Bluesfest | 18–22 April
Since forming 10 years ago, the buzz surrounding Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real has been quietly intensifying. During that time, the 28-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist and his bandmates have played hundreds of shows and major festivals all over the world and built a devoted underground following. And of course, it’s hard to escape the fact that Lukas Nelson is music royalty in the US, the son of Willie Nelson. And mentored by Neil Young. It don’t get much better than that!
It’s not surprising that music was a path that made itself available to Lukas right from the start. Although it was on merit as much as circumstance.
‘It’s a path that I chose consciously and knowing that it would be a rewarding life or ultimately if I gave it my all because music can bring you all different sorts of places as you know,’ says Lukas.
Things have gone a bit crazy for Nelson after working with Bradley Cooper on A Star is Born.
‘At first I was just helping him out [Bradley Cooper] and then I started writing with Stefani [Lady Gaga], who’s in the movie. We connected and she and I became really close. I got very involved in this film and ended up bringing the band into it as well.’
It’s been something that has brought Nelson a whole host of new fans and acknowledgement of a job well done by existing ones. ‘I definitely get a lot of people coming up to me and saying they saw the movie, which was great. I’m just, you know, just living it one day at a time.’
Great songwriting is clearly in the genes. Nelson reflects back on the first song he ever wrote:
‘My first song was called You Were It and I was 10 or 11 years old, and I was in Hawaii and I remember being on the school bus and having the music and the melody come to my head and I just wrote it down and it impressed my father so much that he put it on his record at the time called It Always Will Be, and so you can go and check out the first song I ever wrote called You Were It [on that record]. I’m pretty proud of it. It was a good song and has these lyrics. Now, I’m fine. All the pain is gone. I once had a heart, now I have a song.
It was very clever for an 11-year-old – and I was very proud of it.’
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real play at Bluesfest this year. For tickets and info go to bluesfest.com.au.