Micah Nelson painting with Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real / photo Paul Piazza
By Paul Piazza
The Nelson brothers contrast in styles. While Lukas is rocking and strutting all over the stage like a peacock, Micah is contemplative, painting as his brother and the rest of The Promise of the Real rock out.
Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, the fast-rising roots, rock and blues group, played at the Harris Center at Folsom Lake College last Friday night to a packed house. They made the Real-ers, as their followers are called, quite happy with an energized set. It was their first night of a run that takes them through the Western states and parts of Canada.
The Nelsons are, of course, the sons of Willie Nelson. Both have struck out on their own and made names for themselves in the music world. Micah has become an exceptional artist who is known for his live performance painting. He painted with his back to the audience, nodding his head to the rhythms of the music and, every other song or so, put down the brush and picked up a guitar. He also fronts an experimental rock band called Insects vs. Robots and dabbles in other artistic media.
Lukas Nelson / photo Paul Piazza
Meanwhile, Lukas spent the entire two-hour set engaging the audience with a variety of guitar tricks and light banter. “Music is just a bunch a letters,” he said smiling at one point while tuning his guitar.
He and bassist Corey McCormick would frequently defy gravity with acrobatic jumps as a song would crescendo. Near the end of the show, Lukas had a couple of leaps that ended with him rolling around while still playing guitar.
San Jose blues great Chris Cain opened the show and impressed with his savvy blend of blues and jazz. Ever the consummate showman, Cain charmed the crowd with his licks and wit, which are both evident in his song “Drinking Straight Tequila,” for example. Recently, the bluesman has fallen on hard financial times, so it was great to see him standing tall at the Harris Center. For more information on that, click here.