Lukas Nelson: Neil Young Inspired My Band, Then Hired Us


Lukas Nelson didn't have to become a singer/songwriter and ace guitarist just because he's the son of a legendary country singer.

"I was either going to be like an athlete or some kind of writer or a musician," he tells Q104.3 New York's "Out of the Box" with Jonathan Clarke

But then something happened that changed his priorities dramatically.

"I started smoking weed," he laughs. "You know I was a good swimmer; I was competitive. But I just didn't want to cut my hair anymore...The passion left me when I discovered music."

And like any guitarist, Lukas' heroes are icons like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But it took a while for Lukas to find his own voice. 

"I was too shy to sing for a long time," he says. "I didn't really like the sound of my own voice. I wrote songs...That was kind of like the first thing that I did. But once I fell in love with Hendrix and Stevie Ray, then I started really getting into music...It's the same story as a million other guys out there."

Lukas credits his dad, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson with being mentors to him and encouraging him to develop his songwriting talents. 

But it was when Lukas and his band, Promise of the Real, caught the attention of Neil Young that his career really starting moving fast. 

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real name themselves for a Neil Young song; seven years later they began touring with Young as his live band. 

"We went to Nebraska together. We played a show with him where we didn't even practice," Lukas says. "We just went on his bus; he showed us a few songs and he's like, 'Can you do this?' We were like, 'Yeah!' 'Cause we knew all his songs already. 'Cause we loved him, you know?...When we jammed, it was like we had already been jamming with him forever."

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real's self-titled debut album is available now. 

Check out the full interview above, including Lukas' cover of "Texas Flood." You can catch the band on tour all this fall. 

Get all the tour dates here. And you can keep up with Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Watch Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real perform "Find Yourself" below:

Out Of The Box

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