"Hardly a soul left sitting down!" - Larry Ellis, Newberry College
Father Son and Friends consists of the core group...
While re-enacting, Joey started playing a lot of the music from people he was influenced by as a kid in Kentucky. "I used to play music with my aunts and uncles when I was growing up. We used to listen to people like Bill Monroe and The Beatles" Joey recalled. Also influenced by the likes of Jim Croce, Andy M. Stewart, Brian McNeil, and John Denver - Joey started to consider playing music professionally. "I didn't really want to form a "band" so to speak. I wanted to play music with my son and some friends" Joey said. It was while sitting around a campfire at a festival in Vincennes, Indiana when, from out of the shadows, a gentleman came up and said "You guys are pretty good. You should record this stuff!" - that is how Father Son and Friends came to be.
During the early years of the band, Joey had the opportunity to go back to school and received his Masters Degree in education from Wright State University in 1994. After teaching special education for a number of years, he retired to take Father Son and Friends on the road full time.
Now, he criss crosses the country putting thousands of miles on the tour bus as drives the rig/merchandise store for the band to various festivals/fairs. "I'm the old guy - how did I get stuck doing this?", Joey jokes. Adding, "But, it's what I like to do".
Quentin attended the University of Dayton and received his Bachelors in Music Education. “At UD I started to identify with music, figuring out my sound and style, and that it’s not all about theory. I wrote my first decent tunes then, and played with a few bands. I knew I never really wanted to be a teacher, but went into Music Ed to learn the pedagogy behind all instruments. That’s really helped me out as kind of a “swing man” for FSF, especially when I’m on backup vocals and percussion. It also comes in handy playing and recording my own tunes.“
After many attempts, Quentin was able to start playing music with FSF in the fall of 2014. “Shawn actually tried to get me to sub with the band for a little over a year, but my schedule wouldn’t match up” Q said. “It’s a bummer I missed so many opportunities to play, what a great group. I actually heard the band and met Shawn and Joey in person on St. Patty’s Day in 2014, four days before my wedding. I just remember what a great time it was and how I hoped I’d get the chance to play”.
After working as Director of Production and Operations for the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, he relocated back to his hometown of Rochester, NY. Q is now the Alumni and Engagement Officer for the Eastman School of Music. When he isn't working or with the band, he writes and records his own tunes, plays golf or finds other reasons to be outside. He is living the dream with his beautiful wife (formerly his piano accompanist and UD lady-friend) Liz, and their two dogs, Louie and Tami.
In 1989 Father Son and Friends formed as an "official" band. "We have been fortunate enough to play in several countries and have had quite a few adventures - and what do I have to show for it? A closet that has more skirts in it than pants!", Shawn joked.
When he is not on the road, Shawn works in marketing and advertising for media giant Cox Media Group in Ohio. He also has a recording studio and does voice work on the side when the tour schedule allows. In 2004, Shawn married Tracie, his childhood sweetheart. They gave birth to their shinning star Alexander on September 29, 2011. Shawn said he can't wait to rename the band "Father Son and Holy Crap!".
Even before she started classical piano lessons at seven years old, Liz learned she had a love for music. “Mom would always have Carol King, James Taylor, or Elton John playing, my Dad played guitar and bass in bands my whole life and I grew up as that 2-year-old in the bar watching him. I wouldn’t know what to do without music,” Liz commented.
Her piano studies led her to flute studies in elementary and high school, and then she learned of an exciting degree offered at the University of Dayton – music therapy. “I knew I always wanted to help people, and when I found that I could combine my two passions, it was a perfect fit.” During her studies, Liz worked with a variety of clients and populations and learned an even bigger variety of instruments. “Learning hand drums and percussion was my favorite,” she said, “and it stuck. Leading drum circles was especially life changing for me. I love rhythm, developing beats and changing them, getting people out of their comfort zone and involved, I just love it.”
It was when her husband, and FSF fiddle player, Quentin started with the band that Liz also took up interest and began lessons in Irish dance, taking home national and regional awards in two separate competitions. It was also during that time Liz started to play percussion with the band.
Liz now lives in Rochester, NY and works as Education Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association. She lives with Q and their two dogs, Louie and Tami.
And more friends like...
John "Preacher" Johnston:
John started playing music with Joey Hall around the campfire when Shawn was about 5 years old. "Mostly, I played traditional fiddle and bluegrass tunes, popular folk music and Celtic songs." John explained. Preacher, as his friends call him, began "officially" playing with Father Son and Friends shortly after they were formed in 1989. He continues to lend his talents, both in the recording studio and on stage, at multiple FSF shows around the country.
Since retiring from teaching at the University of Memphis, John and his wife Cathy have moved to North Carolina to be closer to two of their three children and their grandchildren.
When not on the road the band, John has many projects to keep him busy. "I combine my interest in traditional music with French and Indian War period and Revolutionary War period living history demonstrations, and building 18th century furniture using hand tools",
It was graduating from rigorous Ball State University that Stephanie believes prepared her with the ability to communicate effectively with other musicians, during both performances and rehersal. As a result, she is an in-demand player and instructor.
Her whistle is made by famed whistle craftsman and friend, Patrick O'Riordan. Having created her own style through years of practice and use, the sound of her whistle and skill of her playing are immediatley recognizable.
When she isn't playing music with FSF, Stephanie stays quite busy. For years she has marched/played with The Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corp. which has taken her to the East Coast and even Carnegie Hall. She also enjoys tending to her garden and taking care of the property that she shares with her boyfriend, Luke, near Fort Ouiatenon. "It was during the times I spent at re-enactments like Feast of the Hunters Moon, at Fort Ouatenon, that I got to build my traditional music chops", Stephanie recalled. "The fife and drum jams that would give way - or be forcibly ended - to even later campfire guitar pickin' parties", she joked. "What's more fun than that?"
More than just a "Friend", Stephanie considers the entire FSF community to be part of her family.