Lukas Nelson takes lessons learned from famous father Willie Nelson and occasional bandleader Neil Young and reinterprets them in his own voice on his band's new album Turn Off the News (Build a Garden).
To get a feel for the younger Nelson's own voice as a songwriter and guitarist, check out these stripped-down renditions of the album cuts "Where Does Love Go" and Bad Case."
On "Where Does Love Go," Nelson and his backing band Promise of the Real drop subtle homages to Willie's jazz and Latin influences while building up to a rock song with a vibe that's straight out of the '60s. It's hard to pick a dream artist to cover this one. In the raw, it's big and bold enough for a Phil Spector and The Righteous Brothers collaboration, it's old-school pop-country enough to suit The Everly Brothers' teen-friendly twang, and it's far out enough for the latter-day Monkees.
Pop-rock selection "Bad Case" draws comparisons to the Traveling Wilburys. Its catchy hooks make the song sound like a would-be solo hit for a number of past stars, from Wilburys bandmates Tom Petty and Roy Orbison to Buck Owens fan Ringo Starr.
Nelson and his band perform at the Newport Folk Festival this weekend. In August, he'll play a string of stadium shows, including one with the Rolling Stones (Aug. 5 at MetLife Stadium) and several with The Zac Brown Band.