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CD REVIEW: Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real - Wasted

By: Cyrus Rhodes


"Nelson is infectious"









Artist: Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real
CD: Wasted
Label: Miles High Productions

Genre: Jam Band, Americana, R&B, Classic Rock.
Sounds Like: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton

Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/ Musicianship Grade: 9/10

Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: The Joint, Time Is, Running Away

Weakness: Percussion  




Marina Del Ray, CA. based Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real released their latest CD entitled Wasted in 2012. The band recently landed guest spots of David Letterman, and if the last name sounds familiar it�s because Lukas Nelson is the son of music legend Willie Nelson. Band members include: Lukas Nelson (Vocals, Guitar), Anthony LoGerfo (Drums), Tato Melgar (Percussion), and Corey McCormick (Bass).    


The CD kicks gets off the ground quickly with "Golden Rule" a guitar-driven intro piece that serves up inviting guitar ambience, percussive accents and heartfelt vocals from Nelson. Track 2: "Old Familiar Pai"n shifts gears a bit with its full tilt rock groove built upon driving rock rhythm and hot to the touch guitar licks. Track 3: "Aint No Answer" is another impressive piece that dishes out steady rock rhythm painted against compelling lyrical content and heartfelt vocals that flow and ebb its way through to emotions fruition. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 solid tracks in a row. I would classify this music as classic Jam Band, R&B, Americana, with brief touches of Saloon Jazz and straight up Classic Rock. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive guitar licks, well placed percussive accents, Hammond Organ chops, impressive slide and solo guitar, saxophone, piano, keyboards and lush harmonies layered everywhere. As this CD slowly unfolds its obvious the players in Nelson�s band are quite accomplished. The rhythm section pushes the natural accents extremely well song for song. Now turning our attention over to Nelson - as for his vocal abilities, he holds his own within the confines of this catalogue extremely well. His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively, and as to be expected will remind you of his father Willie. Music will remind you of classic Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Boz Scaggs, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Jimmy Buffett and maybe even Grateful Dead. But let me go on record and say Nelson has done a good job carving out a musical niche for himself that goes beyond stereotypical pigeonholing. By track 3 the CD hits sold stride delivering 5 solid tracks back to back including my hands down favorites "The Joint". All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board. This CD from Nelson delivers 13 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. From heartfelt "Time Is and Heart" to smooth as silk "Frame of Mind" to rocking "Don't Take Me Back" this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with �If I Was the Ocean� the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

The percussion on track 1 is a real wear on the ears, perhaps not use it throughout the whole song. I could be wrong but it sounds to me like the only percussion instrument used throughout the CD are Congas. Perhaps more percussion instruments are needed to mix up the catalogue a bit better. Especially those compatible with Folk and Americana music. At the end of the day I don't feel as if the Congas are compatible with this style of music.

From start to finish Wasted by Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real is an impressive musical collection. It has everything you would expect from a modern day Jam Band, R&B, Americana musical production. The songwriting � world class, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn�t really weak piece on this entire catalogue. The writing and playing abilities of Lukas Nelson and his band are rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted, and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with good old fashioned no holds barred swagger and priceless wisdom. Nelson is infectious and has all the trademarks needed to gravitate a huge fan base. He should be classified as something special - very much like his father.

Cyrus Rhodes

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