The Five Best Musical Collaborations Between a Parent and Child

Tweedy, featuring Jeff and Spencer, plays in Denver this Saturday.
Tweedy, featuring Jeff and Spencer, plays in Denver this Saturday.
Courtesy of the band

Tweedy, due March 28th at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, is a collaboration between, longtime Wilco front man Jeff  Tweedy and his son Spencer. Together, the group released the album, Sukierae, in September 2014. The album carries with it a somber tone, as most of the songs address Jeff's wife, and Spencer's mother, Susan Tweedy, and her battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma - Sukierae was Susan's childhood nickname. 

While the collaboration is still gaining its legs, musically, it is touching to see a father and son face personal hardships together by creating music. Here are five other examples of parent/child musical collaborations that range from the serious to the SOCKWEB. 

SOCKWEB
This father/daughter grindcore band (yep, you heard that right) sing songs about breakfast, bullies, werewolves and other terrifying experiences that six-year-olds go through. While the thought of this collaboration is sweet, the music is anything but. Dad, Adam Young, lays down blistering grindcore riffs on guitar as daughter, Joanie, screams bloody murder throughout. The duo earned so much acclaim that they signed a record deal with Monolithic Records in 2014. With the amount of screaming Joanie does, we can only imagine she'll switch to singing soft jazz in her teens. 

Wolfgang and Eddie Van Halen
Can we all agree that Michael Anthony was the worst member of Van Halen? The below video of him drunkenly assaulting his bass should help you come to that conclusion. Eddie Van Halen seemed to agree and in 2006 he replaced him with his 16 year-old-son Wolfgang. Wolfgang, who inspired the Van Halen song 316 and has his own guitar named after him, still plays alongside his father and recorded his first album with them in 2011. 

Nathen and Maxwell Maxwell
When Flogging Molly's Nathen Maxwell needed a drummer to help him record his first Bunny Gang album he didn't look any further than to a man so nice they named him twice - his dad, Maxwell Maxwell. The Maxwells, who are both Denver area residents, had a unmatched chemistry on stage. Dad laid down impeccable reggae inspired backbeats to son's songs of protest and love. While Bunny Gang now tours and performs without him, Maxwell Sr. is a noted Denver artist and can be seen at any number of area galleries. 

Anderson Family Bluegrass Band
Careful: this one's so sweet it'll make your teeth hurt! In 2005, March and Christy Anderson started performing with their four children, Paige, Aimee, Ethan and Daisy as The Anderson Family Bluegrass Band. The band started playing festivals and fairs, but eventually started to gain some national recognition. In 2009 the band earned some spots on the Revival Tour, playing alongside and collaborating with the tour's creator, the mythic Chuck Ragan. These days, Paige has taken the starring role and performs with the rest of her siblings as Paige Anderson and the Fearless Kin. Perhaps the kids got older and realized touring with your parents isn't that cool after all. 

Moon Unit and Frank Zappa 
Hoping to give his then fourteen-year-old daughter some notoriety, musical genius Frank Zappa collaborated with Moon Unit on the 1982 song "Valley Girl." The song, which poked fun at Moon Unit and her chattering group of friends, is one of the more puzzling songs in Frank's long and illustrious career. While it is not indicative of his other work, the song did become a top 40 hit. While Frank passed away in 1993, "Moon" remains a talented author and artist. 

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Ellie Caulkins Opera House

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