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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Promise of the Real Adds 2 New Band Members

Promise of the Real

As we noted recently, in an interview with Lukas Nelson, he revealed that Promise of the Real has added two new members to the band -- a keyboard player and a lap steel player.

The two newest band mates are Alberto Bof (lap steel) and Jesse Grey Siebenberg (keyboards) and they bring added depth and a new sound to the mix.

Alberto Bof on lap steel can be heard in this recent concert video, below.

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real... Running Shine...Santa Barbara, CA...3-4-17

(Thanks Hounds that Howl for the fresh wheat! When will people just STFU and listen to the music?)



At 3/07/2017 08:28:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

I'm spellbound by his voice and shocked that people are talking over it.

At 3/07/2017 10:46:00 PM, Blogger Mick Funz said...

It appears part of Lucas' new-found genius is a dead-on impression of his father's voice!
Sounds good, tho'

At 3/08/2017 08:22:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

I've seen Neil play with some really fine musicians over the years, but the closest that Neil has ever gotten to his roots whether he knows it or not is "Promise of the Real." Many of the people around me were overjoyed to hear one more time some of Neil's early songs that haven't been heard since Stray Gators. So when they sang "Alabama" last year onstage, everyone was propelled into a time and space that felt like eternity. This song in particular, is a healing song for millions of teens who fell in love with it when it first came out. Lukas and band mates get that and give it the respect it deserves because it's still relevant.

Whatever voice or words or chords Lukas uses in his songs, I hope it resonates the same compassion I hear in his Dad's voice and in Neil's heart.

At 3/08/2017 11:54:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Did "Homegrown" ever make its way to the PotR shows? I know they played "Hold Back the Tears", also from Stars 'n' Bars. I ask just because the song seems so perfect for the group's sound, and in the context of Young's protest against agribusiness, the song could take on a whole new layer of significance. There aren't many songs I say this about, but "Homegrown" would fit very well with the Monsanto material.

That's an interesting point, too, about "Alabama". If I'm honest, I didn't know the song had a particular following. I do feel Neil's message, but find the lyrics a little ham-handed and, for whatever reasons, that's the one out of all the Harvest songs that leaves a sour taste in my mouth. This from a bona fide Northerner who will argue, passionately, that the guitar break on Southern Man is one of the most dramatic and powerful things Neil ever committed to tape. It's all just incredibly revealing, how the same same song will hit different listeners in completely divergent ways. For me, you can't beat a goo workout on "Words (Between the Lines of Age"). Still, maybe I'll give "Alabama" another listen, because I do appreciate what Neil may have been trying to say and, hell, I've actually started to like "There's a World" way more than I ever thought I would, so nothing is impossible!

On which note, Jack Nietzche and the London Symphony Orchestra crowd a couple of tracks with bombast, but don't neglect the Massey Hall recordings from January '71, with solo piano versions of A Man Need's a Maid/Heart of Gold (played in a suite) and There's a World. These solo versions may just breathe new life into songs that can otherwise become overburdened with heavy arrangements.

I actually had the same experience with Dreamin' Man '92, revitalizing the Harvest Moon songs by yanking them out of a fog of orchestration and echo. Granted I haven't listened to the original Harvest Moon in some while, but my vague memories are of a very saturated sound throughout the album, like brown-grey skies sagging and seeping with rainwater. Plus--I have to be honest--"Unknown Legend" does not work for me as an opener, making it a bit of an endurance trial to get to the better songs on the album. If I start listening to the record from "You and Me", a lot of my issues actually clear up, but it can awfully hard to get into an album if the first couple of tracks hit you wrong. Kinda wrecks the momentum of a good listening experience. What's even odder, "Unknown Legend" and "Hank to Hendrix", stuck in the middle of a set list as on Dreamin' Man '92, are perfectly serviceable. But for various ephemeral reasons, I just don't feel it when they're the first things I hear.

Maybe I'm starting to get a little cranky, but I'll still--and always--will be a dreamin' man. I think

At 3/09/2017 08:36:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

"Homegrown" made the set list but not at every venue.

I can tell that "Alabama" flowed spontaneously from his heart. He was responding to things he observed living in America. He just put it out there. And his musicians join in almost haphazardly on this anthem because the words and licks will strike you down like a deadly bold of lightening if you're not paying attention because it ripped American sensibilities to shreds. It forced the listener to either respond to the systemic practices of bigotry and racism or remain part of the problem.

For those of us working in social justice at the time we welcomed his observations and imagery like a long lost friend. In my mind, this song sealed the deal for Neil joining the small pantheon of musicians not afraid to speak out against social inequities and injustices. Or that's what I remember. I'm sure the weed made everything more intense, too.

This album did not disappoint. It brought Neil out into the mainstream. The line up, the concert tour, were just as exciting.

Sidenote: There were just a few songs that his friend Joni looked over when he was starting out. He trusted her editing. I'm not sure if this was the one.

At 3/09/2017 11:24:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

And kudos to Lukas & POTR for jumping on the social activism train. I read somewhere that Lukas was drawn into "Alabama" the same way we all were -- the message. Growing up, I'm sure Lukas saw a lot of bigotry and racism. Fortunately, most of our young people today are as socially aware as we were in the 60s and 70s. We saw that in the previous election.

Lukas is not taking the path of least resistance and going pop. He certainly can go that route and just "do-over" his famous dad, who by the way was a social activist icon. Remarkably, his dad was able to draw in listeners from that huge spectrum of ideologies. His dad softened the lines that divided us politically.

Like Neil, Lukas, is taking a huge risk but I guarantee that in the long run, his work, if it comes straight from the heart, will be valued by listeners who are in the majority about evening out the playing field for those existing on the margins.

Art can either be a dog sitting on your porch or it can be your inner voice that will set you free.

At 3/09/2017 07:49:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

I have no doubt that "Alabama" played somewhat differently back then than it might now, depending on one's experiences. And as you pointed out, it's not meant to taste good. It should leave the listener with a slightly sick feeling at the hypocrisy, impoverishment, and strangling prejudice it spotlights.

Funny: I occasionally find it that *is* a dog sitting on the porch that sets me free. Or allows me to see that I always *was* free. Of course, it's almost comically easy for a white male in the US to say that, to talk about being free--the most privileged breed of dog on earth! I suppose all I'm trying to pinpoint is that these things--dogs and freedom, in this metaphorical case--aren't always mutually exclusive.

At 3/11/2017 12:29:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Mick - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree ... as they say...

@ Mother Nature - right on about "Alabama" propelling us into eternity. "Alabama" -- more relevant than ever.

@ Ian - we must say we're a bit surprised by your indifference to "Alabama"? We certainly hear you on "Southern Man" -- especially the guitar break as you note. As everybody knows "Alabama" and "Southern Man" are bookends of a shelf or "Such is the duality of the southern thing."

Or in case you didn't know ...

Ronnie Van Zant and Neil Young: Rebels with a Cause?

So don't be cranky.Be that dreamin' man!

@MNOTR - "because the words and licks will strike you down like a deadly bold of lightening if you're not paying attention because it ripped American sensibilities to shreds. It forced the listener to either respond to the systemic practices of bigotry and racism or remain part of the problem."

nice summation there.

And is Lukas really taking a huge risk? Seems he's following in the footsteps of his Dad Willie being true to himself. btw, we think that Neil also adopted Willie's worldview of just being himself and not trying to just keep manager's alive.

While your inner voice will set you free, it is only saying "Don't lie to yourself." Truth. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

@ Ian - Nice on the dogs and freedom metaphor. woof. It's all metaphor .. and illusion...

open up the tired eyes...

At 3/11/2017 05:52:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

If we're voicing our opinions on Alabama, personally I've never liked the song. To me, it just always sounded like a disjointed demo outtake. The guitar work is stilted and clunky, and so are the lyrics. To top things off, the vocals and mix are also lacking.

I always applauded Neil for wanting to speak out, but Alabama isn't a very good companion piece to the truly great Southern Man. If I could listen to Southern Man 100 times, or Southern Man 99 times and Alabama one time, I'd choose to listen to Southern Man 100 times!

Of course I'm talking about the recorded versions of the songs. In concert recently, Alabama was nice to hear as a "rarity" played passionately. The version on Harvest is as "forced" a recording as I've ever heard from Neil.

"Take my advice
Don't listen to me"

At 3/11/2017 11:04:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

If you grew up in the early 70s you must have heard "Southern Man" at least 5 times day on the radio stations often following "We've Only Just Begun" by the Carpenters. I think I liked "Alabama" because it was clunky, edgy, and out there like the songs played by my favorite band that came out with "Stagefright" the same year.

At 3/12/2017 12:37:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Fair enough MNOTR. I didn't really start listening to the radio until the mid to late 70s. My early Neil indoctrination came almost exclusively via a few great vinyl bootlegs (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Carnegie Hall, Roman Coliseum, etc..) and the "good" songs from Harvest, courtesy of my older brother. I knew every word to Sugar Mountain (Dorothy Chandler version) by heart by the time I was 7, and I thought the verbal banter between the verses was part of the official song!

I was somewhat disappointed when Decade came out, and the "official" Sugar Mountain just sat there pretty much flat and stilted...

Hey, in all honesty, even the Neil songs I don't like sound better to me than most of the best songs of other great artists. Neil's "voice" has always spoken to me while getting right to the core of my soul like no other.

So, to me Alabama is sort of like the "spare change" in Neil's body of work, but sometimes that "spare change" can fill my tank...

"Take my advice
Don't listen to me"


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