Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, “Turn Off the News (Build A Garden)” (Fantasy Records)
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real have a piece of advice for their listeners: Turn off the news.
But listeners would be wise to get turned on to “Turn Off the News (Build a Garden),” a strong step forward for Nelson and his versatile band.
Nelson, the son of country legend Willie Nelson who sounds more than a bit like his famous dad, takes his band on a journey through multiple genres of music on the new album, including country, rock, soul, folk and R&B.
Along the way he gets help from a host of A-list stars including his old man, Neil Young, Sheryl Crow and Kesha.
The title track is a standout in a record full of strong songs, with the 30-year-old Nelson taking on the role of sage, looking for a way to bring people together in this era of division.
“Turn off the news and raise your kids/Give them something to believe in,” he sings. “Teach them how to be good people/Give them hope that they can see.”
On the duet “Civilized Hell,” it’s almost hard to tell when Lukas stops and his dad picks it up. But, as they sing about being rebels and liking it, they make clear they have more in common than just their voices.
“I ain’t leavin’ this road I know/I ain’t done fightin’ for the freedom I chose,” the 86-year-old Nelson sings. “Can’t put a rope on me/You can’t shoot me down.”
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real have been on a roll lately: The strong “Turn Off the News” comes on the heels of their standout work on the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack (they also appear in the film) and the boys will open for the Rolling Stones on their summer tour.