People say being the son of a famous man is particularly difficult. Often times he reacts badly to being in his father's shadow and wilts under the pressures on him to succeed. It's bad enough when your father happens to be well known, but it must be a hundred times worse if he decides to follow in his footsteps in his choice of career.
The only way this can work is if both men involved are sure enough of themselves and their abilities to not feel any threat from the other. The father is going to have to be able to teach his son without telling him to do it "my way" and the son is going to have to be willing to understand he can learn something from his father no matter how talented he is or thinks he might be.
I'm sure it's hard when the son and the father are both professionals like lawyers or doctors and the son is always being compared to the dad to see if he matches up. But when you start venturing into the arts, where egos are notoriously fragile, it would seem like collisions are only inevitable.
This only makes the case of Luther Allison and his son Bernard Allison much more remarkable for the way things turned out. Even when his father was alive Bernard was spreading his wings and putting his own stamp on the Blues. In fact his first CD, released in 1990 when he was twenty-five, was called The Next Generation.
Being born in the early sixties, Bernard was not only exposed to the music of his father and his contemporaries in the Chicago Blues scene, he was listening to the modern interpreters of the Blues and rock players. There's no question the father would have influenced the son, but if he wanted to be Bernard Allison and not Luther Allison's son he was going to have develop his own ways of playing and interpreting the blues.
It's just a big pleasure for me to continue my father's legacy, but you know I don't go out and try to be Luther Allison. I just go and do what I've learned from my Dad and the likes of Koko Taylor, or Stevie Ray Vaughan, or Albert King. So, I'm trying to keep the Blues alive Bernard Allison style. (Bernard Allison)
Those just aren't idle words, spoken to deflect any possible suspicion of Bernard riding on his father's coat tails. All one needs do is listen to him for any length of time to dispel that notion and to realize he's his own player. No Mercy is a packaging of two live concerts onto one disc, and it give a really good indication of not only Bernard's talent but his diversity and passion as well.