The importance of topical humor isn’t lost on Lukas Nelson. I ask him about the upcoming show that he and Shooter Jennings will be performing in Fort Worth, and he warns that their show might not begin exactly on time.
“We’ll probably go on a little late –– at least five minutes late,” he said.
I couldn’t see him wink (we were talking on the phone). But I felt a wink. Nelson was referring to the fact that he and Jennings are headlining Fort Worth 420 at Lola’s Trailer Park, 2736 W. 6th St.
The event is April 20. Wink.
A four-finger baggie of local talent is opening the show, including Green Light Pistol, Taylor Craig Mills, Kenny Uptain, Katie Grace, and Vincent Neil Emerson.
I’m stoked about seeing Nelson and Jennings perform as an acoustic duo. Nelson has a wide array of songs that he can perform, from standards to hardcore country to classic rock to new pop. His musicology isn’t surprising considering his father, Willie Nelson, has recorded every song ever written in the history of music.
I’ve been a Willie Nelson fan since I was toenail high to a tortoise, and I caught on to the greatness of the son five years ago after interviewing Lukas for this story.
He was nothing but cool and easy to talk to during our interview, but what impressed me most about him was his musical style. The kid can write his ass off and has something to say. His spacey worldviews and philosophies find their way into his lyrics, making his songs seem more weighty than the typical fare coming from many performers in their 20s. Nelson isn’t afraid to write a love song or a slow ballad, but the dude loves to rock the fuck out. He plays a monster electric guitar, so good he blew away several legendary guitar pickers during a free-for-all song at the end of the Austin City Limits 40th anniversary show in 2014. (That’s my opinion. Nelson, of course, would never say anything like that. He’s a gentleman.)
Nelson and Jennings have performed about a half-dozen of these acoustic guitar pulls, and they enjoy them as much as the audiences, he said.
“We just sit and laugh with each other,” Nelson said. “It’s fun.”
Music wise, expect anything from Ernest Tubb to David Bowie to Leiber and Stoller to somebody nobody every heard of. In other words, expect anything.
“I love David Bowie,” Nelson said. “I just recorded a cover of ‘Life on Mars.’ I play ‘Space Oddity’ at times.”
Outlaw fans from the 1970s still remember when Willie and Waylon were kings of Texas Music. The sons of those kings –– the princes –– have come into their own. Lukas Nelson’s recently released Something Real is his best album yet. Somehow I haven’t caught a Shooter Jennings show, although I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard on radio and TV. Something tells me he’s got some gems stashed in his brain file as well.
“Dad and Waylon were best friends and did everything together,” Nelson said. “Me and Shooter are, too. We’re good friends. We love each other.”