Archive for the ‘Micah Nelson’ Category

Neil Young surprises fans at secret show with Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

photo:  Good Medicine Presents
by: Matt Fountain and Sarah Linn

Legendary folk rocker Neil Young stopped Thursday in San Luis Obispo for a secret show.

The Grammy Award winner took the stage at SLO Brewing Co. at 9 p.m., backed by rock band Lukas  Nelson & Promise of the Real and played until midnight.

The spur-of-the-moment concert was presented by Good Medicine Presents and Numbskull Productions.  Good Medicine co-owner Todd Newman said he and his wife, Korie, have been working with Nelson, son of country star Willie Nelson, since 2007.

“Lukas contacted us last week and asked to work on a secret show,” Todd Newman wrote in an email. “He didn’t offer many details. He simply said, ‘Let’s plan for a concert Thursday and we are going to bring something special to Good Medicine and SLO.’

”It wasn’t until shortly before the show that we found that Neil was the special surprise.”

San Luis Obispo resident Jason Hill was sipping a beer at McCarthy’s Irish Pub at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday when a friend sent him a text message about the Neil Young concert.

“I dropped my beer, ran to the show and got right in line. And then I realized I had no cash,” said Hill, who borrowed enough money to purchase pre-sale tickets for himself, his friend and their fathers.

“It was the best show in San Luis Obispo at SLO Brew,” Hill said. “Because it was a total surprise — and it was Neil Young.”

When Mike Johnson, who lives a few blocks from downtown San Luis Obispo, heard about the show after work, he, too, raced to SLO Brewing Co.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Johnson said. “Seeing Willie Nelson’s son’s band play backup for Neil Young in a tiny venue at the spur of the moment? It was one of the more entertaining things I’ve ever experienced.”

Concertgoers paid just $10 to hear Young play two sets that included a nearly 10-minute long version of “Down By the River” as well as favorites such as “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” and “Ordinary People.” The energetic crowd that packed SLO Brewing Co., which has a capacity of 457 people, ranged from college students to older folks.

Young announced in January that he is working on a new album with Lukas Nelson and his brother, Micah Nelson.

Known for a long string of hit songs that includes “Harvest Moon,” “Old Man” and “For What It’s Worth,” Young helped shaped the sound of the 1960s and ’70s as a member of two bands — Buffalo Springfield and rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He’s also enjoyed a successful, decades-spanning career as a solo artist.

Young was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo musician in 1995 and as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.

Read article, see more photos:

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real at ARISE festival (Loveland, Colorado) (Aug. 7-9)

Sunday, April 12th, 2015


Heartbreaker Banquet Finale with Willie Nelson, family and friends (3/19/15)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015


Thanks Janis from Texas for photos from Luck!


Micah Nelson and Lukas Nelson at the Heartbreaker Banquet (May 19, 2015)

Monday, March 23rd, 2015


photos:  Janis Tillerson


Willie Nelson and Family and Friends @ 2015 Heartbreaker Banquet

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015


Thanks Janis from Texas, for more photos from Luck, Texas. Fantastic photos, as always, Janis!



Micah Nelson, Tom Conway, Lily Meola at Heartbreaker Banquet (3/19/2015)

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Thank John Herring for all his great videos from the Heartbreaker Banquet, like this one of Tom Conway, Lily Meola and Micah Nelson, performing, “Bad Boys.”

Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson: Heartbreaker Banquet Banquet

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

photo (1)

Thank you, Janis Tillerson, for sharing photos from last night’s Heartbreaker Banquet Banquet.


“Having a blast on the road with dad !” — Lukas Nelson

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Lukas Nelson, Willie Nelson, Micah Nelson

Willie Nelson and Family

Monday, March 2nd, 2015


Micah Nelson Grateful Dead Dave’s Pick 2015 Artist-in-Residence

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015


photo:  Theo Jemison

Dave’s Picks 2015 Artist-in-Residence Micah Nelson gives us a little insight into his unconventional upbring (yes, the one and only Willie is his dad) and into how he juggles his time between painting, animating, and playing in not one, not two, but three bands(!) in this edition of All In The Family. Find out what the multi-talented and very busy artist is up to here.

A multi-hyphenate and a member of the well-respected Nelson tribe, give us a little background on your upbringing and your earliest exposure to art/music/creativity…

I’ve been doing creative things for as long as I can remember. I never stopped creating stuff and eventually my creations were paying my rent. It’s great! I hope to continue this lifestyle as long as possible. It’s amazing that you can actually be rewarded for doing what you love. I don’t take it for granted for a second.

In terms of the visual world, you are an illustrator, a painter — a live painter – and an animator. You’re also a part of 3 bands – the psych-punk-orchestra Insects vs. Robots, neo-psych-folk-rock band Pårticle Kid, and POTR, a collaborative project with your brother Lukas Nelson. How do you find the time?

I was very scattered around for a while, experimenting, playing in a million bands, saying yes to everything. Eventually I began to feel thin, like butter scraped over too much bread. The only choice was to focus on the things that really mattered to me and not take on more projects than I could count on one hand. That step was life-changing in a great way, but even now I pretty frequently am up all night working on various things, sleeping at odd hours. That’s ok. Life is really all one long day depending on where you are in the multiverse right..?..your birthday!

If you had to pick just one…

Probably The Empire Strikes Back… yeah, definitely. No question.

How do each of these art forms appeal to you? Do you find they work hand-in-hand?

They are very symbiotic. I rarely have an idea for a song without seeing a video or album concept or animation behind it. If I am painting something I usually hear music in my head to accompany it or vice versa. The aural and visual inform each other. I seem to understand music the most in visual, or even tactile terms. It’s what makes the most sense to me. I’d love to learn to read and write music better though. I suspect I have a mild case of synesthesia, I’m not sure… maybe not so mild. I am grateful for the life-saving ability to make tangible sense of it all through my art and music. I remember getting very frustrated as a kid when I couldn’t express what was in my head, when it wouldn’t come out on the page the way I saw it in my mind. I think this whole sanity thing is just an endurance test. If you keep trying it eventually gets easier, or you at least get better at making it seem easier.


Any formal training in music or art?

Up until I went to art college for a few years, I mostly just either figured things out trial and error style or learned from elder artists or musicians I was lucky to be surrounded with growing up. Nothing really formal. I’m very grateful to have had some fine art education later on though; I gained a lot from the experience. I am a firm believer in knowing the rules well before effectively breaking them. I think it’s important to be open to learning new things constantly. I could never learn it all. The more I learn, the more humbled I am by my lack of knowledge. I know nothing.

Is it more challenging to create commissioned works? What makes it interesting?

I guess it really depends on the piece and the work involved. Sometimes having a specific request for something can be easier than pulling something out of the air, y’know, making something from nothing… but really it’s all very interesting and inspiring. Depends on how you choose to look at it. I’m so fortunate to even have problems like these. Once, a few years ago, I was asked to carve a liking of a grieving woman’s son into a marble headstone… on paper that might sound like a bit of a morbid gig, but it was a profoundly humbling experience and it taught me so much. I had never carved anything into marble before, let alone something as important as the portrait of someone’s deceased son, so I knew I had to focus. There’s no undo button with marble. I could not fuck this up. I put everything into it and am actually very, very proud of the piece… It has become a shrine for the mother and she still writes to me all the time that seeing it brings her inner peace every day. Thank you for that experience, Mary!

I am a super grateful person to make art and music for a living! That’s all I can say at the end of the day.

Let’s get into your connection with the Grateful Dead…

When I was 13, I roadied for my uncle Dahr’s band ‘Titty Bingo’ at my father’s 4th of July picnic which was in Austin that year. Both Neil Young and Crazy Horse and the Dead headlined that year. I was right there on side stage breathing it all in the whole time. There was no filter, no screen to look through except my own mind. I can still smell the rain approaching. The Dead jammed for what seemed like hours. Mickey had his massive wall of drums. I remember distinctly Phil’s warm smile when he shook my hand. All the Heads and hippies and rednecks dancing in the mud. An epic musical journey unfolded that seemed to be laughing at time itself, or maybe laughing with it. The overall vibe somehow felt so familiar, almost nostalgic. Everyone was there, riding it. It definitely influenced me.

How does their iconic imagery appeal to you?

I’ve always felt that we are just passing through, that we don’t own this place or this skin, or anything really. You never see a hearse with a luggage rack, someone once said. I appreciate how the imagery of the Dead often presents a profound reverence and respect for death while simultaneously celebrating life. A light-hearted lesson in the temporality of everything. I dig that.

Given that the Dead do have a very specific aesthetic, what were some of the challenges (and rewards!) of creating the artwork for the 2015 Dave’s Picks series?

I love the cultural mythology of the Dead. My artwork tends to be very layered and multidimensional, and often pretty obscure so I appreciate the symbology of the whole Dead legacy. The history is epic and vast, like Lord of the Rings or something. I also like to use muted Earth tones in my work a lot, sometimes coffee or tea stains, etc, but this project demanded bright bold colors, which is something I’m not quite used to. Still, I’m loving the challenge. I like for my comfort zones to be tested and stretched. It keeps it real and fresh.

What else is on your agenda for 2015?

I am currently making a record with Neil Young and will be collaborating with my friend, the great Gary Burden, on the album art as well! What an honor to call these folks my good friends and be a part of their life stories. We have been having a super great time hanging out and working with Neil – what an inspiring force to be around. I have nothing but respect for Neil. He also happens to be one of the funniest people alive and has basically adopted me and my brother and POTR as his band. What a trip! I’ve also been writing a new album with Insects vs Robots. We plan to record sometime this spring as well as well as play some shows at SXSW in Austin and possibly some shows opening for the band Tinariwen sometime this summer.If we get time, it would be great to make a music video too – we’ve got a million ideas and talented superfriends, but haven’t quite found the time to make it happen yet. I also plan to tour a bit with my father more this year playing in the family band. We did get to do one show with him a couple weeks ago while he was in town, which was wicked fun. I have been working on several a/v projects with my friend David Wexler aka ‘Strangeloop’ (Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu) and the whole Teaching Machine crew which I look forward to sharing with everyone. I’d like to find some time to make another Particle Kid record this year too, hopefully finish a record I started last year with Christy Smith and also finish the Lily Meola record that I’m producing. And then take a power nap.

Check out more of Micah’s work at
Check out his band Insects VS Robots here.
Check out Particle Kid here.
See more of Micah’s art here.

Micah Nelson Live Painting @ Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real Concert

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015



Such a great photo by Andrew Shapter.

Friday, February 6th, 2015


Willie Nelson and Family Selfie

Thursday, February 5th, 2015



Had to share this selfie of Lukas Nelson, Annie Nelson, Willie Nelson and Micah Nelson, posted by on Facebook.

Grateful Dead Dave’s Pick’s Vol. 13 (with Micah Nelson Art!)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
Dave’s Picks Volume 13

We’re heeding the call for more of the majestic early 70s! No doubt, this was a time of great exploration and innovation for the Grateful Dead, one of their peaks… And so it is with great pleasure, that we are proud to present the official release of Winterland, February 24, 1974.

On the fertile grounds of their home turf and on the edge of what would become the Wall of Sound era, the Dead embarked upon a tremendous three-night run at Winterland. On this particular night, the last in the run, they warmed up the crowd with stellar new tracks “U.S. Blues” (previously known as “Wave That Flag”), “Ship of Fools,” and “It Must Have Been The Roses.” And while these debuts, nestled among fan favorites like “Playing In The Band” and “Brown-Eyed Women,” were quite tantalizing, the 2nd set really brought it all home. Witness the magic on an incredibly jazz, introspective “Dark Star,” perhaps one of the finest version of “Morning Dew” during this time, and a beautifully arranged cover of “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.” The moments making up this masterpiece are made even more clear by the crispness of Kidd Candelario’s recording. Epic, indeed!

Limited to 16,500 individually numbered copies, Dave’s Picks Volume 13: Winterland, San Francisco, CA – 2/24/74has been mastered to HDCD specs by Jeffrey Norman and features illustrations by our 2015 Artist in Residence Micah Nelson (learn more about the multi-talented artist and musician in our upcoming All In The Family piece).

This one ships February 1st – get your copy before they are gone, gone, gone!



Willie Nelson and Family

Friday, January 30th, 2015