Lukas Nelson is the real damn deal.
I saw him at The Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina last night, and if you haven’t seen him live before, it should definitely be at the top your list. He and his band, Promise of the Real, all but blew the roof off the building.
They always put on one hell of a show, but last night, it was a little bit more special, because Lukas’ dad, the great Willie Nelson, was celebrating his 89th birthday.
The red headed stranger also released his 97th studio album, A Beautiful Time, in honor of the occasion, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t yet.
Lukas wished his dad a happy birthday several times throughout the night, and though he obviously couldn’t be with him in person to celebrate yesterday, he honored Willie in the only way a Nelson really can: he covered his dad’s #1 classic, “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.”
Willie wrote the song for his starring role as a country singer in the 1980 film Honeysuckle Rose, and Lukas’ acoustic rendition, which he performed on-stage solo, was absolutely stunning… no surprise there. He clearly comes by his insane musical talent very honestly.
Not many people can do Willie justice, but I’d say this is about as close as it gets in every was possible:
“Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground”
Lukas also covered Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe,” which the father and son initially covered together on Willie’s 2012 Heroes album at the suggestion of Lukas.
The song was originally released in 2009 as the second single from the band’s ninth studio album, Backspacer. A solo write by frontman Eddie Vedder, it peaked at #6 on the U.S. Billboard Alternative chart, which makes it the band’s highest-charting follow-up single since “Wishlist” in 1998.
It doesn’t get any better than this… no bells and whistles, just a perfect song, a stellar voice and an acoustic guitar: