Lukas Nelson – Making His Own Legend, One Show at a Time

Only one hand is needed when counting rock and roll’s most successful sons. The shadow that some fathers cast can be long and daunting. And actually, it’s country music that seems to have had the most successful kin.

Right off the top, you have Hank Williams, Jr. The son of country royalty, Hank Jr. has been able to establish credibility and build a lasting career. His son, Hank III, is also out there making a name for himself. You also have Johnny Cash’s daughter, Rosanne Cash, who has had a long and illustrious career. And then there is Wynonna Judd and even Waylon Jennings’ son, Shooter Jennings.

On the rock side of things, there are a few names that stick out. The slide guitar greatness that Derek Trucks, son of the late Allman Brothers bass player Butch Trucks, has been laying down since he was in his teens, has been head turning. As a full time member of the Allman Brothers, Trucks has been combining with guitarist Warren Haynes to create some true guitar god tales. And then, of course, you have Jakob Dylan. Talk about shadows. There was no way he was going to overcome that lineage. Though at first he received a crushing blow of press, he has since soldiered on and continues to make decent records.
Honorable mention goes out to Julian and Sean Lennon, who have done their best to build a career with the same last name as a Beatle.

Coming to town this week is Lukas Nelson, one of the youngest, most famous sons (he’s 22) on the scene. Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas, brings his band, The Promise of the Real, with him to the Belly Up Tavern this Thursday. Lukas has been making a name for himself over the last few years touring and playing some large gigs like Farm Aid. His more rocking, guitar-heavy approach than his dad’s, has been on display a few times in San Diego over the last few years. He played the San Diego County Fair this year with Willie’s Country Throwdown and he wowed Solana Beach last year at the Fiesta Del Sol with a moving afternoon set.
Lukas Nelson
You have to look hard to catch a comparison to his famous father. Lukas’s voice, though different and maturing, is nothing like Willie’s true original pipes. Maybe it’s the guitar playing where the father and son seem to mirror each other the most. Lukas chooses to come at the guitar in a more aggressive, loud electric style than his father’s beat up acoustic approach, though both seem to muster up plenty of emotion in their playing. This should be a rollicking good time and a chance to see a true up and coming talent that, given a few years, has a chance to stand in with the other successful sons of rock.

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