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Lukas Nelson at the Majestic, 5 Things To Know
When you’re Willie Nelson’s son and you choose to be a musician as well, big things are expected of you.
And Lukas Nelson has delivered.
In addition to performing with his father, including the new “Willie and The Boys” collaboration that also includes brother and drummer Micah Nelson, Lukas leads his own band, Promise of the Real, which released its self-titled fourth album during August. The group also began backing Neil Young during 2015, including on his upcoming “The Visitor” (Dec. 1). And he has a song in the animated children’s feature “My Little Pony: The Movie.”
Nelson, 28, has clearly done well by his lineage, and he plans to keep doing so for a long time to come...
For the “Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real” album, Nelson says by phone that he “wanted to basically just get the best songs that I’d written in my career so far and put ‘em all on an album and have people hear ‘em the way I wanted. I knew that we’d have the opportunity to get the songs recorded right, especially with our producer John Alagia, and the quality would be world class. That really made a difference, too.”
As if playing with his father wasn’t enough, Nelson’s work with Neil Young further raised his profile, and he acknowledges that made the stakes a little higher for the new album. And he likes the challenge. “It’s nice to know that your art is going to be seen, or heard,” he says. “It adds a different inspiration to it, a different energy, when you know people will see it and hear it and will be paying attention.”
The song “Forget About Georgia” is one of Nelson’s favorites, and also one of his most personal. “It’s more like a biopic in a way than a song,” he says. “When anybody asks what it’s like to be Willie Nelson’s son, (the song) is kind of my answer to that question. It’s like, if you meet a girl named Georgia, and then you have to play ‘Georgia On My Mind’ every night, after you break up with her it’s hard to forget ‘cause you have that song. That’s a situation that’s kind of unique to me, being the son of my dad, so it’s a kind of biographical moment I relate to people.”
The new album features Lady Gaga on backing vocals on a pair of songs, which certainly seems like an unlikely combination. “We did this movie called ‘A Star Is Born Together’ (due out in May,” Nelson explains. “I wrote a bunch of tunes for that movie, and the band is in the movie as Bradley (Cooper)’s band. I did a lot of consulting for him for the movie. (Gaga) and I just became good friends. She really loved ‘Find Yourself’ and ‘Carolina’ and sang on ‘em, and it sounds great.”
The “Willie and The Boys” album is another highlight for Nelson this year. “We recorded the tracks awhile ago, and it’s just now coming out,” he says. “The songs are great -- a bunch of Hank Williams, Hank Cochran, an original one that we wrote. There’s nothing like playing with your family and being with your family. It’s an unbelievably great feeling, and it’s an excuse for us to get together and have quality time together.”
If You Go:
• Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Nikki Lane
• Sunday, Nov. 5. Doors open at 7 p.m.
• Majestic Theatre, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
• Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.
• Call 313-833-9700 or visit majesticdetroit.com.
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