Archive for the ‘Promise of the Real’ Category

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”


Willie Nelson @ Farm Aid 2015 (Chicago)

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015


Another Neil Young and Promise of the Real fan

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.”


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.


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

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

“A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop”, Neil Young, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, Tato Melgar, Anthony Logerfo, and Corey McCormick (Camden, NJ 7/16/15)

Friday, July 17th, 2015

One of the songs from Neil Young and Promise of the Real’s epic 3 1/2 hour show last night @Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ 7/16/15. Thanks to Rick McGraw for posting this video.

Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, Neil Young: On Tour!

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
by: Gary Graff

As Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson grew up with Neil Young around and feeling like “family.”

But he and the other members of his band, including younger brother and fellow guitarist Micah, are still pinching themselves about backing Young on his new politically charged new album, “The Monsanto Years,” and being on the road with the iconoclastic rocker this summer.

“It’s pretty incredible. It’s epic,” Nelson, 26, says by phone from the group’s tour bus. “I feel like there’s a natural flow between us, and that’s really nice. He’s a good friend and we look up to him, and it feels like we’re getting an experience that is beyond rare.”

It also brings things full circle for Nelson and Promise of the Real.

The group actually took its name from a lyric in Young’s song “Walk On.” Nelson met drummer Anthony Logerto at a Young concert during 2008 in Los Angeles and decided to start the group after that.

“I remember seeing (Young) playing there and just wanting to be out on that stage so badly and jamming like that,” Nelson recalls. “We started the band after that, based on our love for Neil. We would just jam Neil Young songs. I was writing a lot and we would play our own material, but Neil was a huge influence as well as my dad, Stevie Ray Vaughan, (Jimi) Hendrix.

“Now here we are, eight years later, still doing it — with Neil.”

Music, of course, was inextricably in Nelson and Micah’s DNA. A Christmas Day baby born in Texas to Nelson and his current wife, Annie, he was raised partly in Hawaii and moved to Los Angeles in 2007 study at Loyola Marymount University. He’d started playing guitar when he was 12, but remembers that “before I started playing music I wanted to be a professional swimmer, and then I got into skateboarding and was pretty good at that — but not good enough. Music just captured me, and I flew away and didn’t think about anything else.”

Promise of the Real has released two albums — 2010’s self-titled debut and 2012’s “Wasted” — as well as an EP, and has recorded a third, “Something Real,” that’s due out later this year. Lukas also played on his father’s 2012 release “Heroes” and frequently plays in his live band. “He’s very good,” Willie Nelson says of his son. “He’s got that young, fresh energy but he knows the tradition, too.”

Lukas, meanwhile, affirms that “any chance I get, I love being with my dad.”

“That’s the greatest feeling in the world, being up there with him. There’s nothing comparable to that — even being out here with Neil, which is the greatest experience in my life, in some ways. But it’s just a different feeling being up there with dad and supporting him.”

Promise of the Real’s connection with Young started with a impromptu performance with Lukas and Micah at last September’s Farm Aid concert. Young tapped the full band shortly after that to play with him at the Harvest Of Hope concert in Nebraska protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Backing Young at his annual Bridge School Benefit concerts the next month in California locked in the relationship, and then Lukas received an email from Young saying, “‘I got some songs. Do you want to go in the studio?’ We said ‘sure,’ so we spent six weeks doing that, and it came out great.”

Nelson says he and Promise of the Real are in total sympathy with the “Monsanto Years” slams against corporate greed, which single out Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Safeway and, of course, the Monsanto agrochemical company, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court and Citizens United. But they’ve also been happy hitting the road and dipping deep into Young’s catalog, playing rarities such as “Hold Back the Tears” and “Out in the Wasteland” as well as Buffalo Springfield’s “Flying On the Ground is Wrong.”

All told, Nelson figures Promise of the Real learned nearly 80 of Young’s songs, rehearsing on its own for a solid week and a half before it even got in a room with Young.

“It’s amazing to be playing these older tunes and stuff he hasn’t done in years,” Nelson notes. “We all have a lot of reverence for Neil and are just in general awe. But I feel like the vibe out here is just perfect.

“They’re Neil’s tunes. He wrote them all. We’re going out there and just trying to be the best supporting band we can be. It’s a really great thing for us. We’re learning so much. We’re just trying to absorb all the knowledge that we can, and hopefully we’ll get to do it again.”

Gary Graff is a longtime Detroit-area music critic and rock and roll reporter. Reach the author at or follow Gary on Twitter: @GraffonMusic.

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, “Set Me Down on a Cloud”

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

LUKAS NELSON & PROMISE OF THE REAL – “Set Me Down on a Cloud” (High Sierra 2013) #JAMINTHEVAN

Micah Nelson Art on new shirts for Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015


Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real @ Brazos Nights (June 12, 2015)

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
Brazos Nights's photo.
See the schedule here:

For those who like just a little country twang with their rock and roll, wait no more. LUKAS NELSON AND THE PROMISE OF THE REAL are an American rock n roll group based out of California. Lukas first picked up the guitar at age 11 to honor a promise he made to his father and was able to teach himself the craft by playing along to classic Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix songs. Now at age 24, Lukas is building his following the old fashioned way by touring year round and delivering high energy performances to fans across the country. The band has performed more than 400 shows in the past 3 years and have played with the likes of Neil Young, John Fogerty, Bob Weir, B.B. King, and Bob Dylan.

Cody Canada was the lead singer of the Oklahoma based rock-country band Cross Canadian Ragweed, which sold more than 1 million records. Canada is now back in vintage form with his four-piece band The Departed. With a newfound energy and that Red Dirt swagger, CODY CANADA and the DEPARTED are touring in support of its lastest album,HippieLovePunk, and the show will also feature some Ragweed classics.

Neil Young and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real @Charley’s

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Thank you, Angelina Hills Ribet, for sharing this photo of Neil Young and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real @ Charley’s Restaurant on Maui.

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real in Salt Lake City (5/21/15)

Friday, May 22nd, 2015


Thanks to Jenny Thompson, for capturing screen shots from the Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real Show last night. The band performed with Lost Lonely Boys, in the State Room, in Salt Lake City, and the show was streamed live, which was so nice, because fans could watch it everywhere. I am really starting to like this streaming stuff.



See Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real — Win VIP Passes to ARISE Music Festival in Loveland, CO

Monday, May 18th, 2015



Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real will perform at the ARISE festival in Loveland this summer, August 7 – 9, 2015.   Westword Magazine in Denver is having a contest to win two VIP tickets to the show.

Enter to win a pair of VIP passes here.
“Part Burning Man…Pure Colorado” —Denver Post

The ARISE Music Festival, featuring six stages of music, three days of yoga, workshops and camping in the majestic Rocky Mountains just outside of Loveland, CO. ARISE was recently named one of the top seven next-gen festivals in the nation by Buzzfeed

Located in Loveland, Colorado the ARISE Music Festival features 3 days of Music, Yoga, Workshops and co-creative experiences of all kinds. Surrounded by national forest, the festival takes place at Sunrise Ranch – an oasis in the heart of Colorado’s legendary Front Range. Featuring sweeping vistas and beautiful meadows, this magical and secluded landscape is a perfect container for participants to entertain and be entertained, be inspired, explore their creative potentials, connect with nature, stretch out, dive in, and dance. With a focus on conscious music, the ARISE Music Festival seeks performers in multiple genres and styles to keep the lineup diverse. You may find that you discover as many new bands at ARISE, as the number of bands you came to see.