If you’re a fan of Willie Nelson, then you probably know that he’s been married four times, and gone through three different divorces in his 90 years of life.
He’s been married to his wife Annie since 1991, and they have two children together, Willie’s youngest sons Lukas and Micah Nelson.
Both are very talented musicians in their own right, and Lukas actually just put out a brand new record called Sticks and Stones, which I highly recommend you check out if you haven’t yet, because it’s an amazing album.
And in promotion of the new album, Lukas recently sat down with Southern Living Editor in Chief Sid Evans for an episode of their Biscuits & Jam podcast, where they of course talked music and what it was like to grow up with a dad in Willie Nelson.
Lukas has talked plenty about his dad’s impact on his music and of course his life, saying previously on an episode of the Whiskey Riff Raff podcast that he wants to keep his music “alive forever,” but I’d never really heard anyone ask specifically about some of their differences.
And of course, no matter who your parents are, along with all the things about them you want to emulate as an adult and parent one day, there’s some things you probably want to do differently, too.
Lukas’ answer to what their biggest difference is was pretty damn funny, as he said he hasn’t been quite as eager to jump into marriage as his dad was, laughing as he said he doesn’t want to go through three divorces and would “rather just settle when I’m 50”:
“I think the difference between him and I is that I decided to stay away from marriage, at least in the beginning so that I can pick one and stick with it.
I don’t want to go through three divorces and then settle when I’m 50. I’d rather just settle when I’m 50, if that’s what it takes.”
I mean, he’s got a pretty good point there…
He also went on to talk about how he learned so much about songwriting and being a musician by “osmosis” and just watching his dad growing up:
“Well, I learned a lot by osmosis. It wasn’t that he sat me down and said, ‘This is how you write a song.’
I absorbed a lot with what I listened to and I think that I sort of recognized that I could write a song at an early age and he gave me confidence when he would say, ‘Hey, that’s pretty good.'”
Even if he’s your dad, getting the stamp of approval from one of the greatest songwriters that has ever lived has got to be beyond meaningful and super cool.
“So that was what gave me confidence to keep going and nurturing that talent and saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got a gift and maybe you should appreciate that and nurture it and take care of yourself and work towards it so that you have purpose and meaning in this vast life we have.’
There’s so many directions you can go and it can be so overwhelming. And so I think what I learned from him at an early age was just to recognize if you have something and follow it.”
If you’ve never really gotten into Lukas’ music before, this new record is a great place to start.
It’s full of impeccable songwriting courtesy of Lukas, super tight production, upbeat songs that are unique, interesting and very fun, and it really has gotten better and better with every listen.
I’d recommend starting with these…
“Every Time I Drink”
“All Four Winds”
Lukas Nelson Says His Father, Willie Nelson, Is His “Favorite Songwriter”
Talk about an insanely talented father/son duo…
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, his catalog of music, and of course, his legendary 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:
Lukas Nelson And Shooter Jennings Team Up For Duet Of Waylon And Willie’s Classic Hit “Good Hearted Woman”
This Willie Nelson two-day birthday concert is the gift that keeps on giving.
Over the weekend, a massive, star-studded group of some of the best country acts out there gathered at the Hollywood Bowl in LA to honor the red headed stranger for his 90th birthday.
And there were some phenomenal performances from George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and many, many more.
But one of the coolest, full-circle moments came when Shooter Jennings, son of the late, great Waylon Jennings, and Lukas Nelson, son of Willie Nelson, teamed up for a duet of their fathers’ hit song “Good Hearted Woman.”
Waylon first recorded it as the title track for his 1972 album, Good Hearted Woman, where it peaked at #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
In 1975, he remixed the song and added vocals from Willie, as well as fake crowd noise, to give it a live feel for their iconic Wanted: The Outlaws! album. That version went #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1976 and became an all-time country classic.
The iconic duo wrote it together in 1969 in a motel room in Fort Worth, Texas, during a poker game. Waylon was reading an ad about Ike and Tina Turner, and it mentioned how a lot of her songs were about good-hearted women loving two-timing men, which first inspired the idea.
They pulled from a lot of their own, real-life experiences with their wives, as well.
Willie actually only wrote two lines of the song, but received half of all the royalties that they originally agreed upon, which is cool because it goes to show just how good of a man Waylon really was at heart… even with the bad boy, outlaw image he maintained throughout his career.
And I can’t think of anything more perfect and fitting than these two teaming up for such a special occasion.
They certainly made Waylon and Willie proud, that’s for sure: