Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real: Born For Life On The Road

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real enjoy life on the road. While touring is a lifestyle unto itself, Nelson became acquainted with the ways of the touring band early in life thanks to his infamous father Willie Nelson.

The Promise of the Real’s embraces a sound that doesn’t really resemble that of the elder Nelson whatsoever.

These guys owe more to the likes of heartland-inspired country-rock like Steve Earle.

One listen to the group’s newest record Wasted and the listener is treated to a mix of roots-rockers like Golden Rule and Wasn’t That Great while songs like Frame of Mind show a more introspective side to Nelson and The Promise of the Real. It is those laid back moments that are perhaps the strongest examples that show that the apple does not in fact fall far from the tree.

Lukas Nelson and The Promise of the Real will be performing at the Moncton Coliseum on Tuesday evening as the opening act for John Fogerty.

The group’s newest record Wasted is the end result of the seemingly ceaseless touring the band completed in 2011.

That hectic touring included television appearances on David Letterman and The Tonight Show while adding major events such as Farm Aid and the Bridge School Benefit to their resume.

All in all, Nelson estimates that he and the Promise of the Real routinely perform well over 250 shows in the run of a year.

“Touring played a major role in helping shape these songs,” Nelson says referring to the tracks contained on Wasted. “There is no substitute for touring as a band; it tightens you up like nothing else can. Plus, it gives everyone in the band the chance to really get to know one another.”

Stating that some of his earliest memories are of being on a tour bus with his father, it should be no surprise that Nelson has inherited his touring work ethic from his father.

“I love being on the road. I grew up with that being a normal way of life for me. In some ways, being on the road is more of a home for me than being at home itself.”

Nelson shares that despite Wasted having been released this past April, he and the band have already begun working on their next studio album.

It is probably safe to say that he has also inherited his father’s prolific writing habits as well. Asked if he fears potentially over-exposing the group with too many releases, Nelson says that building the band’s name is the most important thing to them at the time.

“I think that touring and releasing records is absolutely critical to building the band’s name,” Nelson says. “I can’t tell if we’re risking being overexposed or not; we just love to play and love to create. I think that we pace ourselves pretty well but the fact of the matter is I’m a workaholic. I always have to be working on something. It doesn’t matter where I am, I am always writing whether that means scribbling something on a napkin or putting a potential new song into my iPhone.”

What: Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real, special guests to John Fogerty

When: Tuesday Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Moncton Coliseum, 377 Killam Drive, Moncton

Tickets range from $20 to $64.50 plus taxes and service charges. Advance tickets are available at the Coliseum Box Office, by phone at (506) 857-4100) and online at

Article published in September 7, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript