Father & Child Reunions: 7 Dads Performing With Their Kids

By Andy Kahn Jun 19, 2016 1:40 pm PDT

For this Father’s Day installment of Sunday Cinema below is a collection of videos of dads onstage performing with their musical offspring. Though the term “dad rock” is often tossed around disparagingly, the clips below show off a number of dads who do in fact rock, doing what they do best alongside the next generation of talented performers.

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has teamed with his son, guitarist Grahame Lesh on a number of occasions in recent years, forming their group Communion and often playing together at the elder’s Terrapin Crossroads venue in San Rafael, California with the Terrapin Family Band. Below are two videos from Terrapin Crossroads, filmed nearly one year apart and featuring three generations of the Lesh family – Phil, Grahame and Levon (Phil’s grandson/Brian Lesh’s son). Each clip showcases the familial ensembles playing the Dead’s “Ripple,” check them out thanks to nowiknowuryder and jefftgvid below:

The legacy of the late great The Band drummer Levon Helm has continued though the work and career of his daughter Amy Helm. Filmed at a Midnight Ramble in February 2012 at Levon’s barn in Woodstock, New York where Amy still regularly appears, the Helms were joined by Donald Fagen, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams and others in this rendition of “Ophelia” filmed for a PBS special, watch:

Though current disputes among Frank Zappa surviving children has led to a public fallout between Dweezil Zappa and his younger siblings Ahmet and Diva Zappa (who are currently in charge of the Zappa Family Trust), the fact remains that Dweezil’s ongoing commitment to playing the music of his late dad, regardless of billing, is an example the father’s influence had on his fellow guitar-playing son. At just 18-years-old, Dweezil joined Frank on stage in Stockholm, Sweden in May 1988 for a cover of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post” and The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.” Grainy footage paired with upgraded audio of the ABB cover is below:

Outlaw country icon Willie Nelson tapped his son Lukas Nelson – who along with his brother Micah Nelson formed Promise Of The Real – to record Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe” for Willie’s 2012 album Heroes. The Nelson’s perform the song penned by Eddie Vedder at Farm Aid in Saratoga Springs, New York on September 21, 2013, here’s that father-son duet:

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Fellow outlaw country legend, the late Johnny Cash was highly influential on his talented daughter Rosanne Cash, famously constructing a list of 100 essential songs for his singer-songwriter child to study. Filmed in 1989 at their Nashville home celebration of family matriarch June Carter Cash’s Mother Maybelle’s Cookbook, this footage features Johnny and Rosanne singing his “Tennessee Flat Top Box” – a song that was a hit for each performer – at the intimate gathering. Watch the unplanned performance here:

Guitarist Steve Kimock recently unveiled a new project with his son, drummer John Kimock, aptly named K I M O C K. The veteran guitarist and the up-and-coming drummer are joined by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Leslie Medelson and bassist Bobby Vega in this stripped-down performance of “Careless Love,” followed by the elder Kimock’s solo take on “Surely This Day” and the full band’s rendition of “Orson.” Produced by Acoustic Guitar Magazine, watch the three song set here:

Like the father-son/guitar-drums duo above, Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer Tweedy recently debuted a surname-monikered band Tweedy. Typically rounded out by a full band lineup, for their NPR Music Tiny Desk concert it was pure Tweedy as the pair of Chicagoans appeared as a duo to perform tracks from their album Sukierae (named after Jeff’s wife and Spencer’s mom Susan Miller), including “Wait For Love,” “New Moon” and “Low Key,” along with Mavis Staples’ “You Are Not Alone” from her album which both Tweedys contributed to. View the mini-concert here:

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