday, March 14, 8pm, Saxon Pub

While David Beck and Paul Cauthen had run in the same musical circles down the road in San Marcos and here in Austin, it wasn't until a weeklong sojourn in Brooklyn in December 2010 that they decided to join forces. They haven't looked back.

"I've tried co-writing with a lot of people, and it just doesn't flow," says Cauthen, all swagger and cigarette-roughened rasp. "All of a sudden, I'm writing better than I ever have with David. It's taken me to another level of writing."

In September, the duo released its eponymous debut, originally titled Beck & Cauthen until the pair got a cease-and-desist order from Beck Hansen. The title and group name changed, but not the disc's pure Americana, bearing pitch-perfect harmonies that have become the duos trademark. Steeped in honky-tonk and co-produced by Grammy-winning producer Lloyd Maines, who also contributed his pedal steel, Sons of Fathers documents two young men who treat their music career as a professional endeavor rather than a lark subsidized by waiting tables. This means waking up early, making calls, sending emails, writing, and rehearsing.

"And then we do it all over again," says Cauthen.

"You cannot stop. You can't expect someone to hand it to you," says the earnest, 23-year-old Beck, son of Bill Whitbeck, bassist for Robert Earl Keen. "It's not like the old days where some record label guy is going to come to your show and give you the world."

As such, Beck and Cauthen are preparing to record a second album with the rest of their band, comprising Regan Schmidt (guitar, lap steel), Dan Cohen (guitar, mandolin), and Dees Stribling on drums. Their manager, Marty Schwartz, who worked with the Eagles in the Hotel California era, came out of semiretirement to sign on with the band. Plus, Grammy-winning engineer Vance Powell (Tammy Wynette, the Raconteurs) will lend his ears to the next album.

Not too shabby for a coupla broke kids.

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