“If my dad’s Yoda, then B.B. King is Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Nelson says.
The latest tour, which began July 7, has gone well, he adds, with Promise of the Real getting standing ovations on a nightly basis.
The 21-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist considers King and his bandmates mentors. The two bands have become like family while touring, he says.
Nelson grew up touring with his father on his legendary Honeysuckle Rose bus, along with brother Micah Nelson, who performs percussion and creates art on stage at some Promise of the Real performances.
Nelson is influenced by his father’s music, he says, and listened to it more than any other musician, aside from Bob Dylan.
“I’ve just been able to watch him,” Nelson says, adding he saw his father perform all the time and learned from him. “I watched his stage presence.”
His father taught him to play guitar, and he began performing with him when he was 13 years old.
Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real formed after Nelson’s first band, 40 Points, disbanded in 2007 due to “a conflict of distance.”
Promise of the Real is comprised of drummer Anthony LoGerfo, bassist Corey McCormick and former 40 Points percussionist Tato Melgar, as well as brother Micah.
Nelson is the songwriter for the band. He has written lyrics since he was a child.
Songs come to him fully formed, with everything from the string section to the lyrics, he says.
“I let it come from the source,” Nelson says. “It’s almost like being a testimonial writer in a courthouse.”
Nelson formed the band after quitting college, he says, naming it “Promise of the Real” to distinguish it from other California bands, some of which he felt had a fake, inauthentic sound.
Other musicians Nelson admires include Jack White of the White Stripes, and the Kings of Leon.
Technology is important for staying connected with the band’s fans, he says.
The band has a strong online presence, with Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as an online store on its website, www.promiseofthereal.com.
“It’s really important for us to keep up with people on Facebook,” Nelson says.
Band members may be starting a blog in the near future, he adds.
The band is working on an album that is almost finished, and Nelson hopes to release it in the fall.
Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real will be playing this year’s Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.
Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Serena Ryder and Little Miss Higgins will also play the festival, held on Saturday, Aug. 14 from 12:30 p.m. onwards. The 11th annual Blues and Roots Festival will be held at the newly renovated Deer Lake Park. Tickets can be purchased at www.burn abybluesfestival.com.
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