February 28, 2014
Choctaw Casino Event Center
Durrant, OK USA
Review by Kerry Langford
Photos by Kerry Langford
Willie Nelson - Willie Nelson, Lucas Nelson
And The Family Lives On
Willie Nelson, in one word, is simply amazing. And tonight at the Choctaw Casino in Durant, OK, he did not disappoint. On tour with his usual family band of musicians and very special guest opening act his son Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. Lukas described their music as "cowboy hippie surf rock," a new genre of rebel country mixed in with a touch of southern rock. I would agree. The band was on fire as Lukas not only is a good singer songwriter like his legendary father, but one hell of a showman on stage too. Lukas and POTR performed several familiar songs one of which was a wonderful rendition of J.J. Cale's " Call Me The Breeze." A classic crowd pleaser made famous by Lynyrd Skynyrd and still holds water today. Lukas threw in a few original songs including "Four Letter Word," accompanied by Willie's harmonica player, Mickey Rafael. If you have a chance to see Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, do yourself the pleasure and don't miss it.
At 80 years young, Willie Nelson still brings it every time he takes the stage. Opening with his classic and traditional number "Whiskey River," as he's done for years, started the show off right with fans on their feet and smiles on their faces. The Choctaw crowd loved Willie. Hell, we all love Willie, as he is now a bona fide living legend and a staple in the music business whether you are a country music fan from way back when or a rock and roller of today, Willie Nelson has earned the respect from music lovers across the board. As expected, his son Lukas joined the Family band for all of Willie's set. It only seemed right as sister Bobbie Nelson played the piano in the group, as she has done since 1973. Willie's performance of "Still Is Still Moving To Me" was very passionate and I can see it moved the audience as well. At 80 he shows the sparkle and energy of musicians decades younger but with the experience and grace of a true country icon that he has become.
One of the highlights of the show was Willie and Lukas performing "Texas Flood," a classic number by the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan. A unique version featuring Lukas on vocals that would have made Stevie himself proud. Tonight, Willie gave the fans a wide range of music that ran through many years and stages of his career. As expected this was a wonderful show of family, friends and good music by a true American legend.