Archive for the ‘Micah Nelson’ Category
Willie and family have so far committed $3,500 to build a solar barn.
Temperatures are already plummeting in North Dakota, and adequate housing is absolutely critical to shelter the Water Protectors through the winter.
Bold Alliance is taking action to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allies at the Oceti Sakowin camps that are holding the line to protect our land, water and climate from the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Bold is raising $35,000 to build 30 tiny solar-powered barns on the Standing Rock land set aside for winter camping. We’ve already raised over $20,000, more than halfway to our goal — Thank you!
The tiny barns will be mobile — so they may be utilized in the future by the Standing Rock tribe, and transported to support Pipeline Fighters on the frontlines in other states.
Bold Alliance continues to stand with Standing Rock and landowners in Iowa fighting Dakota Access.
Thanks to the Nelson family, and to all the Water Protectors standing with Standing Rock and Iowa landowners fighting Dakota Access.
NEIL YOUNG + PROMISE OF THE REAL – “Neighborhood”
Thrasher’s Wheat is a great, informative blog for Neil Young fans, with concert and album updates, reviews, analysis, and other Rock & Roll ramblings. “Separating the wheat from the chaff since 1996.”
Micah Nelson wrote this moving letter in response to a letter written by a Muslim-American fan to express his concerns about the lyrics to Neil Young’s song, “Neighborhood”. Rabih Hamzeh posted his “Open Letter to Neil Young on the YouTube page comments,
Micah Nelson responded and reached out:
As a member of Neil Young’s band (I’m the guy in the video playing guitar on the right) and his close friend I can assure you the sentiment of his song “Terrorist Suicide Hanggliders” is not what you’ve interpreted. The song is calling out the hypocrisy of the prejudice people here in our country, mainly Trump supporters who can’t tell the difference between an innocent Muslim man and a terrorist. The song is a critique of shallow, narrow-minded viewpoints that sadly pervade our culture.
The character in the song is not “Neil”. Neil is playing a character in the song, representing the racism and fear-based thinking that exists in America today. Neil plays other characters in his songs quite often to paint a picture of an opposing viewpoint while remaining detached from the perspective itself. Take a look at the verses of “Rocking in the Free World” for instance:
We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We got a kinder, gentler,
Machine gun hand
We got department stores
and toilet paper
Got styrofoam boxes
for the ozone layer
Got a man of the people,
says keep hope alive
Got fuel to burn,
got roads to drive.
Keep on rockin’ in the free world!
Much of that song is satire as well. Neil drives an electric car that he built and is a major advocate for alternative renewable energies and sustainable fuels.
Clearly these lyrics are an ironic statement designed to make people think more critically, or even just to think at all. Take the new verse he added about a year ago:
Got a water cannon for the standing man
Got misinformation from the corporation
In the endless search for a drop of oil
People’s lives get shattered while we suck it from the soil
Gotta show the children
We just don’t care
So we keep on burnin’ it
And put it in the air
Keep on rockin in the free world!
Look especially at the line “Gotta show the children/We just don’t care/So we keep on burnin’ it/And put it in the air”. Obviously Neil cares way more than most people about keeping oil in the ground for the sake of our children and the welfare of the Earth! So you see, it is simply an artistic statement, a powerful tool to present these views in a satirical way and expose them for how horrible they are.
I hope that helps clear things up for you. Neil Young is an artist who has nothing against you or any Muslim people.
Neil is one of the most outspoken people I know against people who hate others for reasons they don’t understand. This song is intended to call bullshit on ignorant people who blindly follow fear-mongering in the established media, but just like most great art, it can be interpreted subjectively. I just want you to know that hating on Muslims is not Neil’s intention — it is in fact the opposite.
Neil loves you and is fighting with you against the contagious disease of hate.
Cheers, ~ Micah
by: Lisa Morgan
The first time I saw Micah Nelson (son of legend, Willie Nelson) was at the Troubadour when big brother Lukas Nelson’s band, Promise of the Real, sold out and wowed the place. Micah was on stage painting as the band played. It was all pretty awe inspiring. A few years later, at Pappy and Harriet’s, I saw him open for Lukas with his own band, Insects vs Robots, and was endearingly smacked in the face with a kaleidoscope of sound and dimension played by a group of guys who were simply pouring out a love offering. Between the two brothers’ band’s performances, the soul candy, originality and authenticity were edible, and all present consumed it gratefully. Meeting Micah in person however, who was chatting it up under the stars with all the locals, sealed the deal for me; his gracious demeanor, genuine hug and deep yet easy going, insightful conversation made me a fan not only of the music, but of the being who bled it. It is a beautiful thing when the depth and quality of the person mirrors the music, and it is rarer than you might want to think.
The newest album, TheyllKillYaa, is set to release October 11th, and after giving it a listen (actually several), I should warn you; this album has the capacity to symphonically deliver the truth to your soul and open your perspective, if you allow it. Don’t worry, they make it extremely enjoyable. In a world of corporate, homogenized, capital driven music, the music of Insects vs Robots has the potential of removing the veil from our eyes and the crust from our heart, and help us see things as if the lights in the building just got turned up by some hidden dimmer switch. Songs like the title track, “They’ll Kill Ya!,” “Fukushima,” and “Time Grows Thin,” are significantly powerful – simultaneously painful and healing. This new generation of eclectic troubadours is a beacon of hope for those longing to digest music that is relevant, real and fearless, and like their forefathers, has the capacity to influence the world for the better.
This weekend and next, Micah Nelson will again be performing with Lukas Nelson as Promise of the Real backing up Neil Young at the history making Desert Tip Music Festival. I had the good fortune to chat with him about the upcoming gig, his band and their new album, and how he found his own strikingly eclectic musical path among some of the world’s most influential musicians.
CVW: “Of all your musically gifted siblings, you seem to be the most eclectic. What was your path to the music you’re making now with Insect vs Robots?”
Nelson: “I spent years growing up on the bus that I’m on right now, talking to you. I started out playing in my dad’s band since I was three years old. I played harmonica on stage with Raphael, his harmonica player. That’s where I started to develop a sense of rhythm and harmony. Later, when I was 8 or 9, my brother picked up the guitar, so I picked up the drums. I learned from Tato (Melgar), my brother’s percussionist in Promise of the Real. Tato has been a big brother for almost 20 years now. He taught me African root rhythms which really expanded my pallet musically and rhythmically. For a long time, my brother and I were way into classic rock, psychedelic rock, and folk rock from the 60s and 70s. Later I discovered funk music, and contemporary music that wasn’t on the radio. We just weren’t interested in what was mainstream when we were growing up. Independent music started popping up all over the internet, and I got excited about new music and rediscovering my own generation. I started writing my own songs and branching out on different instruments and teaching myself as much as I could, learning from the masses of brilliant talented people that I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by. I absorbed as much as I could, playing in different bands and jamming with as many people as I possible.”
“When I moved to LA, I felt pretty alienated, and didn’t really like it that much until I met my friends in Insects vs Robots. The rest is history. I feel like I’ve dreamed so many things that have come to pass. It just makes me feel like telling everyone, if you feel a big magnet from the future pulling at your solar plexus toward something, follow it! Be patient and work hard – you might end up in a surprisingly and sometimes shockingly familiar place; like realizing something that has always been in your deep subconscious and now it’s here in tangible reality. It’s quite a trip.”
CVW: “How did this new album come about?”
Nelson: “We made a serious effort to capture the energy of our live show in the studio because we realize that’s where we shine. The whole record is pretty much recorded live, at Hen House Studios in Venice, CA. Harlan mixed it so beautifully. It all happened so organically. We met Harlan through a mutual friend. He liked our band and invited us over to record a few songs – to just hang and see what happened. That afternoon turned into several, and we got this great record out of it. We’re excited to share it. We’ve been sitting on it for a while because I’ve been touring with Neil so much that we haven’t had time to sit down and figure out how we were going to release it.”
“Our band is an organic reaction to this apocalypse era we’ve grown up in, this age of chaos, where the world is always ending.”
CVW : “Rolling Stone Magazine and LA Weekly have come up with some pretty creative hyphenates for your music. What do YOU call your music?”
Nelson: “I prefer other people’s wild descriptions and adjectives; I just call it ‘Insects vs Robots music.’ We’re not trying to tap into a theme or invent a genre, we’re just doing our thing. One time we called it Gnome Thrash but as we’ve evolved the music has moved out of that box. Sometimes it’s very psychedelic and classic, sometimes it’s very other-worldly, Spanish, Flamenco-esque, sometimes we have some swampy New Orleans funk, or even some jungle funk…I don’t know…I feel all those things apply. It’s fun to just make up words. When people ask, I usually stare blankly, ask them a different question that’s equally impossible to answer like, you know… ‘Which one of your children do you love the most.’ I don’t know how to answer that question. I just say, ‘Here, listen!’”
CVW: “You’ve been touring with “Uncle Neil” a lot over the past year. Does the Desert Trip Festival feel bigger than normal? Is it a trippy thing for you?”
Nelson: “Playing with Neil alone is a trippy thing, and a special thing. But we’re just making our noise, and we play what we play. We try not to think about it really. You don’t want to think about it too much or you’re fucked. We’re just treating it like any other show except the stage is like 500 times bigger and there’s this massive screen… we don’t want to think about it. Our show is never the same show anyway. We never know what is going to happen.”
CVW: “Is there a set list?”
Nelson: “There’s a list! But it’s a list of 100 something songs, and he’ll just pick something and we’ll just go. We go with whatever Neil is feeling or whatever is floating in the air. Sometimes he’ll just look over to me or Luke and ask, ‘Are ya hearing anything? What song’s floating around?’ Or he’ll say, ‘Wait, I know,’ and we’ll do that. There’s not a whole lot to mentally prepare for more so than any other show. Every show with Neil, you have to be so in the moment. Every show with him is a unique experience. I think it’ll be great. It will be really cool to see Bob and the Stones and Roger Waters, The Who and Sir Paul.”
CVW: “Have you played or met the stars of Desert Trip before?”
Nelson: “I’ve met a few of these people. We (my dad and his band) did a couple of Triple A Ball Park tours with Dylan in 2005. Some nights, Dylan would have us come up and do ‘I Shall Be Released,’ or ‘Highway 61.’ That was a trip. One night, I realized half way through ‘I Shall Be Released’ that I was the tambourine man, and I started laughing so hard I almost lost the rhythm. I had to try really hard to keep it together… it was pretty funny. I saw Paul play at the Hollywood Bowl once and got to meet him. He was very, very nice. I was playing in a band at the time called the Reflecticals, and we had these paper glasses that we’d throw out into the audience. When you put them on, they would refract the light into rainbows. Paul put them on and said, ‘Whoa, these are giving me flashbacks!’ There’s a great picture of my dad, Paul and me wearing those ‘reflecticals’. I saw Roger Waters at Coachella, but haven’t seen The Who yet.”
CVW: “How do you feel about music then and now?”
Nelson: “We live in a time where everything that Rock and Roll was up against back then, is an even bigger beast now. It’s 50 times more gnarly and terrifying, greedy and sociopathic. If that rock and roll spirit of rebelliousness is reduced to a marketing product, a target ad or fuckin’ deodorant jingle and becomes just background noise, then what do we have?”
“The best way to honor these legendary artists is to keep their spirit alive and have no fear… zero fear! We must radically subtract the amount of fucks we give about the things that don’t matter, like social status, whether we look like a plastic mannequin or a photo-shopped magazine cover, or what the other guys at work will say, whether you like this band or that band, what’s going to happen after you die, and anything that takes us out of enjoying each moment to its fullest. Life is too short not to be happy and express ourselves fully, regardless of whether some stuck up asshole says that we are heathens according to their own mental enslavement. Pity them. It’s not our problem what someone else’s ideology says about us. All that matters is NOT being an asshole. Bring no harm. Keep your dogma to yourself.”
“On the other hand, I say give a million fucks about the things that DO matter…like the fate of our species for instance; Care about the fact that if we don’t radically alter our current paradigm of rampant morally bankrupt capitalism, it is going to cost us all way more than ‘the economy.’ The economy is completely fucking irrelevant when there’s no clean water, air or soil. Somewhere along the line, giant corporations decided that they are somehow above the ecosystem and our one and only planet Earth is a giant disposable diaper. Well it’s not. It’s a living organism that we have exploited for too long. We are beyond the tipping point. If we don’t start giving way more fucks about the planet we live on and investing in what’s tangible and real, it is not just speculation that we will annihilate ourselves. This is it. What’s more valuable; a dollar bill or a breath of fresh oxygen?”
Follow Insects vs Robots at insectsvsrobots.com
Look for their album, TheyllKillYaa October 11th. CDs will be available at shows Micah will be performing at with Neil Young in between Desert Trip Weekends. www.neilyoung.com
Album Credits: Micah Nelson (charango, guitar, vocals, percussion, piano, drums), Jeff “FEJ” Smith (bass, grooves), Tony “Grandma” Peluso (drums, percussion, synths), Milo Gonzalez (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals) and Nikita Sorokin (violin, guitar, banjo, vocals)
Also check out previously released albums: Geryl and the Great Homunculous (2009), Tales from the Blue House (2011) and Insects vs Robots (2014), each an inspiration to free thinkers and listeners.
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Neil Young, with Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real will play Australian Byron Bay Bluesfest (April 14, 2017)Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
Yes, it is true and we are delighted to announce that on Friday 14th of April 2017 Neil Young + Promise of the Real will play a three hour set at Bluesfest Byron Bay.
They join the illustrious names already on the bill including Santana, Zac Brown Band, Patti Smith, Mary J. Blige, Buddy Guy (exclusive), The Doobie Brothers and many more.
This announcement proves that we are bringing together a line-up of artists that is on par with major festivals anywhere in the world & it’s all happening right here, in Australia in the beautiful shire of Byron Bay.
For this guitar-centric, full steam-ahead and highly-charged concert, Young is joined by Promise of the Real, an LA-based rock band fronted by Lukas Nelson (vocals/guitar), along with Micah Nelson (guitar, vocals) and their band. They have performed with their father, Willie Nelson and Young on previous occasions and wowed Bluesfest with their exceptional sets this year.
Patti Smith and her Band perform Horses Corinne Bailey Rae Mavis Staples (exclusive) Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Snarky Puppy St. Paul & The Broken Bones Andrew Bird Gallant The Strumbellas Dumpstaphunk The Suffers Nikki Hill Irish Mythen Neil Young + Promise of the Real Mary J. Blige The Lumineers Bonnie Raitt Mavis Staples (exclusive) Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Rickie Lee Jones Gregory Porter Snarky Puppy Michael Kiwanuka Roy Ayers Joan Osborne Gallant The Strumbellas Dumpstaphunk The Suffers Nikki Hill Doobie Brothers Zac Brown Band Buddy Guy (exclusive) Corinne Bailey Rae Billy Bragg Rickie Lee Jones Gregory Porter St. Paul & The Broken Bones Beth Hart (exclusive) Roy Ayers Joan Osborne Nahko and Medicine for the People Turin Brakes Jake Shimabukuro Nikki Hill Irish Mythen Santana Buddy Guy (exclusive) Mavis Staples (exclusive) Jethro Tull Laura Mvula Booker T. presents The Stax Records Revue Turin Brakes Jake Shimabukuro Dumpstaphunk The Suffers Nikki Hill Irish Mythen Zac Brown Band Mavis Staples (exclusive) St. Paul & The Broken Bones Beth Hart (exclusive) Laura Mvula Booker T. presents The Stax Records Revue Nahko and Medicine for the People Dumpstaphunk The Suffers
It is becoming very obvious, that Bluesfest is set to sell out!
Ticket prices have been rising, as the Bluesfest 2017 line-up grows rapidly and becomes stronger with each announcement. RIGHT NOW, you can still grab your tickets at the current rate, but they will need to up again by tomorrow Thursday 6thof October by 5pm at the latest!
You can pay off your tickets on a ‘Lay by’ plan over 3 months. Check out our ‘Lay by / Time to pay’ plan here. Get in now, if you have not already!
|VIEW TICKET PRICES|
Micah Nelson played a guitar made entirely of hemp for his set early in the day with Insects vs. Robots. He played several instruments, other guitars, piano, percussion and at onetime he was singing through a bullhorn. Like his brother Lukas, Micah was one of the hardest working people at Farm Aid — he played with Insects v Robots, then joined Neil Young with Promise of the Real for their set , and then closed out the evening with Willie Nelson & Family.
Micah Nelson is the son of the notorious celebrity who is an advocate for cannabis and industrial hemp, Willie Nelson. Micah is following in his father’s footsteps in advocating for industrial hemp, as he has just been named as one of the Board of Directors for National Hemp Association.
Last weekend, the acclaimed musician, Micah, entertained fans at the Farm Aid 2016 last weekend by playing a hemp guitar. Micah is the founder of a band called Insects Vs Robots, which has been bringing experimental and boundary-less music to loyal fans since 2008.
Micah’s father, Willie Nelson, has been inducted into the National Agricultural Center Hall of Fame. In a press release from National Hemp Association, the organization’s chair, Michael Bowman, explained the similarities between Micah and his father.
“The passion for social and environmental justice was instilled in Micah,” Bowman said. “It is part of who he is. We could not be more excited to welcome him to our board. Like his father before him, Micah has a powerful passion for advocacy.”
Micah is already well-known for his advocacy toward industrial hemp legalization, which makes him a strong addition to the National Hemp Association’s Board of Directors. In a change.org petition, Micah has gathered over 50,000 signatures petitioning congress to pass the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. The petition is called “Allow American Farmers to Grow Industrial Hemp.”
In this petition, Micah wrote, “In 1985, my dad, Willie Nelson, helped organize Farm Aid, a benefit concert for America’s family farmers. He’s always been dedicated to helping farmers and the environment—something he’s passed on to his children.” He continued to explain that not allowing American farmers to grow hemp is one of the most important issues in the United States.
Micah continued to explain how important it will be to allow American farmers to grow and sell hemp, which is an extremely useful, sustainable and economically vital plant that will help rural communities and to rebuild depleted soil.
photo by: Jason Riedmiller Photography
by: Brad Patton
The day-long festival, a late addition to the local venue’s calendar, had a little something for everybody as Lee Ann Womack, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Sheryl Crow, and Scranton’s own Cabinet filled the bill. Performances on the second stage included an acoustic set by Lukas Nelson and local artists, including members of Cabinet playing the music of John Prine, Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams.
Young, the now 70-year-old rocker, took the stage just before 7 p.m. for a lovely solo rendition of “Heart of Gold,” accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica.
He then brought out his latest collaborators, Promise of the Real featuring Willie’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson, for acoustic favorites “Out on the Weekend,” “Unknown Legend,” “Human Highway” with gorgeous four-part harmonies, “Harvest Moon,” and “Hold Back the Tears.”
Young then picked up his electric guitar and a multi-page setlist, tossed the papers to the floor, and started into “Powderfinger” from 1979’s “Rust Never Sleeps.”
Following that same album’s “Welfare Mothers,” Young and his cohorts then played a stunning, 11-minute “Cowgirl in the Sand.” The harmonies were back for 1969’s “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,” the title track of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s second album.
Several minutes of instrumental buildup turned into a nearly-20-minute version of “Cortez the Killer,” followed by an equally outstanding take of “Fuckin’ Up” from the 1990 album “Ragged Glory,” his sixth LP with Crazy Horse.
Young and POTR then tore the roof off with a combustible “Rockin’ in the Free World,” complete with two false endings and some standout guitar work by Lukas Nelson.
photo: Jason Riedmiller
Willie Nelson, listed as curator of the Outlaw gathering, closed out the festival just one day after his closing set at the 31st Farm Aid in Bristow, Virginia.
Taking the stage with his Family and his ever-faithful guitar Trigger, the elder Nelson, now 83 and still showing no signs of slowing down, somehow managed to fit 19 songs into his hour-long set.
The early going was familiar to everyone who has seen Willie over the past few years, as he began with “Whiskey River,” “Still Is Still Moving to Me,” and “Beer for My Horses.”
Nelson then paid tribute to another musical outlaw, the late Waylon Jennings, with “Good Hearted Woman” and the chart-topping Waylon and Willie duet “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”
Even though the selection was fully expected, Nelson’s version of “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” was especially good at the Outlaw, with his guitar playing nearly matching his heartfelt vocals.
After more of the usual suspects, such as “On the Road Again” and “Always on My Mind,” Nelson paid tribute to Hank Williams (on the day after what would have been his 83rd birthday) with spirited versions of “Jambalaya (On the Bayou),” “Hey Good Lookin’,” and “Move It on Over.”
Mickey Raphael, Willie’s longtime harmonica player and right-hand man, sparkled on “Georgia on My Mind,” while Willie dug just a little bit deeper for a nice version of “Bloody Mary Morning.”
He then honored the late Merle Haggard with the duo’s “It’s All Going to Pot” and the late Ray Price with “Heartaches by the Number” before treating the crowd to the “new gospel” number “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” which featured some great background vocals by sons Lukas and Micah.
Nelson then closed the show with a medley of actual gospel tunes “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away.”
Nothing has been confirmed yet, but here’s hoping the Outlaw Music Festival becomes an annual event on Montage Mountain.
photo: Michael Dworschak
Steve Gumble, of Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, and Craig Ferguson, of Telluride Bluegrass Festival, have joined together to announce two very special shows from legendary guitarist and songwriter Neil Young in the world famous mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. Telluride is one of the most scenic, majestic, and stunningly beautiful music venues in the country.
Singer, songwriter, musician, producer and two-time Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Neil Young will play back-to-back shows (September 30th and October 1st) on the new state-of-the-art stage in Telluride Town Park. Young will be joined on stage by Promise of the Real for his sets, fronted by Lukas Nelson, son of Willie Nelson.
Be a Part of Music History.