Archive for the ‘Lukas Nelson’ Category

Neil Young and Promise of the Real

Friday, October 9th, 2015

by:  Michael Bonner

Neil Young has been digging deep into his back catalogue on the second leg of his Rebel Content tour.

At his show last night [October 8] at Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Oregon, he played the On The Beach song “Vampire Blues” for the first time since March 1974 and only for the second time ever.

At his show on October 4 at WaMu Theater, Seattle, Washington, he performed “Here We Are in The Years” from his first solo album.

It is the first time he’s played the song since November 1976 and only the 15th time he’s played it in total.

You can watch a clip of the footage below. The song begins at 1:24.

Young began this second leg of his tour with Promise Of The Real on October 1 at Adams Center, University of Montana, Missoula, where he performed “Alabama” for the second time since 1973’s Time Fades Away tour, and “Western Hero” for only the third time ever.

Neil Young and Promise Of The Real’s setlist, October 8, 2015:

After The Gold Rush
My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)
Old Man
Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)
Out On The Weekend
Human Highway
Unknown Legend
Wolf Moon
Walk On
September Song
A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop
People Want To Hear About Love
Big Box
Monsanto Years
Down By The River
Workin’ Man
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Are You Ready For The Country?
Roll Another Number
Love And Only Love
Vampire Blues

The History Of Rock – a brand new monthly magazine from the makers of Uncut – a brand new monthly magazine from the makers of Uncut – is now on sale in the UK. Click here for more details.

Meanwhile, the November 2015 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring Rod Stewart, Joanna Newsom, Julian Cope, Otis Redding, John Grant, The Doors, Harmonia, Linda Ronstadt, Dave Gahan, John Cooper Clarke and more.

Neil Young and Promise of the Real in Seattle

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

“But beyond the sermonizing, it’s clear that Young has terrific chemistry with Promise of the Real, which is fronted by Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson. The collaboration seems to have sparked something in Young – maybe it’s their youth, maybe it’s their uncanny grasp of his back catalog – and he seemed particularly spirited onstage.”
by: Nathan Weinbender

Read his entire review here:

Neil Young, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real on Tour

Friday, October 2nd, 2015


Neil Young and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real are continuing their Rebel Content tour.





If you haven’t yet, check out their album, “The Monsanto Years”


Lukas and Micah Nelson, fun on the Farm Aid Stage with their dad

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015


Lukas Nelson and a fan

Saturday, September 12th, 2015



photo:  Jim Eckenrode

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real headline Chinook Fest Saturday, 9/12/15

Friday, September 11th, 2015

photo:  Rich Fury
by:  Pat Muir

WHAT: Chinook Fest
WHEN: Friday through Sunday
WHERE: Jim Sprick Community Park, 13680 State Route 410 outside of Naches
TICKETS: $40 Friday, $60 Saturday, $20 Sunday; $95 weekend pass; $175 VIP weekend pass

Lukas Nelson started playing guitar to connect with his father, Willie, but it didn’t take long for the younger Nelson to establish himself as a creative voice distinct from that of the country music legend.

Part of that was just growing up in a different era under different circumstances. Willie was born during the Great Depression and grew up in Texas. Lukas, whose band, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, will play Saturday night as the headliner of this year’s Chinook Fest, was born in Austin, Texas, but grew up in Hawaii. His musical sensibility was forged by a childhood spent listening to acts like Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Stevie Ray Vaughan as much as it was by his father’s country music. There are other influences at play, too, from classic soul to contemporary hip-hop.

All of that said, the 26-year-old does kind of sound like his father. A bit louder, maybe. And definitely bluesier. But that Willie Nelson voice and style is plainly mixed in there with all of the other influences. People comment on it all the time, the younger Nelson said in a phone interview this week.

And you know what? He’s OK with that.

“I’m proud of who my dad is,” Nelson said. “And being compared with him is great. I think I’m comfortable enough in what I do that I don’t mind being compared to him. He’s an incredible person, and he’s an incredible musician.”

His son ain’t bad, either. I mean, yeah, he had some breaks early on because of who his father is — opportunities Lukas Nelson got that Lukas Bardkowski wouldn’t have — but that wouldn’t mean much without the talent to take advantage of them.

You don’t, after all, get hired to be Neil Young’s band in the studio and on tour just because he’s friends with your dad. Promise of the Real got that gig, playing on Young’s latest, “The Monsanto Years,” and accompanying him on tour, because they’re a solid, versatile band.

“I’ve learned immensely from him,” Nelson said of Young. “He’s a mentor to me. … I think he sees potential in us as young musicians.”

Nelson’s work with his own band draws on the rural-rock aesthetic that artists such as Young and The Band invented. It’s a perfect fit for Chinook Fest, which in its fourth year has proven to be a showcase for bands that combine Americana with classic rock.

“I grew up on Pearl Jam and Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, The Beatles and The Beach Boys,” Nelson said. “Roy Orbison. Anything you can think of. All the greats. Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix. All the blues guys, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan.”

The result is something Promise of the Real calls “cowboy hippie surf rock,” which is as good a description as any. It has evolved over the years from the raw sound on the band’s eponymous 2010 debut album and the 2012 follow-up “Wasted” to something more thoughtful on the band’s six-song EP “Realer Bootlegs Vol. 1” released this year.

One of those songs in particular, a track called “For Me,” displays a level of vocal restraint and control that Nelson was unable or unwilling to reach earlier in his career. It’s an atmospheric slow-burn with evocative lyrics that demand close listening while leaving room for interpretation.

“For Me” and the other songs on “Realer Bootlegs” bode well for the band’s upcoming full-length album, recorded last year and set for release in January or February.

“I wouldn’t say that I like the newer songs more,” Nelson said (after I told him I like the newer songs more). “But I would say some of them are more poignant now.”

And he’s right. They’re more mature. The band’s early stuff is great. It’s classic rock on the records, and pure energy on the stage. But the newer songs display a breakthrough level of songcraft. They’re personal and universal at once, influenced by Nelson’s surroundings and his background, but very much his own.

“It’s important to just allow yourself to let the song come to you and not force it,” he said.

All of which can be summed up by a dream he had as a child.

“I was standing on a stage in front of, like, millions of people,” Nelson said. “And I was terrified. I kind of shrunk my consciousness into my chest. I hid there. But then I sang from there. I sang through my heart. And I became a performer.”


Willie Nelson, handsome in braids and shades, for John Varvatos

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015


photos:  Danny Clinch
by: Rachel Haas
July 10, 2013

Fresh off a pretty cool 80th birthday celebration, country star Willie Nelson shows off his stylish side in some sleek black-and-white photos for John Varvatos’ Fall 2013 campaign.

The music legend poses beside his sons—Lukas Nelson, 24, and Micah Nelson, 23—in a Danny Clinch-snapped shot, while Willie is also featured solo in two portraits. No stranger to the advertising world, Nelson has also lent his voice to a Chipotle ad (covering Coldplay’s tearjerker “The Scientist”) as well as taking part in a commercial with Ryan Adams for Gap.

See more photos for the “Willie Nelson & Sons” campaign on the brand’s website, and watch the YARD-created video below to listen to the guys talk about music, growing up with Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash and perform “Still Is Still Moving to Me.”

directed by Danny Clinch




Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real in Pioneertown, CA (8/13/15)

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015


story and photos:  Guillermo Prieto/

There was so much buzz surrounding the Pappy and Harriet’s indoor show by Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real that the crew cleared as much space in the adobe music venue as possible.

Of course, there was the normal droning on social media about how Pappy’s should have moved the show outside, where there’s more space. Never mind that it was hot as hell, plus the logistics of an outdoor show are immense.

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, aka POTR, started performing live in 2008. One reason for all the buzz: Lukas Nelson is the son of Willie Nelson, and he has toured with his father.

One of his major influences is Neil Young. Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real played on Neil Young’s 36th album, The Monsanto Years, and POTR just wrapped up a tour with Young. This may explain the demographic shift at Pappy’s that suggested some in attendance might have seen Buffalo Springfield live while in their teens. Even my hemp-fedora-wearing consigliore friend, who believes all music died when the Beatles left Candlestick Park, was in attendance.


Micah Nelson

The show was a family affair, with Insects v. Robots opening, with Micah Nelson, Lucas’ brother, at the helm. Insects v. Robots is a trippy band that jams the hell out of every tune while mixing genres and having a blast. At one point, Micah asked Lukas to join the set—but he was nowhere to be found, so Micah asked for help from the audience; a brunette with Catherine Wheel and Phil Collins tattoos volunteered to go bang on the tour-bus door. As they say, the show must go on, and Insects v. Robots got everyone harmonizing to the psychedelic vibe. On several occasions, Micah Nelson asked with a smirk: “Does anyone have any questions?”

Joshua Tree’s favorite cowgirl, Jesika Von Rabbit, was briefly front and center to get a picture of Lukas Nelson. POTR opened with a greeting from Lukas: “How are you guys doing? … I think I have a lot of friends here.” Nelson seems not cocky, but cool, when he smiles; he has natural charisma.

POTR’s set included “Don’t Take Me Back,” a authentic song about a breakup: “I was sittin’ in my daddy’s car, with a joint in both of my hands, smokin’ ’til the smoke wouldn’t stop, and the windows roll down, and I’m rolling around in my mind.” Lukas included a cover of “L.A. Woman” by the Doors that was an excellent way to showcase the band’s skills, before switching genres several times, with music including “Diamonds on the Soles of Your Shoes” by Paul Simon. In a nod to “Uncle Neil,” POTR included “Cowgirl in the Sand.”

Nelson guitar skills were hypnotic; at one point, he played the guitar with his mouth as he kneeled on the stage.

POTR was getting ready to head out the side door—until a chant of “five more songs!” started from frenzied fans. To pump up the audience, Lukas turned out an excellent cover of “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones. Then he remarked: “This is a song we wrote a while ago, ‘The Joint.’”

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real showed why they more than held their own onstage with Willie Nelson and Neil Young.

As the show ended, I bumped into Jesika Von Rabbit at the bar. She was excited that her favorite Neil Young song had been played.


Willie Nelson for John Varvatos

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Willie Nelson in black and white, by Danny Clinch

by:  Chris Jordan

Who’s that handsome man in the aviator shades and the John Varvatos jacket?

Why, it’s Willie Nelson, sporting a new look thanks to the eye of Toms River photographer/filmmaker Danny Clinch.

Nelson, 80, and sons Lukas and Micah were photographed and filmed for a John Varvatos ad campaign in Des Moines by Clinch during the summer.

The campaign, called Willie Nelson and Sons, highlights the Varvatos fall and winter line. Full-page ads showing Nelson as photographed by Clinch have appeared this fall in magazines like Vanity Fair and Vogue.

“We went out to Des Moines, and we caught him on the road,” Clinch said. “The tour bus pulled up in front of the location we were shooting at, and there’s an Indian painted on the side of the bus, and the Red Headed Stranger comes out. I think the beauty for me was to capture him with his boys.”

The fashion campaign’s short film, available at, is directed by Clinch and features the three Nelsons performing “Still is Still Moving to Me.”

“Willie doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do, and he loved the idea about him and his family,” Clinch said. “He’s about family and loyalty to the people of his inner circle. When we pitched the idea about his sons, he was pretty psyched.”

Clinch, an acclaimed rock photographer who has worked with numerous celebrities and musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, has done more than a dozen Varvatos campaigns, featuring Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Jimmy Page and Gary Clark Jr., the Roots, Cheap Trick and more.

Nelson, whose usual fashion attire includes a bandana and denim, also used one of Clinch Varvatos photos for the cover of his new album, “To All the Girls…”

“Willie was really into the photos we took, and he liked the way he looked,” Clinch said.

Neil Young and Promise of the Real Announce Fall Rebel Content Tour Schedule

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

by:  Alex Hudson

Neil Young and his backing band the Promise of the Real recently issued their politically charged album The Monsanto Years, and now they’ve announced plans to spread their anti-corporate message with a North American fall tour.

The relatively modest outing runs through the first half of October. It favours the western half of the continent, and includes a number of shows along the Pacific Coast including an appearance at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 5.

All told, the group have 11 shows booked. See the itinerary below.

For a taste of what the band sound like live, watch the hour-long performance film for The Monsanto Years at the bottom of the page.

Tour dates:

10/01 Missoula, MT – Adams Event Center
10/02 Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena
10/04 Seattle, WA – WaMu Theater
10/05 Vancouver, BC – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
10/07 Portland, OR – Earle Chiles Center
10/08 Eugene, OR – Matthew Knight Arena
10/10 Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
10/11 Las Vegas, NV – The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
10/13 La Jolla, CA – RIMAC Arena
10/14 Inglewood, CA – Forum
10/17 Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley

“I got rug burns from the POTR” — Mary Jane Lane

Sunday, August 16th, 2015



Music lover and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real fan Mary Jane Lane (if that’s her real name), saw Lukas Nelson & Family in Concert in California, and posted this report.  TMI?  .

“I got rug burns from POTR
Leaning on that nasty stage carpet gave me rug burns on my arms.” — MJL

The kids are all right! kids of rockers keep on rocking

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Ten Sons and Daughters of Rock Worth a Listen
by: Steve Brennan

On September 10, the legend of Frank Zappa lives on as his son Dweezil brings the ferociously grinding grooves and surrealist lyrical musings of his father to Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room. Dweezil is currently leading the band Zappa Plays Zappa around the country, playing some of his dad’s albums in their gloriously maniacal entirety alongside a few choice cuts from his back catalog.


Frank Zappa created the kind of music that changed lives, creating thousands of converts to the wonderful, wild, and weird world of his seminal band, the Mothers of Invention. Dweezil’s take on the music will allow many fans to experience classics like “Penguins in Bondage,” “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow,” and “Cosmic Debris” live for the first time. Frank Zappa would have been 75 this year; what better way to celebrate than head down to the Culture Room.

Dweezil isn’t the only one to follow in his parent’s shoes and dive into the music world. It’s certainly not as easy as it sounds. The likes of Jaden Smith prove that having talented parents does not buy you talent or instant respect. Here’s a list of offspring of celebrated artists who, while not (yet) outdoing their parents, are certainly worth your time:

Lukas Nelson/ Willie Nelson

Read entire article here: and read about the other rocker’s rocking kids. 


Neil Young’s letter to Promise of the Real

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

“Thanks to Promise of the Real for making this tour such a wonderful experience in my life.

I love all the bands I have played with, but this band (and the multi generational thing) is epic!

The ?#?RebelContentTour? was an experience I will never forget.  Once in a lifetime.

The guys, Lukas, Micah, Corey, Tony and Tato are the greatest!

Amazing how easy and natural it was to rock on the old songs and the brand new ones – from Cortez to Big Box, from Wolf Moon to Out On The Weekend.”

— Neil Young

Neil Young and Promise of the Real Guitar Pick

Friday, July 24th, 2015


“I sent these up to Lukas, POTR, and Neil also…  They did not know they were coming in the package, Christmas arrives early in my neck of the woods…
Have a great and safe weekend..!”

— Guthrie

Neil Young and Promise of the Real in concert tonight!

Friday, July 24th, 2015


Canadians, here’s your chance to see the Rebel Content show!  You are in for a treat.


Neil Young + Promise of the Real / Sam Smith / Kendrick Lamar / alt-J / Modest Mouse / Hozier / Bassnectar / The Decemberists / Passion Pit / Brandon Flowers / St. Vincent / Girl Talk / Vance Joy / Future Islands / The Sheepdogs / Run The Jewels / Odesza / The Gaslight Anthem / Walk the Moon / Kaytranada / Hey Rosetta! / G-Eazy / Sylvan Esso / Danny Brown / Cold War Kids / Manchester Orchestra / Courtney Barnett / The Rural Alberta Advantage / Big K.R.I.T. / July Talk / Timber Timbre / The Lone Bellow / Django Django / Fucked Up / The Growlers / Thousand Foot Krutch / METZ / Alvvays / Yukon Blonde / Sloan / Delta Spirit / Broods / Rhiannon Giddens / How To Dress Well / SZA / Viet Cong / Com Truise / Dwayne Gretzky / Chad VanGaalen / Broncho / Slow Magic / Bear Mountain / Evening Hymns / Lowell / The Highest Order / Dear Rouge / Highs / Brave Shores / Kevin Garrett / Weaves / Ascot Royals / The Beaches / Tomi