Lukas Nelson isn't a new artist, but it seems as though he's on the verge of finally breaking through. He and his band, the Promise of the Real, have been active for almost a decade at this point, and anyone who has followed the career of his iconic father Willie Nelson has seen Lukas on many Fourth of July Picnic lineups.
But the past few years have seen the younger Nelson's profile raise considerably, thanks mainly to becoming legendary rocker Neil Young's preferred backing band -- a new generation version of Young's longtime backing band Crazy Horse, if you will.
Nelson's contributions to his father's cover of Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe" in 2012 gave the song heart-tugging heft while his band's album, Wasted, also in 2012, was a skillful, groove-laden southern rock offering.
The band's new, self-titled album is due Aug. 25, and judging by the couple of tunes we've heard from it thus far, Nelson and his band are ready for their very own close-up. Even with help on background vocals from Lady Gaga featured on this album, it's hard to imagine any combo is more powerful than the one found on the song "Just Outside of Austin."
With a nasally twang reminiscent of his father's, his Aunt Bobbie's gorgeous piano work and Willie's signature acoustic guitar strums near the end, Lukas holds close to his roots while clearly growing in his own path.
This sweet tune, fitting for a rainy-day window seat, is a far cry from the searing rock his band is capable of. It's a believable sign of Lukas' continued development.