Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real plays in Beaver Creek Sunday
The son of a famous musician, Lukas Nelson has big shoes to fill. Nelson’s father is Willie Nelson, and his band Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real will perform for the first time at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek Sunday. Comprised of lead singer and guitarist Nelson, drummer Anthony LoGerfo, percussionist Tato Melgar, and bassist Corey McCormick, the foursome has gained a following by touring and spreading their music to new fans along the way. Promise of the Real formed in 2009 after Nelson asked his good friend LoGerfo to join him in making his dream of rock stardom a reality. “Lukas and myself, we met four years ago at a Neil Young concert and totally hit it off,” LoGerfo said. “We started playing music together and surfing together, but we never really could start a full-on band. Then one day he called me and said he was dropping out of school and asked if I wanted to join the band, and I said ‘sure.'”
Dropping out of Loyola Marymount University to pursue music full time proved to be the right decision for Nelson. The band released its first self-titled album in 2010 and just finished recording a new album. Based in California, the group’s music mixes Southern California roots music with classic rock and country-blues. Promise of the Real’s southern-folk style and laid-back sound is best heard live. Playing to people who have yet to hear their music has been a surprise treat for LoGerfo.”It’s been nothing but positive response,” LoGerfo said. “People just really gravitated towards the band. We get a lot of people loving the music. It’s really cool, I’ve never seen anything like it.” As for the show this Sunday, LoGerfo said to expect old favorites along with some new tunes from the forthcoming album. “We’re going to play a really long set, it’s going to be a really fun night,” LoGerfo said. Both LoGerfo and Nelson said the best part of Promise of the Real is the relationships they have with the other band members. “We’re a band of brothers,” LoGerfo said. “We’re doing it for the love of music … I’m in a band with my friends, and I really love every member, which is rare and really hard to do.” “It’s a good family,” Nelson said. “We’re very close and we tackle obstacles well. We’re a team, it’s like a well-oiled machine now.”
This camaraderie reflects Promise of the Real’s name, which Nelson came up with as a philosophy for both himself and the group.”It’s our own mantra,” Nelson said. “Its our own promise to ourselves to stay real throughout whatever expanse of time we have to travel through.” Music is a way of life for Nelson. His father taught him how to play guitar at age 11 and he’s toured as a guitarist for the Willie Nelson band since his teens. Inspiration has never been a problem for Nelson, who sees music as the ultimate form of escape from the trappings of everyday life. “It’s freedom,” Nelson said. “It’s literally the key to escaping the Matrix, it’s like taking the red pill.” In an interview with NBC’s Today Show, Willie Nelson had only words of encouragement regarding his son joining the family business. “(Lukas) is a great writer, great musician, great singer… He’s kind of got it figured out, and I didn’t really have it figured out at his age,” the elder Nelson said. Being only 22, Lukas Nelson and his band mates still have time to try and fill those big shoes. Rosanna Turner is an intern with the Vail Daily. Email comments about this article to email@example.com.