Archive for the ‘Lukas Nelson’ Category
hearing this record, its hard not to realize that music is actually all around us all the time; one only needs to stop and listen
Young described his latest project on social media:
We made a live record and every creature on the planet seemed to show up. Suddenly all the living things of Earth were in the audience going crazy. Then they took over the stage, letting their wild sounds mingle with the Vanilla Singers perfect corporate harmony. Earth’s creatures let loose, there were Bee breakdowns, Bird breakdowns and yes, even Wall Street breakdowns, jamming with me and Promise of the Real! The show was non stop bliss for 98 minutes, no breaks. EARTH does not fit on iTunes. It breaks all their rules (and couldn’t all really be heard that way anyway) No one who was there will ever forget the love, wonder and beautiful madness of EARTH. I know I won’t. Neil
EARTH consists of recordings from Young’s tour last year with the band Promise Of The Real for his preceding album, The Monsanto Years. AlterNet described Young’s 36th studio album, as a “concept-based criticism” of Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed company, and also a condemnation of other multinational agriculture giants like Syngenta, Dow, Dupont and Bayer that have also, like Monsanto, “garnered control of global seed production.”
Promise Of The Real guitarist Lukas Nelson lauded the new LP. “I just listened to our new record EARTH with Neil Young … One of the single greatest audio experiences I’ve ever had,” he wrote on Instagram.
The world premiere of EARTH will be hosted by the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles on May 6. And, according to anannouncement about the event, it’s sure to be spectacular:
Against the backdrop of the Museum’s blossoming outdoor Nature Gardens, musician and icon Neil Young will present the first public playback of his upcoming release, EARTH, in its entirety in Pono high definition fidelity audio, before its June 17 release. The album features “After the Gold Rush,” “Vampire Blues,” and an explosive 29-minute version of “Love & Only Love,” and includes some unexpected accompaniment—the sounds of many different kinds of wildlife.
The Grammy Award-winning artist and environmental crusader said in a press release that EARTH “flows as a collection of 13 songs from throughout my life, songs I have written about living here on our planet together. Our animal kingdom is well represented in the audience as well, and the animals, insects, birds, and mammals actually take over the performances of the songs at times.”
Young also told Rolling Stone last year that EARTH is “like nothing that I’ve done. It’s more like a giant radio show.”
“It has no stops,” he continued. “The songs are too long for iTunes, thank God, so they won’t be on iTunes. I’m making it available in the formats that can handle it … Imagine it’s a live show where the audience is full of every living thing on Earth. And also they overtake the music once in a while and play the instruments. It’s not conventional, but it is based on live performance.”
On Tuesday, Young kicked off his 2016 world tour with Promise Of The Real in New Braunfels, Texas with guest star and legendary rocker Willie Nelson.
The tour then stopped by Nashville, Texas’s Ascend Amphitheater yesterday. The concert received rave reviews from local publication, The Tennesseean:
At 70 years old, the rock icon hasn’t lost a step. His voice is still in fine form, and the audience sang along reverently to every word of classics like “Heart of Gold” and “Long May You Run.” After an opening set from singer-songwriter Steve Earle (whose debut album “Guitar Town” turned 30 this year) and half a dozen of his own solo songs, Young brought out his backing band Promise of the Real: Five rootsy rockers including Willie Nelson’s sons, Lukas and Micah Nelson—and played another 90 minutes.
Neil Young & Promise Of The Real’s first show of 2016 featured a Willie Nelson sit-in, a tribute to Merle Haggard, at Whitewater Amphitheater, New Braunfels, TX.
Special Guest added to Neil Young, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Lucinda Williams concert tonight Whitewater Amphitheater in New BraunfelsTuesday, April 26th, 2016
NEIL YOUNG w/ Promise of the Real & Special guest LUCINDA WILLIAMS –
Gates open at 6:00 and it appears one more HUGE special guest just got added to the show. ( Hint, hint below)
We still have some tickets atwww.whitewaterrocks.com .
photo: Tim Mosenfelder
by: Hector Saldona
Brothers Lukas and Micah Nelson have an enviable vantage point, standing side by side with, and witnessing the power of, two musical giants.
One of them is their father, Willie Nelson. The other is Neil Young.
Lukas and Micah front Promise of the Real, the self-described hippie-cowboy-surf-rock band that collaborated with Young on his provocative album “The Monsanto Years” and which has been serving as his fiery backing band. They arrive at Whitewater Amphitheater on Tuesday.
The tight band includes drummer Anthony LoGerfo, bassist Corey McCormick and percussionist Tato Meglar.
“It’s just incredible,” Lukas Nelson said. “I never would’ve thought growing up that music would embrace me in much the same way it embraced my dad, and not only that, but embrace my brother, too. It’s a blessing to be able to play music for a living and to be able to do it with the mentors that I’ve been blessed to know.”
But there is a difference between playing with his dad’s legendary Family Band and being on the road with Young. Lukas has expressed in interviews that being onstage with the mercurial rocker is almost an out-of-body experience.
“Every show we make leaps and bounds in terms of connection and maturity and musicianship. It’s an experience like no other,” Lukas said. “I’m just riding it like a big wave. I pinch myself every day. I ask myself whether my life is real or it’s a dream. Maybe it’s both.”
Young used similar language to describe his relationship with Promise of the Real in an interview with Rolling Stone: “I feel like I’m doing something I’ve never done before. It’s not just music. It’s a soundscape. It’s kind of like flying around and listening to things with your eyes closed.”
There’s no questioning Young’s or Willie Nelson’s vitality these days. As guitarists, the aging stars remain among the most instantly indentifiable, from Nelson’s quivering chromatic runs on Trigger, his battered Martin nylon-string guitar, to Young’s manic vibrato solos on his 1953 Gibson Les Paul electric guitar known as “Old Black.”
“My dad is probably the most able-bodied almost 83-year-old that I’ve ever come across in this world,” Lukas said. “And I think Neil is the most able-bodied 70-year-old. I mean, he’s jumping up and down, playing 3½ hour sets like we play. He’s incredible.”
The Nelson brothers really try to go with the flow. That’s meant being patient with their bands, both Promise of the Real and Micah’s trippier Insects vs. Robots, as they do gigs with Young that, Lukas said, “feel like family.” In May, Promise of the Real will tour to support its new album, “Something Real,” and then it’s off to Europe with Young.
“You just do what feels right in every moment. And it feels right to play with Neil, and it feels right, every chance that I can, to play with my dad,” Lukas said.
At last year’s all-star tribute to their dad, who was the 2015 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the brothers performed “Living in the Promised Land” with him.
There was a real tenderness and sweetness there at the Library of Congress gig — up to a point.
“We just go out there and do it,” Lukas said. “Dad’s never been one for pow-wows, and neither have we. We just kind of let the spirit take us and trust that it’s gonna come out good.”
That goes for the Young concerts, which start out with Young solo on acoustic guitar for a few songs and then build from there.
But that could change.
“That’s just how it’s been. It could be completely different next time we get on the stage,” Lukas said, explaining that each night’s set is drawn from a list of about 80 songs the band had to learn. The shows run long because “it’s rock ’n’ roll,” he said.
“I love playing his music. It’s like playing my own music … because I’ve been so close to his music for so long. Playing those songs is just — there’s nothing better. It’s like playing with my dad, in a way, because I grew up with it so deeply. It’s part of this crazy dream.”
Lukas Nelson sang “Forget About Georgia” Live at the GQ Artist House 2016 in Austin, TX with Jam in the Van. The song is on the new Promise of the Real Album.
Buy the album, and get information about the band’s tour.
Check out Lukas Nelson’s other videos from this session!
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Jam in the Van ==== Where music takes a whole new road.
We will be traveling anywhere accessible by road to find and record intimate musical experience’s for our fans. If you are interested in our cause let us know.
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Shooter Jennings and Lukas Nelson are playing an acoustic show tomorrow, Wednesday night, in Fort Worth, at Lola’ Saloon,
2736 W 6th Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107
“Lola’s Is Quite Simply, the Coolest Venue in Town”
– Fort Worth Weekly, March 2014
by: Heather Jarvis
>When Lukas Nelson was a kid, he had a dream that changed his outlook on life. He was onstage, singing in front of a large crowd and he was terrified. As he began his ballad, he started to shrink into himself, and his awareness all went into the center of his chest.
“I started to look out at the audience through my chest, instead of through my head, through my eyes,” he said from a hotel room in Springfield, Missouri, while traveling with his father. “I started to sing basically from where my heart was.”
He describes it as a metaphorical dream, where he was able to sing and see from his heart, and the crowd went wild. He wasn’t afraid anymore, and it taught him at a young age to not only sing, but to “live my life by my heart, and not by my head.”
Living by his heart is apparent in his work, and he isn’t afraid to put it all out there. And why would he be, with a famous father well known for not only his music, but also his active vocalism for legalizing marijuana back when the stigma against the plant was still in full force. He isn’t afraid to write about wealth inequality or express his passionate views against GMOs, as reflected with his work on Neil Young’s 2015 album, “The Monsanto Years.” He will eagerly express his own theory about the company and doesn’t feel like musicians should ever be afraid to write what they believe.
“I don’t care if I lose fans because I’m speaking my mind, because I don’t agree with somebody,” he said. “If they don’t want to listen to my music because of that, then that’s just their problem.”
But it isn’t all about expressing himself politically, and growing up with Willie Nelson as a dad instilled in him a deep love of music at a young age. He picked up the guitar at 10 and almost immediately began writing songs, even producing one at a young age, “You Were It,” that impressed his father enough to put it on one of his albums.
These days, he’s touring with his band, Promise of the Real, as well as backing Neil Young, and just released a third album in March. Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real will play a free show on Peak 8 for Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Spring Fever festival on Saturday, April 16.
Promise of the Real formed seven years ago when Lukas met the drummer, Anthony LoGerfo, at a Neil Young concert, hitting it off and putting a band together.
“We just loved Neil, so we named the band Promise of the Real after one of his songs,” he said.
Lukas had met Young as a teen through his father, and when Promise of the Real formed, Young began following their work, eventually asking the group to be his band. “The Monsanto Years” was released in 2015, followed by the launch of Neil Young + Promise of the Real’s Rebel Content Tour, which included performances at Farm Aid 30 and at the 29th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert event last year.
“So it’s kind of full circle,” Lukas said.
The Something Real tour with him and Promise of the Real has tour dates throughout May, before the band hooks up with Neil Young again for a string of dates in the summer. Promise of the Real consists of Nelson and his brother Micah Nelson on vocals and guitar, bassist/assistant engineer Corey McCormick, percussionist Tato Melgar and drummer LoGerfo.
It’s been said more than once that Lukas’ voice bears a striking resemblance to his father. He realizes that Willie Nelson has giving him a leg up in the music world and doesn’t discredit the advantages it has provided him.
“He’s my best friend, and I’ve had a lot of opportunities because I know a lot of people in the industry and in the business who have helped me,” he said. “I realize how lucky I am and try to appreciate it every day and work hard in order to take advantage of the opportunities that I’m presented with.”
“Something Real” is the band’s third album, released in March from Royal Potato Family. Describing it as “cowboy hippie surf rock,” the album was recorded two years ago at San Francisco’s William Westerfeld Mansion. Young also makes a guest vocal appearance on the track “San Francisco.” Even with Lukas’ connections, it took awhile for the record to find a label, but Lukas said he is still very happy with the songs two years later.
“I’m stoked that it came out the way it did, and I really like that it stands the test of time really, and those songs are really good,” he said. “They are good no matter what point in my career I am.”
He said the album reflects the growth of the band as musicians and songwriters. The band has been working on dozens of songs since recording “Something Real,” with about 30 songs written and 25 recorded.
“I have a lot of music right now that I really want to put out,” he said, adding that he wants to put out some songs for free download.
Lukas is also said he is in “full steam,” working with his father in the cannabis business, with the company Willie’s Reserve, and said the product is some of the best out there.
“Wait till you try it,” he said. “We’ve hand-picked our favorite people to be part of this team, and you won’t be disappointed. Nobody ever is.”
by: Michael Lello
Lukas Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson, has released a new album, “Something Real,” with his roots rock band Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real.
Lukas Nelson’s profile continues to grow at a rapid yet sustainable pace, as his band Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real recently released a remarkable new album, “Something Real,” while its namesake is on call to work with heavy hitters like Neil Young and Bob Weir.
Playing a self-proclaimed brand of “cowboy hippie surf rock,” on “Something Real,” Nelson, the son of country icon Willie Nelson, and the burgeoning band take another step forward. And as Nelson sees it, the next album will be even better.
“We already have almost another album recorded, at least the demos are done,” Nelson says in an interview with HNGN, revealing that he’s also wirting with the aforementioned Weir of Grateful Dead fame and planning a record with kindred spirit Shooter Jennings. “This record that we’re releasing now is two years old, and that’s kind of frustrating sometimes to put a snapshot out of a 2-year-old piece of art, but it’s the nature of the business, and I’m already excited about the next one. We’ll put it out in the fall or sometime soon.”
Promise of the Real – Corey McCormick (bass), Anthony LoGerfo (drums) and Tato Melgar (percussion) – is Nelson’s top priority. That said, he is an artist of many ambitions, who, along with his band and brother Micah recorded with Young on his 2015 protest album “The Monsanto Years,” played on Young’s subsequent tour and has been a featured member in his dad’s band.
With all of this in mind, we spoke with Nelson about the making of his group’s latest album, how he embraces Willie’s legacy and why sometimes music is more than just music.
What was your mindset going into this album?
It’s funny. We hadn’t released anything in a while, but we knew we needed to get something out. We went down to San Francisco and got into a Victorian mansion called Westerfield House. It’s been a home to the likes of Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company and Russian embassy and a speakeasy,
What kind of impact did that atmosphere have on the music?
I’d say 75 percent of that material is San Francisco-born, so the vibe can’t help but be there.
Why did you put the song “San Francisco,” made famous my Scott McKenzie, on the album? Was it emblematic of the album?
Yeah, we were there, we were feelin‘ it, I wrote a bunch of music while I was there absorbing the vibes. There’s a certain darkness and a big change happening between the classes. On one hand you have an amazing economic growth and a lot of jobs being created and people making a lot of money working on things that are helping our world, arguably for the better, in the tech industry and all of the industries that are going up there, and then you have all those artists and people that can’t afford to live in those places anymore. So there’s a lot going on there, and I think that’s reflected in the record.
There weren’t many overdubs. We did a live track in one of the rooms, and I’d go up to the tower sometimes overlooking the city and I’d sing my vocals there and we’d light candles. It was basically live. We just put all the amps in different rooms and went for it.
When you play concerts, do you try to stick to the album versions or leave thingsopen-ended so you can jam?
Live is where we’re at. Live is where we really shine, so we’ve just grown so much as a band. We like to improvise, we like to change things up.
What does “cowboy, hippie, surf rock” mean?
Well, I was born in Texas, I also grew up in Hawaii, I surf, and I like to rock ‘n’ roll. I grew up with country music and I grew up with rock ‘n’ roll, so that blend is kind of what we jokingly refer to as “cowboy, hippie, surf rock.”
What kind of music were you exposed to growing up, and what did you think of yourdad’s music?
My dad’s music is what I grew up listening to, and he’s always been the greatest dad anybody could ask for. He’s led by example, and he’s given me my space. I’m not trying to run away from it at all. I’m proud that he’s my dad. I play my own music, but I’m also influenced by him and I sound like him when I sing. I can’t help it, and I’m not running away from it, but I do think I’ve learned to play guitar and I’ve learned to play piano andI’ve learned how to write music and songs, so I consider myself a growing artist with respect to my father but separate from him.
Have you befriended any musicians in the same situation?
Well, Shooter (Jennings) and I are working together. We recorded stuff together, andwe’ve done some tours together, so he and I have a lot in common, our dads being best friends and him growing up in a similar situation. He’s about the best guy you can be friends with.
How has your dad reacted to your growing success?
I think he’s really happy that I’m able to do what I want to do. He grew up in a world where it was a lot harder to get out there unless you played the game a little bit, and the irony is once he stopped playing the game and went down to Austin and grew his hair long and recorded “The Redheaded Stranger” and “Troublemaker” and worked with Waylan and all that, that’s when the game stopped, and that’s when he actually made it. He didn’t make it until he was 40 years old. I’ve learned a lot from him how to deal with the industry, andI’m still learning.
I’ve always known what I’ve wanted to do. At 6 or 7 years old I had a dream that I was in front of like a million people, alone up there, and I was terrified, and I call it my conscious awareness, where usually you’d say you’re looking at the audience and what was more comfortable for me to shrink my awareness down to the center of my chest and look out through my chest, look out through my heart at the audience, and sing from that place. I had this vivid dream that this happened to me, and when I started singing from that place, I felt that people started cheering and the crowd went wild, the million people.
Neil Young and Willie Nelson are activists. Do you feel your music is more than just about music?
Yes. I feel like music is art, and art is also social commentary. Now I don’t believe it should all be social commentary, but I also believe that there is a role for social commentary in all art, music. I’m not one to shy away from that, although I do like art for the sake of art at the same time as well. I think there’s a good balance and a well-rounded artist will incorporate what he believes or what he’s come to know or a certain wisdom.
What was it like to record and tour with Neil for “The Monsanto Years”?
I mean it was amazing. Working with Neil was the most incredible thing. We’re going out to Europe, we’re going to jazz fests and we’ve got a live album that he’s putting together right now, and he’s just so creative and fun to work with. It’s a highlight of my life to do these things with him, no matter what it is, no matter what it’s for.
How would you compare “Something Real” and your next album?
The upcoming album is more mature, it’s just what you would expect from something two years later from a band that’s constantly getting better. I’m looking forward to releasing this record, and I think the next one is going to be even better, and the next one after that is going to blow people’s minds, and hopefully this one will in some ways too.
What are your thoughts on “bro country”?
Man, I don’t know about genres, music is music. You like it, you like it. Some of the pop stuff is good. There are some incredible songs being recorded. I don’t hate on anybody. I may not align myself to certain things, but I don’t judge, and I think that there’s some great music out there. The music with integrity shines through.
photo: Suzanne Cordiero
by: Patrick Doyle
About seven years ago, Lukas Nelson went to see his hero, Neil Young play in Los Angeles. At the show, he happened to meet a drummer named Anthony LoGerfo. They took the party to a friend’s house, where they surfed and played music late into the night. Soon, they’d formed a band, Promise of the Real, their name taken from a lyric Young’s 1974 epic “Walk On:” (“Some get stoned/ some get strange/ but sooner or later, it all gets real.”)
Now, for the last two years, the “cowboy hippie surf rock” band has been Young’s band on the road and in the studio, backing him on last year’s The Monsanto Years. “You couldn’t write it in a book,” Nelson says. “The vibe is perfect, and it’s real. We’ve learned from each other, and we’ve gotten so tight. I don’t want to stop, and I don’t think Neil does either. There’s transcendental experiences on stage with Neil. Like, you’re looking down at yourself and you’ll be like, ‘Oh my God. I’m down there, and I’m up here. What’s going on?'”
For Nelson, this chapter is the culmination of years of hard work and hard touring for his band, which includes LoGerfo, bassist Corey McCormick, percussionist Tato Meglar, plus Lukas’ brother Micah on guitar and other instruments – when he’s not touring with his own project, Insects vs Robots. Lukas grew up on the island of Maui, Hawaii, a student of the island’s jam band scene and his guitar teacher, gypsy-jazz virtuoso Tom Conway. There was also his dad, Willie Nelson. By 14, Lukas was playing guitar with his father on summer school breaks, occasionally sitting in with his dad’s touring partner, Bob Dylan. Willie’s Number One rule at home while Lukas was growing up: “Don’t be an asshole.”
“My dad and I are alike in a lot of ways,” he says. “I’ve always looked up to him, and I’ve always wanted to be like him, in terms of being a human being, and also in terms of being a musician. I’m lucky to have such a great example.”
To record their new album, Something Real, Nelson and his band moved to San Francisco, living and working in a 19th-century Victorian mansion. “The vibe was so deep and heavy,” Nelson says. “It used to be a Russian embassy. It was one of the first places ever to have a radio signal come out of. It could have been the first radio signal ever to come out of a tower there, in the mansion. And I mean, it’s got old gramophones in it.” They built a studio and utilized the house’s equipment, like a century-old pump organ, which can be heard on their menacing album closer, a cover of Scott McKenzie’s 1967 classic “San Francisco,” with vocals from Young himself.
Nelson pulled from his experiences in San Francisco while writing the LP. The song “Forget About Georgia” is about a woman named Georgia he met during his time in the city. “She kind of broke my heart,” he says. “And I felt like, ‘Wow. This girl twisted me around.’ And I was in love with her.” Nelson’s heartbreak worsened when he hit the road with his father, and he had to play “Georgia on my Mind” on stage every night. “We’d play that song, and I’d be thinking about her. And I’d be like, ‘Fuck, I can’t forget about this girl. I just wanna let it go.'”
Another defining moment came one day when Nelson was walking in the Tenderloin neighborhood, and he overheard a homeless man say, “Today was an ugly color.” It inspired him to write the seven-minute ballad, “Ugly Color,” about the cruelty in the world from the perspective of the man, which peaks with a searingly melodic solo. “There was a period during that guitar solo that something else took over, and just came through the band,” Nelson says. “It was like we were channeling some deep-seated sorrow and longing, from the city of San Francisco itself.”
In June, Promise of the Real play a handful of dates with Young (including New Orleans’ Jazz Fest) before a longer run in Europe. Earlier this month, Young said he was nearly finished with his second album with the group, calling his connection with them “effortless.”
“I feel really good and amped and energized,” Young says. “And I feel like I’m doing something I’ve never done before. It’s not just music. It’s a soundscape. It’s kind of like flying around and listening to things with your eyes closed.”
Nelson says he’s certainly learned quite a bit from Young. “Neil is one of the sharpest tools you’ll ever meet. He’s detail-oriented. It’s cool to watch him be so involved, to tell the crew that they’ve gotta dress up and put a hazmat suit on and all that. I love watching it. I love being a part of it.”
“We’ll warm up vocally 30 minutes before every show,” says Nelson. “Doesn’t matter what show it is, doing it causes you to really lock in with your band, too. You just lock right in, and you go right out to stage. Neil, without fail, will do that every show, and I think it’s brilliant. I think it really brings people together.”
But before that, the Promise of the Real will head out in May on their biggest headlining U.S. tour yet. Nelson is looking forward to building the connection he’s forged with his audience. “I went and saw this psychic one time, and she told me that I was good at bringing people into this holographic bubble of energy,” he says. “I don’t know that a psychic is something that I would base my life decisions on, but I do think it was cool, the way she described it. It’s like you’re creating your own virtual reality area for the three hours that the music is playing, and you’re bringing all these people into this little holographic world where everybody kind of feels similar. You just get lost.”
See more photos, read more here.
by: Lorie Lieberg
Lukas Nelson and Lily Meola teamed up for an acoustic rendition of “The Sound of Your Memory” during Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion earlier this month.
Earlier this month, the Nelson family invited dozens of musicians and fans to Luck Ranch, their private property in the middle of Texas’ beautiful hill country. Just hours before rain and lightning came down upon the festival, the pair came together for a stripped-down performance of “The Sound of Your Memory”, a track featured on Willie’s 2012 album Heroes.
The duo stood in front of Nelson’s vintage tour bus, which greeted visitors as they drove up the winding dirt road to the festival gates. Maui native Meola brings a smooth and jazzy tone to the reminiscent track, which usually has a slightly grittier feel. While it’s difficult for anyone to elevate a Willie Nelson song – much less a 20-year-old newcomer – Meola’s impressive vocal abilities manage to bring the song to a brand new level.
Both Nelson and Meola ended up joining in for a few songs during Willie’s star-studded finale set during this year’s Luck Reunion. The rain-shortened event also featured appearances from dozens of country artists, including Sam Outlaw, Andrew Combs and Billy Joe Shaver. You can read our full report from the festival here.