Lukas Nelson Says His Father, Willie Nelson, Is His “Favorite Songwriter,” And He Wants To “Keep His Music Alive Forever”

Willie Nelson Lukas Nelson country music
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Talk about an insanely talented father/son duo…

This week, the great Lukas Nelson stopped by the Whiskey Riff Raff podcast to talk about his hand in writing for the A Star is Born soundtrack and helping Bradley Cooper with his on-stage performing, the new album he’s working on right now, and of course, his legenedary father Willie Nelson.

Lukas and Willie have a pretty close relationship, and Lukas often travels with his dad on the road and plays with him as part of Willie’s family band.

He’s also been known to cover his dad’s songs quite often, like “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning,” “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground,” and “Always On My Mind,” just to name a few.

And honestly, he’s one of the very few people who can truly do Willie justice… I guess the old saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” definitely applies here. He has an incredible voice, much like his dad, and there are times when they sound almost identical when Lukas sings certain songs.

And on the podcast, he elaborated on why it’s so important to him to carry on his father’s legacy, saying Willie is his “favorite songwriter,” and he’s as much of a fan of his dad as anybody else:

“He’s my favorite songwriter, he’s just got so many good songs.

And I feel like I’m at the point now where, if somebody thinks that I’m sort of, that I’m just doing what he does, then I think they don’t really know me.

And I don’t worry about that anyway, you know what I mean?”

I couldn’t agree with that more…

He continued, saying that he wants people in his generation and younger to hear Willie’s incredible music and love it just as much as people who were fans of Willie in his prime.

And he also added that his dad has touched his heart not only as a father, but as a fellow musician, and has been a massive part of the reason Lukas got into music and loves it so much (in case that isn’t extremely obvious):

“I’ve written a lot of my own songs, and I’ve been working for a long time doing my own thing.

So when I cover him, it really is out of a desire for people of my generation and younger to hear his music and to get into his music, and to love it, and I want that to happen.

I mean, he’s 89 years old, and I’d love to keep that going forever, you know. As long as I can, because I find him to be a genius, brilliant lyricist, and he’s touched my heart musically, not only as a father.”

And I’m sure it means the world to Willie, too, knowing that his son respects and admires him so much.

Lukas said he hopes to try and keep Willie’s music alive forever, or at least, as long as he has anything to do with it:

“I really wanna keep his music alive forever, and so I do it out of reverence, out of respect, for the inspiration that he gave me and the support that he gave me in terms of just being… telling me to go for it.

And not really ever saying anything that would hold me back. And so that… I owe everything to him. So yeah, I definitely like to occasionally cover his songs.”

And personally, I just think it’s so damn cool that, not only does Willie have a son who is so freaking talented and good at what he does, but that Lukas embraces being the son of an icon as opposed to resenting it.

If anyone should be qualified to keep that lauded Willie Nelson catalog alive and well, it’s definitely Lukas. Who better to carry on the torch than his own son? Willie’s other son, Micah, is also a talented musician, and often plays with the family band, as well.

Plus, I can’t think of a better mission than trying to keep Willie’s music alive forever…

There’s plenty more good stuff where that came from, too, so make sure you give the whole podcast a listen while you’re here.



Lukas said one of his favorite tunes to cover of Willie’s is his 1981 single from the Honeysuckle Rose film soundtrack, “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground,” which is one of my favorite Willie songs of all time… and I could seriously listen to Lukas sing it all day long.

So here’s a little bit of Lukas covering that classic tune:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock