Though his last name links him to country royalty, Lukas Nelson is also a tried-and-true rocker with his band Promise of the Real, having collaborated with Neil Young over an album and tour. In the wake of Tom Petty’s death, Nelson showed his appreciation for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s work with covers of “American Girl” and “Breakdown” during Promise of the Real’s October 5th show at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood.
Nelson’s rendition of “American Girl” captures the crackling energy of the original, as band members try to keep pace with those breakneck drums and the audience claps along in the fan-filmed video above. Nelson handles both rhythm and lead guitar parts, skillfully breaking into Mike Campbell’s filigreed guitar solo at one point. At the same show, Nelson transforms the slinky groove of “Breakdown” into a moody, solo acoustic number, letting the enthusiastic crowd serve as his backing vocalists. Watch that performance below.
Nelson and his brother Micah are prominently featured on their father Willie Nelson’s upcoming full-length Willie Nelson and the Boys, set for release October 20th. As part of the Willie’s Stash series, the new album features the Nelsons performing a series of classic country tunes written by Hank Williams, Hank Cochran and more.