Let Lukas Nelson, one of Willie Nelson’s eight children, take us to church this chilly Sunday. Can we get an amen?
Lukas Nelson posted this video to his Instagram feed. He’s singing the old Hank Williams’ classic “I Saw the Light.” He posted it originally to celebrate Christmas, which also is his birthday. But it works just as well on Valentine’s Day. Give it a listen.
Lukas is Willie Nelson’s oldest living son. He’s 32. And his musical talents run deep.
He’s the lead singer of the country rock group “Lukas Nelson and the Promise of Real.” The group works as Neil Young’s touring band. They’ve also recorded several albums with Young. Two are studio albums — The Monsanto Years (2015) and The Visitor (2017). They also recorded with Young for the soundtrack Paradox. And they did the live album Earth in 2016.
His big break came from his work in the remake of “A Star Is Born,” that starred Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Lukas Nelson and his band played the band of Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine. Lukas Nelson also was Cooper’s vocal coach. And Lukas wrote some of the award-winning sound track for the movie.
Lukas Nelson, who also goes on tour with Willie, said his career exploded after the movie.
“Everything’s selling out all over the country. It’s just a much bigger audience,” Lukas Nelson told The Boot. People know about us now.
“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.”
So where did the gospel come from with Lukas Nelson? He got it from his dad. Willie Nelson loves to play gospel music. He released “I Saw the Light” as a duet with Leon Russell back in 1977. Nelson included the song in his “Farm Aid” appearances through the years and likes to play it at his concerts, so it’s no surprise that Lukas Nelson performs it, too.
Willie Nelson even played an impromptu, three-song gospel set, which included “I Saw the Light” at one of his appearances in Los Angeles. That was back in 2017, when Willie invited Kris Kristofferson and Kacey Musgraves to sing gospel with him.
Why do singers like Lukas and his dad and so many other singers love to perform “I Saw The Light?” It’s a country gospel classic. Hank Williams always told people that something his mother said inspired him to write the song. It was about coming home. Williams wrote the song in January, 1947, a few months after he’d auditioned for the Grand Ole Opry. He got rejected.
Willie Nelson and son Lukas also like to sing other gospel classics, including “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away.” So let the Nelson family take you to church.