Lukas Nelson and his band are playing the Magic City Blues Festival with Ben Harper and Charlie Musclewhite in Billings, Montana August 9th. For more information: http://www.magiccityblues.com/
Archive for the ‘Lukas Nelson’ Category
by: Zoe Sharples
Willie Nelson and Family will perform at The Mondavi Center on April 9 at 8 p.m. Lukas Nelson, Willie’s son, will open the show with his own band, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. Lukas is also part of Willie’s band. While traveling to Taos, N.M., Lukas spoke with MUSE in a phone interview about family, his music and being on the road.
MUSE: How is the tour going so far?
NELSON: It’s going really great. I just left Fort Collins and we stopped for only eight hours of rest. We were in Victor, Idaho; it’s where Wyoming, Utah and Idaho connect and Montana is close, just north. We played at a place called The Knotty Pine and before that we we were in Salt Lake City.
Your own band [Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real], opens for Willie and you also perform in his band. What do you like about touring with your dad?
I’ve been playing with my dad [Willie Nelson] since I was 13 years old. I used to be on stage playing percussion when I was three years old, running around on stage. He’s always been very family oriented and he’s the best father anyone could ask for. Being on stage with him really makes me proud. That’s where he’s most comfortable, I think. He surrounds himself with his family and a lot of people on the road.
What is Willie like on tour?
He’ll ride his bike and hang out on the bus. Sometimes, on tour, it’s so quick, I get 15 minutes to spend with him in a day. He stays up until between four and five in the morning. I’m a day guy and he’s a night guy but we hang out and have a glass of wine or something and talk about life.
Can you tell us what songs you’ll be performing?
We make a new set list every night. We look at the crowds and we try and read what they might like. Sometimes, when we’re performing with my dad, there’s an older crowd and we try not to blow their ears out. Sometimes when we tone it down we get a better reaction. Then we get people saying ‘just rock out.’
You sometimes perform with your brother Micah too. Is family important to you?
Family is really important to me. I have a lot of extended family that I don’t know very well. I believe that family is very important but I also believe that people really transcend family; like, there’s a lot of people that have dysfunctional families and their friends become their family. It depends how you define family but the people that matter are there for you always. Micah is one person who I can open up to completely.
Willie is known as an activist as well as a musician. How do you feel about the role of musicians in politics?
Well politics, that’s the world around you. You can choose to pay attention or you can choose not to. I don’t recommend, as a musician, endorsing a political party but to endorse ideals that you believe in is part of being a human being. I think, really, there’s got to be common sense in this world. As musicians, we go out and we love each other and we spread joy and happiness. Playing music is catharsis and we go out to let our souls free. When we have people coming out and letting go, that’s already a huge statement. It’s a personal preference but I admire people that have ideals.
What’s the most memorable thing to have happened on the tour so far?
Here’s a great story. I woke up a few days ago in Salt Lake City and we got a call from the guys at Park City, Utah, about half an hour away. Their artist had cancelled last minute and they heard we were playing and said “So you wanna play this gig for 5,000 people?” I’d just woken up and I was still asleep really. It was 11 a.m. and we had three hours to pack everything up and drive down there and we just rocked it. We killed the show for 5,000, got an incredible reaction and went back and played The State Room in Salt Lake City. That day was just a really memorable day and we pulled off two great shows.
Which musicians have inspired you?
I really got into Jimi Hendrix, when I started he was my idol besides my dad. Stevie Ray Vaughan as well. I started getting really into Ray Charles, he was a huge love. I listen to Neil Young now almost every day, he has been a great mentor. The Beatles are huge, [Led] Zeppelin — I could sit here for hours and name more. I like The Arctic Monkeys and Arcade Fire, I mean anything that has soul to it. But of those few, Jimi was the catalyst for me.
How would you describe your own style of music?
I think it’s a combination of all those that I love. It’s rock n’ roll, it’s poetry, it’s folk rock and it’s indie rock. Not one song is really in the same genre. We’ve avoided being signed for that reason. It’s hard for a label to figure out what we do. You have to see us live and it’s a matter of the crowd. We’ll play a bunch of original tunes and covers at the end, like my dad.
The album you’re working on at the moment will be your third after Promise of the Real in 2010 and Wasted in 2012. How is your new album coming along?
It’s nearly out and we’ve drawn up the final pieces. We’ll have a date for you guys soon. There’ll be a press release out soon, probably in the next two months. I’m really excited about it and I feel it’s the best we’ve ever done. It’s got a lot of soul and is positive and uplifting but also deep.
What are your future hopes for your own band?
I really hope to be pushing the limits. We’re a young, small band so we don’t have a lot of money to use in the studio but we want to get creative. We want to look at techniques to make the production better so hopefully we’ll keep getting better at producing. I want to explore electronic dance music and I want to collaborate with hip hop artists, my idols, like The Roots. There’s a lot of great music out there and I don’t feel like genre should have anything to do with it. As long as it’s got a good vibe.
ZOE SHARPLES can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
story and photos by Josh Elioseff
Lukas Nelson brought funkified country to a modest, but eager, crowd at Boulder’s Fox Theatre on Sunday night. He leapt, sang, joked and jammed the night away, delivering everything from ballads to soul to hard rock with a fervor. And if you closed your eyes, you could hear tinges of his famous father (Willie Nelson). But open them up again and you’d realize that Lukas is his own man and is bringing his own twist on the sound. Boulder’s own The Longest Day of the Year provided a solid opening to a long evening of music.
See more of Ellioseff’s great photos here.
photos and story: Arthur VanRooy
Each year at South By Southwest (SXSW) there is one party that surpasses all others in coolness and quality of music. For me this event is the Heartbreaker Banquet. Really, what could be better than seeing a slew of the finest talent at SXSW perform in the bosom of the Texas Hill Country at Willie Nelson’s ranch.
This year it felt especially good to leave the madness of downtown Austin given the tragedy that occurred the night before the Banquet, and upon entering the old Western ghost town known as “Luck, Texas” you could feel the positivity.
Between the moonshine flowing all day long, delicious barbecue, and top notch performances from the one and only Willie Nelson, who was joined by his son Lukas, husband and wife Americana duo Shovels & Rope, Lucius and plenty more acts, the Heartbreaker Banquet proved yet again why it may just be the best damn party happening during SXSW.
Anytime you get the opportunity to see Willie Nelson perform is a treat, but seeing him on his own property surrounded by family and friends was extra special. However, throughout the day and night there were three sets that particularly stood out for me. If there was one thread connecting these acts it was the display of real talent coming from younger people with no in-your-face pretentiousness. These acts were the ones that made not just my day, but my whole SXSW experience.
The Felice Brothers In this day and age when music lovers are perpetually overwhelmed by no-talent pop acts claiming to make folk and bluegrass music (Ho Hey, anyone?) the Felice Brothers are that rare act that has always been straight up and has never watered down their sound for the masses. The use of fiddle and accordion may strike some as odd and may seem more fitting for a Cajun band, but with the Felice Brothers those instruments are the foundation of their country-folk sound. It’s been a good while since the Brothers have all toured together consistently, but their performance at the Heartbreaker Banquet proved that they are ready to show the world that authentic bands still do exist.
J. Roddy Walston and the Business These guys released one of the best albums of 2013, Essential Tremors (ATO), and since then they have been tearing up the country on a rock ‘n roll rampage. As frontman, singer and piano player, J. Roddy Walston is like a young long haired Jerry Lee Lewis. Onstage at Willie’s ranch Walston and his band injected great balls of fire into their performance, never giving the audience more than a second to catch their breath between each song. The beauty of the Business and their onstage persona is in their ability to crank out the jams while tapping into a similar vein of raw, Southern rock reminiscent of early Kings of Leon albums, except even better because the centerpiece is a piano-playing madman!
Nikki Lane Nikki Lane is both sexy and talented. Onstage at the Heartbreaker Banquet Lane commanded the spotlight with confident country swagger. Reminsicent of great Nashville female country singers of a bygone era, Lane sings of love and heartbreak with an attitude that lets you know she’s strong, independent and owns her persona. If her Thursday afternoon set was any indication, we should be expecting exciting things from Nikki Lane in the coming year.
For artist interviews, recaps, previews and more check out all of our SXSW 2014 coverage right HERE!
“My Independence calls me
from a pay phone far away
He says, listen, man I’m worried,
you ain’t never been this way”