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Recently, while on a search for new music I ran across Lukas Nelson. As soon as I heard his voice I was hooked. It’s raw. It’s real. It will probably sound very familiar to you, there’s a tightness in it that is instantly recognizable. In fact, it’s a sound you’ve probably heard all your life because he inherited it from his father, Willie Nelson.

In their cover of Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe” you can hear the passing of the musical torch in the blending of their voices. The deeper, full voice of the father’s reflecting years of experience, juxtapositioned against the youthful energy of the son’s. It’s also heard in the tones of their guitars. Willie’s legendary “Trigger”, a 1969 Martin N-20, has a richness that is equal to Willie’s own voice, while Lukas’s electric guitar reflects the intensity of a young man setting out on his own. You can hear three generations of music in this one song; straightforward country, the artistry of the 60s & 70s, and the thoughtful melancholy of 1990s Grunge, thanks to Eddie Vedder’s beautiful lyrics which cut straight to the heart of the human experience and the passing of time. What must his words (below) mean to the father and son singing them.

This song is included on Willie’s latest album, “Heroes”.

“Just Breathe”

Yes, I understand that every life must end, uh-huh
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, uh-huh
Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands the ones I love
Some folks just have one, yeah, others, they’ve got none
Stay with me…
Let’s just breathe…
Practiced all my sins, never gonna let me win, uh-huh
Under everything, just another human being, uh-huh
I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world to make me bleed
Stay with me
You’re all I see…
Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
As I come clean…
I wonder everyday, as I look upon your face, uh-huh
Everything you gave
And nothing you would save, oh no
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave…
Did I say that I need you?
Oh, did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
And I come clean, ah…
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave
Hold me til I die
Meet you on the other side…

Comments on: "Outlaw Generations" (3)

  1. Tina Mattern said:

    Hi Dena! I’m a Willie fan but didn’t know he had a son, let alone one who sings so I tried to find a music clip but no luck. Know where I can hear a bit of his stuff?

    • Hi Tina…Lukas Nelson has a band called “Promise of the Real”. His own music is closer to Jimi Hendrix than Willie’s. Here’s a link to another duet with Willie…a blues number. I love it! Thanks for reading the post.

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