Archive for the ‘Micah Nelson’ Category

Willie Nelson and the Particle Kid

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival wraps at the Hollywood Bowl (Oct. 21)

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

photo: Gary Miller

www.TasteofCountry
by:  Bylle Breaux

SEE PHOTOS AT TASTE OF COUNTRY

Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival has been touring since May, but Sunday night (Oct. 21) was the first time California was included on the tour, now in its third season.

The 2018 lineup has varied from stop to stop, but has included legendary acts like Neil Young, Van Morrison, Alison Krauss, Jamey Johnson, Ryan Bingham, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and many others. For Los Angeles, the historic Hollywood Bowl was the perfect setting for the final bow.

Particle Kid (Micah Nelson) opened the show at 4:30, but because most of the ads said the show would start at 5PM, very few people were there to hear him in the 17,500-seat amphitheater, and it was unfortunate. Kid has an emotional voice that easily filled the space, with a bend toward the sound of an early Neil Young. He ended his set with some guitar smashing and then his angry “Everything is Bulls–t.

Lukas Nelson and his Promise of the Real band rattled Willie fans that had not heard them yet. His part traditional country, part blues, part singer-songwriter set was well planned to introduce himself and capture the mood for the types of music to be heard the rest of the night. The younger Nelson’s guitar skills are mesmerizing, and he has the ability to draw you so deeply into his playing that you forget about his amazing, familiar voice, which comes back in to spin you again. His song “Turn Off the News” — a protest to America’s addiction to customized information — was well received and got the tie-dyed Deadheads on their feet.

Margo Price is always a good choice for any festival, and on this night she seemed to hug Los Angeles from her heart. Price’s band was rotated into view by a revolving stage as Nelson’s gear was spun off. A divider down the middle separated the front from the back so the next band was free to set up behind the divider, saving loads of time. Price sang some songs from her first album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, and even crawled back to play drums for “Four Years of Chances.” Her new song, “All American Made,” whispered elegantly through the Hollywood Hills as the flag floated in the breeze and the sun began to set, making Price look like the star of her own movie.

Sturgill Simpson led the night in surprises. The Grammy-winning artist came prepared to sing his hits, but seemed to improvise most of his set with some ornery guitar riffs. Simpson has always claimed he isn’t a good guitar player, but if what he does isn’t good, then everyone else should go back to school. Simpson’s band stayed on their toes to keep up with him, and they were so honed into one another it was as if the audience didn’t exist. He had the place silenced with his version of When in Rome’s “The Promise,” which is on his album, MetaModern Sounds in Country Music. After the birth of his third child recently, Simpson said he would take a few months off before trying some new things he is rolling out next year.

Phil Lesh’s debut with the Outlaw Festival included collaborations with Jackie Green (Black Crowes), Jason Crosby, Cris Jacobs and Nathan Graham on drums, collectively known as Phil Lesh and Friends. Green and Jacobs worked lead vocals back and forth over this the bands deeply moving blues ballads.

Then, it was time for Willie Nelson, who waltzed onstage in a Dodger’s jersey expecting participation before he’d sing On the Road Again” or “ Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up…” The Hollywood Bowl was happy to oblige. In California, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” is always a good idea, but Nelson’s new song “Vote Them Out” also played particularly well here. The country icon stood back and allowed Lukas to lead the gritty Stevie Ray Vaughan cover of “Texas Flood,” solidifying that fact the Nelson line and brand of music will continue for years to come.

 

Willie and the Boys

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

www.RollineStone.com

See Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Particle Kid at the Utopia Fest outside Austin (Nov. 2, 3, 4, 2018)

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Get all the details here and don’t miss it!

Willie Nelson and Sons, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic, the finale

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

photos:  Janis Tillerson

Family and friends join Willie Nelson on stage on the 4th of July in Austin

 

The Particle Kid at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic

Monday, July 9th, 2018

thanks, Janis Tillerson, for photos of Micah Nelson from Willie’s Picnic.

Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson, Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

#happy4thofjuly ?? ?: @rauffer

A post shared by Lukas Nelson + POTR (@lukasnelsonofficial) on

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

“Paradox” the movie, with Neil Young, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Willie Nelson cameo and great original music

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

Just finally watched “Paradox”, Neil Young and Daryl Hannah’s movie, streaming live now on Netflix.   Neil, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real star in the movie, with opening narration and a cameo with Willie Nelson.   I loved it. I’m going to watch it again now. The music is so beautiful.

Willie and Neil commit a crime.

It has everything you really want in a movie;  loose plot line that keeps you thinking; Willie Nelson narrating, great music by Neil Young and Promise of the Real, handsome cowboys; Particle Kid Lukas Autry Nelson Tato Melgar Anthony Lo Corey McCormick. Willie and Neil commit a crime together, Neil rides a dog sled in the show,  message about saving seeds, lots of music, beautiful scenery, funny dialogue, poker, tipis, partial nudity, best cover of Willie Nelson’s Angel Flying Too Close to the Sun you’ll ever here, Micah playing Neil’s organ; Tato taking a bath,  double outhouse scenes.  Like I said, everything.

I don’t know how long it will be streaming, but watch it if you can, get the soundtrack. You’ll thank me later.

“Happy level up, pop”

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

‘Happy level up, pop!” — Micah Nelson

Father and Son

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Happy Birthday, Micah Nelson

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

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photos: Janis Tillerson

Janis Tillerson took this photo, in Luck, Texas

Micah and his big brother, at Red Rocks.

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Texas Music

November 2014

Micah Nelson: When It Comes to Willie Nelson’s Youngest Son, expect the unexpected
by Steve Uhler

Micah Nelson has been screwing with everyone’s expectations since before he was even born.

His dad originally wanted to name him Jake — a “cowboy name” — but the still-gestating prodigy had other ideas. “Apparently, when my mother was pregnant with me, she had a dream in which I came to her and said, “Hey, listen. I’m gonna be showing up soon, so I want to let you know ahead of time. My name is Micah. You can call me whatever you want, but that’s my name. Micah. OK, great — see you soon.” Then she woke up and turned to my dad and said, ‘Hey, uh… so his name is Micah, apparently.”

“That wasn’t enough convincing, however. “They settled on Jacob, Jake for short,” he continues. “But then I showed up and said my name is Micah. Only doctors and cops and people at the DMV call me Jacob.”

Anyone expecting Willie Nelson’s youngest son to reflect the spitting image of his iconic father is likely to be simultaneously disappointed and amazed. Flying in the face of preconceptions — ore -re-anything — is a lifelong motif for the 24-year-old musician. his music is as similar to his dad’s as John Cage is to Johnny Cash. Same canvas, wildly different colors. “Micah has never followed the herd in anything he odes,” says his older brother, Lukas. “To follow any formula would limit him, which he knows. He’s as unique as he is creative.”

Even as a toddler, Nelson was messing with people’s heads. “I started playing harmonica in my dad’s band when I was about three,” he recalls. “I thought I was just getting harmonica lessons. I was oblivious to the thousands of people watching. My Aunt Robyn asked me if I was nervous in front of all those people? I said, “If I don’t see them, they can’t see me.’ Eventually I got pretty decent at the harmonica, and my dad would throw me the nod to take a solo or two.”

Like his iconoclastic father, Nelson does things his own way — and he does a lot of things. In addition to being a full-time musician, both with his band, Insects vs Robots, and as a solo artist, he’s an accomplished painter, photographer, filmmaker and animator. Imagine H.R. Giger channeling John Audobon at a seance with David Lynch, and you’ll get some idea of Nelson’s vision.

As a musician, he eschews the formulaic and polished in favor of the ragged, unformed and spontaneous. As such a conduit as a creator, Nelson conjures “found sounds” into complex musical works of astonishing depth, imagery and surprising humor. An intuitive sonic forager, he finds inspiration in serendipitous places: the rhythm drip of a leaky faucet, the arthritic, groan of an old rocking chair, the distant howl of hungry coyotes in the night. “When I was in high school, every morning on Maui I’d wake up to the most psychedelic bird calls right outside my window,” he recalls. “the weirdest riffs. A human couldn’t write those melodies. I had a growing suspicion that all birds were just musical robots flying around with little tape decks built into them with old warped tapes that would loop the strangest, tweekiest sounds.”

So do inanimate objects, “I know a guy named Lewellyn with an old creaky rusty cat,” he continues. “Every time he opens his door it sings the strangest creaky melodies. I”ve ripped his car’s riffs off countless times. Sometimes I see music as this mysterious forest to be explored. Or like archeaology. You never know what treasures and artifacts you might find, but you can’t know unless you start digging.”

Nelson meticulously builds layers of tracks, weaving a tapestry of songs that are often otherworldly. Anyone expecting echoes of his dad’s distinctive voice and mainstream op sensibilities will find Nelson’s oeuvre disorienting. It’s a beguiling mash-up of traditional folk, psychedelia and world beat, peppered with guileless vocals, dissonant chordings and shifting time signatures. It’s musical Chaos Theory.

“A lot of popular music is so safe, so predictable, like it was processed in a factory,” he explains. “You can literally go in and buy it at Target next to the Tupperware. Not that there’s anything wrong with that .. except that a lot of it tends to sound like Tupperware. Some folks want ot make a pop hit that sells deodorant and plays every five minutes at Walgreens and gets them a Super Bowl halftime show. I tend to get bored with that intention. It spooks my horse.” Perhaps the closest he’s ever come to a traditional love song is “Mosquito,” his bizarre ode to the pesky insect.

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PURCHASE THE MAGAZINE AND SEE ALL THE PHOTOS HERE:

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“Trippy Troubadour” — micah nelson

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

photo:  Janis Tillerson

www.RollingStone.com
by:  Andy Greene

Playing music with Neil Young has been like “getting a masters degree in Jedi training,” the musician says.

A little more than a dozen years ago, Willie Nelson stumbled out of the poker room at his house in Maui in a haze of marijuana smoke to find his then-14-year-old son Micah playing Mario Kart on a Nintendo 64. Micah had just returned from a school trip, and his father greeted him with a elcome home, Particle Kid!” Willie said.

“I thought it was the funniest thing, so I never forgot it,” Micah says. “Years later I asked him about it and he said, ‘I was trying to say “Welcome home, Prodigal Son,” but I was so stoned it came out as ‘Particle Kid.'”

By that point, the teenaged Micah had already started recording his own low-fi, dreamscape music – a slow tumble of guitars, far-off vocals, and washes of rhythm and noise – and when he decided to release it, he used the nom de smoke-plume that Willie had given him. The first Particle Kid collections were limited to 200 cassette tapes on the indie label Dome of Doom, and there was no sign they came from the son of Willie Nelson. “Instead of taking advantage of that I always felt that I had to work twice as hard as everyone else and live up the name, really earn it,” Micah says.

Earn it he has, though he may be working more than twice as hard as everyone else. A musical polymath who, according to Willie, “plays everything,” Micah combines an indie DIY aesthetic with a questing hippie spirit and a relentless work ethic. Over the last few months, the 27-year-old has done everything from open shows for Margo Price – one of Nashville’s sharpest and hardest rocking songwriters – to backing up Neil Young in his older brother Lukas’ band, Promise of the Real. Songs like “Gunshow Loophole Blues” from Particle Kid’s latest, Everything Is Bullshit, were inspired by the madness of Trump’s America. There’s also his adventurous rock quintet Insects vs. Robots, a series of animated short films he’s been working on, the Space Gnome deck of cards he’s designed to benefit the Bridge School (a cause Young has long supported), and an interactive album inspired by the patterns of hotel carpets he’s photographed that. “Whether I’m gardening or working on my car of making music or painting, it’s all part the same entity,” he says. “I’ve always felt like an artist who is using music as a medium.”

His role as integral member of Neil Young’s band began with an impromptu rendition of “Rockin’ in the Free World” at Farm Aid in 2014, which quickly lead to Promise of the Real backing Young on two studio albums and a series tours. Despite the nearly half-century age gap between Young and the band, they’ve become a very tight unit, and Micah and Lukas have coaxed Young to bust out rarities he hasn’t played since the 1970s, like “Alabama” and “Vampire Blues” and “L.A.”

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Micah says playing music with Young has been like “getting a masters degree in Jedi training.” Young has schooled the Nelson brothers with precepts like, “The perfect is highly overrated.” “The main thing he’s taught me about music is, ‘If you think, you’re fucked.’ You have to accept your flaws and embrace them.”

Young cast Micah, Lukas and the rest of Promise of the Real in his trippy western Paradox, directed by Young’s girlfriend Daryl Hannah and shot in the Rockies during a four day tour break, using vintage Super 8 film and Hannah’s phone. “We’re all miners in the future, mining for ancient technology like computers and phones,” says Micah. “It’s a strange, beautiful art film.” He say that Young and Hannah call Paradox “a very loud poem” — perhaps the only such poem streaming on Netflix.

Touring with Young means some nights Micah’s playing for 100,000 fans on a bill with Paul McCartney at Desert Trip, and then just a few weeks later he’s out on his own, singing to a handful of people at a dusty club. It’s a balance that Micah has learned to embrace, though in the future he hopes to gain just a little more traction with his own career. “I wish I had a roadie to help me carry shit around,” he says, then laughs. “I’d like to be able to employ a reliable sound guy and incorporate some of animation into the show. But I feel like I’ve come a long way in the past couple of years and I want to keep the momentum going. Hopefully I’ll hit a nerve with more people without sacrificing or compromising on anything.”

Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson

Saturday, April 7th, 2018