Live Performance of the Week: “Father’s Son” by Fistful of Mercy feat. Tom Morello

It’s folk rock with a twist. With a barrage of harmonies, string instruments, and hats, fledgling group Fistful of Mercy rocks the set of Conan in this 2010 clip. While the core trio of Ben Harper, Joseph Arthur, and Beatles progeny Dhani Harrison make most of the performance, it is the backing musicians that really fill out the song. The studio version can’t hope to match the depth of sound in this performance. Look it up to see what I mean.

Say what you will about Tom Morello–his style never really appealed to me–but his inclusion gives the song a kind of space rock element. It meshes surprisingly well with the acoustic-dominated group, building a palpable sense of urgency as the track’s narrator reveals his guilt.

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