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Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Wasted (Tone Tide)

Reviewed by Dan Oko, Fri., June 22, 2012

Phases & Stages

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Wasted (Tone Tide Records)

The reedy familiarity of Lukas Nelson's voice is a dead giveaway you're listening to Willie's kid. In fact on "The Joint," young Nelson, 23, sounds as if the Red Headed Stranger – fast approaching 80 – had been sipping from the fountain of youth. In our new oedipal age, when intimation and imitation aren't limitations (see Justin Townes Earle), American pop songcraft has flourished. Hence, for all the father-son comparisons, Nelson and his talented cohorts still lay down fierce, often original, rock. High octane guitar solos, dynamic rhythms, and reflections on love and loss ensue – from the boogie-woogie blues of "Old Familiar Pain" to the Zep-worthy finger-picking meditation on "I Won't Fail Her." Nelson and company may feel wasted, but they don't waste this chance to shake things up.

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