Daughters & Sons
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Daughters & Sons

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Rock Funk

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Lord have mercy. Not since the Royal Crescent Mob graced and greased stages in and around our fair city has a band taken up the cause of Rock-crazed Funk with such a furious passion as our own Daughters and Sons. Smooth as a baby’s ass, funky as a chitlin dinner and crazy as a shithouse rat, Daughters and Sons raises a righteous noise with the fervor of a tent revival at each and every gig. There is nary a roof or rafter in the area that is safe with Daughters and Sons ready to plug in and blow the house down.
Dig It: The RC Mob gives Weezer a prison tattoo with the shards of a Curtis Mayfield record and ink made from melted-down Hendrix albums. (BB)
- CityBeat (Cincinnati)


After listening to Daughters and Sons' four blistering slabs of joyous Funk/Rock on their MySpace page, it's hard to imagine Willy Morren as depressed, on the verge of abandoning music. Not long ago, that seemed a distinct option for the affable guitarist.

"I quit playing because I couldn't get people together," says Morren from the band's Northside rehearsal space. "Every time something good happened, it would break down."

One of Morren's gigs was the Hendrix-tinged power trio Nitty Irving's Family, "Nitty" being Morren's longstanding nickname ("I'm trying to kill that name, but it just won't die ..."). After recording a CD and playing out consistently, Morren felt a creeping sense of dissatisfaction.

"It was fun and it was easy but it wasn't my thing," says Morren. "We did some good things."

With the idea of quitting music a definite possibility, Morren was talked into a friendly jam session last year by a previous drummer and the spark returned. Morren then serendipitously met bassist James Cooney, who joined for a lark. As a new band coalesced in Morren's mind, the drummer suddenly quit, potentially ending the project. Ryan Mitchell's arrival kept things moving forward, although his introduction was underwhelming.

"I failed the audition," says Mitchell with a laugh. "I don't know why they invited me back."

"He was a completely different person when he came back," jokes Morren. "He went to the Shaolin Temple of drums for a week and intensively studied."

Mitchell quickly got up to speed and the trio envisioned possibilities looming on the horizon, specifically adding keyboards and horns to create the brand of Funk and Rock that had defined Sly and the Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield and the Royal Crescent Mob.

"I sweated in a Mob audience many times," says Morren.

A piece at a time, Daughters and Sons fell into place. Keyboardist Kevin Cooper signed on (his hectic schedule keeps him from attending every gig, so he platoons with keyboardist Tom Eliopulos), followed in short order by trumpeter Alan Bothe (introduced to the band by his banker father, who works with Mitchell) and tenor saxophonist Greg Hurd (who found the band on Cincymusic.com and maneuvered his schedule with the Rusty Van Band). With the addition of tight horns, the raucous Funk sound that Morren had imagined came to glorious fruition.

"I think we all had big ideas," says Mitchell. "We wanted keys and female vocalists in order to make the name work -- we haven't found that yet."

"When I thought about this, I said, 'I want to make what I want to make,' and the decision to play again wasn't anything more than hearing the next song I might write," says Morren. "If I can give that to myself, I'll keep writing music I wanted to do in the first place."

So far, Daughters and Sons has entertained talk from some local labels on the basis of the four song demo, but they've written a wealth of material that they hope to record later this year. With everyone working a day job -- and some moonlighting in other bands -- they recognize the need for someone with strong management skills to sort out the band's business aspects.

Semi-regular shows at Stanley's, the Blue Rock Cafe and Baba Budan's have attracted wide ranging audiences and generated an impressive positive response -- Funk, Jam and Punk fans have all found something to enjoy. But like all bands at their level, Daughters and Sons has done its share of dodgy gigs.

"A couple of gigs it's been like, 'I know I'm in a band and playing, but what am I doing here? How did I get here?,' " says Bothe with a laugh.

"We've been trying to talk Ryan out of the phrase, 'No gig's a bad gig,' " deadpans Hurd. "Some of them are."

Although Daughters and Sons might mean different things to each individual member, Morren has an underlying philosophy for this band that provides him personal motivation.

"It's the answer to the question, 'What the hell is wrong with people?' It's the unifier," says Morren. "I joke onstage sometimes, 'We are Daughters and Sons, and so are you.' Every living thing came from some kind of mother. So, this is my little answer for how to quit letting people make other people frown. Everybody gets hungry, everybody gets tired, everybody feels bad and everybody needs help. Whatever else you want to think about, that's the universal truth. Telling them that they are a daughter or son and that they had a mother and so do you is a way to point that out."

- City Beat (Cincinnati)


Daughters & Sons is the real deal. No matter how many times you see them, you’re always blown away. At the end of every show you half expect Sly Stone to come out and high five each member. If you can imagine early Aerosmith with a horn section doing some Funk songs, you’re on your way to imagining what Daughters & Sons sounds like. They never tell you to get down because it’s all about coming up.

http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/article-20251-staff-picks.html - CityBeat Best of Cincinnati 2010


Discography

A four song demo.

Photos

Bio

Voted "Best Reason to Dance to Original Music" by CityBeats Staff for their Best of Cincinnati Issue 2010. Winner Best Funk/R&B band Cincinnati 2008. Presented by the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards on Nov 23, 2008.
Daughters & Sons formed in early 2007 with a 'musicians wanted' ad by singer and guitar player William 'Nitty' Morren.

Nitty, born in Oklahoma and raised partly in England, had grown up on classic '70s funk and R&B such as Sly and the Family Stone and Stevie Wonder. The goal was to create a rock band that mixed in a heavy dose of those much loved funk and soul sounds. Nitty's ad snagged two jam-band refugees, bassist James Cooney and drummer Ryan Mitchell. Cooney had been playing in a local bar band. Mitchell was involved in several bands, including the Kennedy Brothers which sometimes featured Ekoostik Hookah's Cliff Starbuck. The slap-heavy fuzzed-out bass of Cooney combined nicely with Mitchell's snare-pop style and the group began performing as a trio and writing songs. Veteran local musician Kevin Cooper soon joined the group on keyboards. Kevin has been involved with countless Cincinnati bands since the early '90s, notably Cats Walking Backwards, Four Ohms, and the Kevin Fox Band. In early 2008, the band added a horn section. Trumpet-player Alan Bothe is a CCM grad and is also a member of Cincinnati hip hop group Undermind. Saxophone player Greg Hurd is a West Virginia native and plays in several bands around town. The addition of the horn section helped to fill out the band's sound and allowed for further exploration of funk and R&B. As the band's schedule grew busier, keyboardist Tom Eliopulos was brought in to play shows when Kevin was booked with another group. He quickly became an integral part of the band and is currently playing the majority of the band's shows.

Daughters & Sons play music to make you groove. The Northside-based six piece has taken elements from 70's funk and soul groups like the Meters and Curtis Mayfield and integrated them into a more modern rock sound. The soulful vocals combine with tight rhythm and horn sections to create a sound that is both familiar and new. Songs from their four-song demo are getting heavy rotation on several internet radio stations; and labels such as Holographic Records have expressed an interest in the band.

Daughters & Sons is the real deal. No matter how many times you see them, you’re always blown away. At the end of every show you half expect Sly Stone to come out and high five each member. If you can imagine early Aerosmith with a horn section doing some Funk songs, you’re on your way to imagining what Daughters & Sons sounds like. They never tell you to get down because it’s all about coming up.
http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/article-20251-staff-picks.html