Recently, after seeing Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real play here in Portland I picked up their newly released CD, “Live Endings”. I first heard this band last April when I ran across their Yahoo concert streaming live over the internet, and let me tell you, the bold promise they make in their name is not one they take lightly. Their music delivers real thought and real emotion. It’s played the way music should be played. Not the over-analyzed, over-commercialized, and over-marketed crap we hear all over corporate radio today that stifles the creative moment in a death grip. When you hear these guys play live you are listening to what they are feeling at that very moment–their heart and soul is what you’re hearing–and you become part of the music with them.
Nelson, on lead guitar and vocals, is the son of music legend Willie Nelson and a lifetime spent at the knees of some of greatest musical artists of the nineteenth century is obvious. This guy was taught the blues by B.B. King, for God’s sake! He’s an amalgam of the best rock, blues, folk, and, of course, country/western that has ever been played in history. Combine that with influences he’s picked up in music he’s gravitated to on his own–Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, (Pink) Floyd, etc.–and you’ve got a guy that can take on any kind of music that falls under the label “Americana” and deftly incorporate those styles into his own sound.
The other members of POTR hold their own along with Nelson. Corey McCormick on bass provides a depth to the music, Tato Melgar brings a sense of the exotic on percussion with his Latin beats, and Anthony LoGerfo on drums holds them all together. And as for the sound of Nelson’s voice, it’s undeniably reminiscent of his father’s, although without the deep, mellowing that comes with the decades. It’s raw, just as it should be with this type of music.
I’m really into POTR and wanted to share my excitement in seeing real, honest-to-God musicians playing great rock ‘n roll again. I hope, hope, HOPE this band takes off. It’s been an awful long time since we’ve had actual talent trump marketing packages, and I don’t know about you but I am really ready to feel music again. My excitement over the possibilities of this band grows every time I hear them.
So, without further adieu—“Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real!!!
Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie Coochie Man”, electrified.
POTR’s original Southern rock song: “Four Letter Word”.
Deep blues performed with Willie Nelson: “It’s Floodin’ Down in Texas”
Lukas’s country roots come through on “Can You Hear Me Love You”.
Here’s a link to a previous post where I wrote about Willie and Lukas’s cover of the Pearl Jam song, “Just Breathe” and a link to the song on YouTube.