Lukas Nelson’s ‘A Star Is Born’ Involvement Paid Off Big Time for Promise of the Real
For Lukas Nelson, A Star Is Born changed everything. The singer, guitarist and songwriter wrote several songs for the 2018 film's soundtrack; served as the vocal coach for its leading actor, Bradley Cooper; and appears in the backing band for Cooper's character, Jackson Maine.
When the now-hit movie debuted, to widespread acclaim, it unlocked a whole new fanbase for Nelson and his band, Promise of the Real. Immediately, he recalls, they saw an uptick in show attendance as well as a greater variety of concertgoers.
"Everything's selling out all over the country. It's just a much bigger audience. People know about us now," Nelson explains to The Boot, adding that the increase in recognition allowed the band to showcase what they do best -- their live show -- in front of a much greater number of people.
"I think live is really what we do best, and you can tell that even from A Star Is Born, because all of that was recorded live. Everything you hear was recorded live, even if it was in the studio," he points out.
Not that the singer had any shortage of talented collaborators even before he signed on to work with the A Star Is Born cast. The son of Willie Nelson, he'd toured substantially with his dad, as well as with Neil Young, and an all-star cast, including Sheryl Crow and Margo Price, lined up to contribute cameos to Nelson and his band's latest studio album Turn Off the News (Build a Garden). Surrounded by what any young musician might consider a dream team of mentors, Nelson figured out quickly how to learn from his surroundings.
"Of course, they're all teachers. And the types of teachers that [I] have, I think it's better to instead of asking questions, to observe. So that's how I've learned," he explains. "That's been my greatest asset, I think, as a musician, being able to observe and listen and quiet myself long enough to hear what's going on around me."
With every new legendary collaborator, Nelson sharpens that skill, and he isn't anywhere close to done learning, either. Promise of the Real have a busy summer schedule packed with festival gigs and opening dates for the Zac Brown Band, and they also plan to open two shows for the Rolling Stones in August.
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