The Dads, four rockers from Richmond, have crossed over. Actually, they've crossed Wisconsin Avenue, moving from the corner of Wisconsin and M to the Bayou, where they will play on Thursday.
Three years ago, the band could be heard on occasional weekend nights in the Riggs National Bank parking lot. They'd set up a couple of battery-powered amps, with guitarists David Ayers and Kevin Pitman sharing one and bassist/vocalist Bryan Harvey running his microphone into the other. Drummer Mike Tubb would bring a snare drum and, sometimes, a cymbal.
They wouldn't play for long.
"It depended on the policemen," Harvey says. "Some of them would just tell us to turn it down, or we'd switch to playing something jazzy like 'Sunny' and they'd walk by. There's an ordinance against electrified instruments in Georgetown, so generally they'd chase us off. But you could usually get away with it for about a half-hour and collect a lot of quarters. We'd sometimes make $120."
They also ran into New York producer Michael Brassard, who happened to be in Georgetown one night before the Dads were chased away. At the time, the Dads weren't doing any originals, Harvey says, because with battery-powered amps, "there wasn't really much you could do except old rock 'n' roll."
But Brassard liked what he heard. "He came up to us and said, 'Hey, I want to make you famous,' " Harvey says. Brassard produced the Dads' debut for CBS/Estate "and he's now our manager."