I ain’t never gonna be mad at Lukas Nelson covering a little Kris Kristofferson.
A few years back, he did an incredible, acoustic rendition of Kris’ classic “Help Me Make It Through The Night.”
Lukas has actually noted several times over the years that Kris was the reason he really decide to pursue a career in music, after Kris heard a song Lukas wrote when he was a young teenager and told him he was a songwriter and had no other choice but to write songs and follow in his dad’s footsteps.
You can definitely hear the influence from Kris’ songwriting style in a lot of Lukas’ music, and this cover is one of my favorite’s Lukas has done. It’s also one of my favorite songs, so it’s cool to hear such a talented musician really do it justice.
Of course, Lukas has blown us away with plenty of classic covers before, like “Always on My Mind,” “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” “Funny (How Time Slips Away)” and “Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning,” just to name a few.
Kris got the inspiration for “Help Me Make It Through The Night” after reading an interview in Esquire magazine with Frank Sinatra, when he was asked what he believed in, and responded “booze, broads, or a bible… whatever helps me make it through the night.”
A solo write by Kris, the song was included on his 1970 album Kristofferson and has been covered by countless other artists since then like Willie Nelson, Gladys Knight & the Pips and Tyler Childers. The track peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1971.
If this isn’t a great way to start your Sunday, I don’t know what is:
And at the massive American Outlaws: Live at Nassau Coliseum show in 1990, Kris performed it live and had a couple decent backing musicians from the Highwaymen, including Lukas’ dad, the great Willie Nelson.
Willie also did a fantastic cover of the tune in 1980, which peaked at #4 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart.
What I would give to go back in time and see this show live in person: