Moonalice Share New EP ‘Father & Son,’ Celebrating the Family Ties That Bind Them
December 8, 2023 BY Emma Orland
Today, Bay Area collective Moonalice releases Father & Son, the first in a two-part EP series celebrating the family ties that bind the group together across multiple generations. With the help of Nashville songwriter and producer Dylan Altman (Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean), Moonalice spotlights the father-son duo of Lester Chambers and his son Dylan through rousing, electrified original songs. “Old & Proud” pays tribute to Lester’s legacy with The Chambers Brothers, while “Born To Be Ready” and “Can You Feel It” see Dylan carry the torch as a fiery frontman. The sister trio of The T-Sisters add their familial harmony to the mix on “Blink of an Eye,” and the Grateful Dead classic “Attics of My Life.” Last but not least is the reimagined “Am I High?” featuring Asleep at the Wheel frontman and country music legend Ray Benson.
“There is something very special when blood relatives sing harmony together, and in Moonalice we are blessed with two sets of family harmony!” explains Roger McNamee. “Father & Son celebrates the incredible chemistry between Lester and Dylan Chambers. There is magic in the music we all make together.”
“It is such a joy to rock with my boy,” says Lester, as Dylan adds. “Lester’s a treasure which makes it a pleasure. Father and son get the job done.”
On the heels of Father & Son, Moonalice ready their acoustic companion EP Mother & Child, due out on December 29th, which highlights the second set of family members in Moonalice, the sister vocal trio of Erika, Rachel, and Chloe Tietjen of the T-Sisters.
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For Bay-area psychedelic soul collective Moonalice, making music is more than just a career; it’s in their blood. It’s family. The 10-piece group includes the father-son duo Lester and Dylan Chambers, the T-Sisters vocal trio of Erika, Chloe, and Rachel Tietjen, and a band of musicians that have performed together for long enough to call each other brothers: Barry Sless, Pete Sears, John Molo, Jason Crosby, and Roger McNamee.
In the Fall of 2022, Moonalice began working on their latest project, adding another member to the family, Nashville songwriter and producer Dylan Altman. “Everybody in the band is super talented, creative, and easy to work with,” he reflects. “Each song was a true collaborative effort where the only thing that mattered was creating something good. I really appreciated that and look forward to making more music with Moonalice in the future.” Bringing new energy to the group, Altman helps tell the story of the Chambers Brothers’ founder and musical legend, Lester Chambers. “Old & Proud” is a tribute to the spirit of the older generation through Chambers’ experience finding a life in rock & roll, going from the Jim Crow South of the 1940s to the top of the Billboard charts during the psychedelic 1960s.
Moonalice’s new release not only chronicles the benefits of experience that come with age but highlights the voices of the future. “Born to Be Ready” and “Can You Feel It?” see Lester’s son Dylan follow in his father’s footsteps. Born into a life of rock & roll, Dylan embraces the role he has been filling since he first appeared on stage with his dad and The Chambers Brothers in 1989 during a performance of “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”
Dylan recalls: “When I was three or four years old, I started jumping on stage with [Lester]. When I saw the lights come on and the sea of people, I knew it was something I definitely wanted to do.”
Lester adds: “If you could’ve seen his expression. It said, ‘Wow, this is something I want to do forever.’ There are no words to express it. It brought tears to my eyes.”
Another part of Moonalice’s new generation is the T-Sisters. Since joining the band, Rachel, Chloe, and Erika have infused the group with inimitable, angelic harmonies. They’ve become fan favorites for their unique renditions of Grateful Dead songs like “Uncle John’s Band,” “Brokedown Palace,” and “Attics of My Life,” the Robert Hunter-penned tune that reflects on adulthood and the ritual of succeeding generations. The T’s find a way to balance their lives as musicians and activists with the lifelong job of motherhood. It’s not easy, but they do it with style and grace.
If anything, the new music sees the family tree of Moonalice extend its branches even further, ushering in an exciting new era. Their ongoing message of love, peace, and happiness extends from the past to the present and into the future.