By day John Littrich is a lecturer in law at the University of Wollongong, by night he plays in a folky bluesgrass country band with his son Dom.
Their comical banter of "paying each other out" adds to the fun stage presence for the Kiama and Gerringong based outfit, The Water Runners, who are now into their fifth year of existence.
But five-piece's live antics with their tongue in cheek digs at each other coupled and their smooth, blended harmonies would make you think all in the group are family members .
"Growing up dad was always playing guitar and sang, so I've played played in his cover bands since I was about the age of 10 when I could actually hold a beat on the drums," Dom said.
"The biggest part of playing with dad at the gigs, is learning how to interact with the audience. Dad's always had a bit of a gift with getting the crowd involved."
The group began as a project by John after being fed up with playing covers, created to tell meaningful Australian stories like their latest single Eureka, which is based on a mine disaster that shook Kiama in 1890.
"It's nice to actually hear the instruments and the stories and not go home with your ears ringing," John said.
"You can't hide behind effects pedals and cranking guitars, you just got to make the music work for you."
Other members in the band include a dairy mechanic, retired school teacher and a violinist from the Conservatorium of Wagga Wagga - but having his son as part of the troupe was just payback for John.
"It's this misfortune of having a frustrated muso as a father ... he's paying me back for all those years of taking him around to lessons and dragging his drum kit around," he laughed.
Dom is now a full time musician with skills in drums, guitar and violin and spreads his time between his dad's band, Pacific Avenue and Big Twisty and the Funk Nasty.
All his endeavours are quite different genres from each other which is something he attributes to family home life of impromptu harmonies in the kitchen or his parents' Sunday afternoon jam sessions.
"Every Sunday, [my parents have] got all these books with stacks of different chords and lyrics and everything, and they get all their friends around and everyone chooses a song and jams out," he said.
"With mum and dad there's so many different genres and musical influences that they play and jam with which has really opened my eyes and broadened my music tastes."
The Water Runners are outside the COVID-red zones which mean the group can still play, but John said rules applying to the rest of NSW aren't making it viable for businesses to pay musicians with many reluctant to take bookings.
For now the group will continue to release new music digitally and potentially tour further south until the COVID storm clears.
"I didnt know how long [the project] was going to go for but it's just grown from strength to strength," John said.
"Last year was looking like a massive year for us ... we won the Australian National Busking Championships for best band, had a whole lot of festivals and gigs line up, but then the tap was turned off [with COVID]."
The Water Runners made good use of the 2020 to write and record new material. The resulting album, Further Down the Road, will be released later this year.
To find out more about the group, visit: https://thewaterrunners.com/
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.