Harper Simon, Salvador Santana Channel Famous Dads on New LPs

August 20, 2009 3:36 PM ET

A pair of guys with some excellent genes are ready to release fresh music this fall. Check out the news on Paul Simon's son Harper and Carlos Santana's son Salvador below. And peruse more famous rock offspring here.

If Elliott Smith fronted an alt-country group, it'd sound a lot like Harper Simon, the son of Paul Simon. On his self-titled debut album (out October 13th), 36-year-old Simon surrounds himself with an ace team of backing musicians (including Charlie McCoy, Gene Chrisman, and Lloyd Green) and contemporary songwriters (including Elliott Smith's pal Aaron Espinoza from Earlimart) for an easy-going, wistful set of alt-country pop, full of sweet country-twang guitars and Simon's bright, clear tenor. Your move, Ryan Adams.

Carlos Santana's son Salvador cites Bob Marley, Thelonious Monk and McCoy Tyner as influences, but on debut cut "Keyboard City," he's in a mellow, baby-makin' mood. The 26-year-old Bay Area dude (who got into music playing drums with his dad as a three year old) cut this track with Beastie Boys' Money Mark. (Salvador has also recorded tracks with Del the Funky Homosapien.) On "Keyboard City," Sal and Mark layer reedy, synth atmospherics, icy-cool electronic keys and a smooth-as-butter beat underneath Sal's awesomely zonked-out Vocoder-heavy vocals.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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