4 of the Best Collaborations Between Willie Nelson and His Sons Lukas and Micah

Willie Nelson is a country music icon. A lauded singer, songwriter, and musician, Nelson has influenced generations of artists. However, his influence is most evident in his sons—Lukas and Micah Nelson. Both have their own musical careers with Lukas fronting Promise of the Real and Micah fronting Particle Kid. The three Nelson men occupy different musical spaces. Sometimes, though, they come together for unforgettable performances.

Videos by American Songwriter

Willie, Lukas, and Micah have shared stages and studio spaces several times over the years. Below are four of their most memorable collaborations.

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”—Willie, Lukas, and Micah Nelson Take on a Classic

Written by Fred Rose, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” was Willie Nelson’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It also broke into the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 21. More than that, the song holds a special place in the Nelson family.

In a video from 2020, Willie, Lukas, and Micah Nelson perform the song in a studio session. Before playing the song, Micah reveals why it’s important to him. He points out that “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” was the first song Willie taught him when he was a child. “I remember asking you what you wanted for your birthday. I was like 10 or 11. You were like, ‘You know what would make me happy is if you learned to play guitar.’ And I took that to heart,” he recalled.

Then, the proud dad said, “Sing it,” and Micah did as the other two Nelson men backed him on their acoustic guitars and sang harmony.

“Always on My Mind”—Willie and the Boys Share the Stage on Father’s Day

On Father’s Day (June 16), 2019, the Outlaw Music Festival Tour landed in Hartford, Connecticut at the Xfinity Theatre. That night saw many artists giving great performances. However, few were as memorable as Willie, his boys, Bobbie, and the band performing “Always on My Mind” together.

In the video, Willie takes lead vocals while Lukas plays guitar and Micah plays percussion. The lineup also includes the late Bobbie Nelson on keys.

Written by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher, and Mark James, Nelson released the song as a single and the title track from his 1982 album. The song was a massive hit for Nelson. It peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. Additionally, it won three Grammy Awards including Best Male Country Vocal Performance. It also won Song of the Year at the CMA Awards in 1982 and 1983 and Single of the Year in 1982.

“Just Breathe”—Willie and Lukas Nelson Cover Pearl Jam  

Written by Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam released “Just Breathe” as the second single from their 2009 album Backspacer. It was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Adult Alternative Airplay chart, spending 13 weeks at the top. It also peaked at No. 6 on the publication’s Alternative Airplay chart.

Willie and Lukas Nelson performed a country version of the song during Farm Aid in 2013. Watch them transform the alt-rock hit below.

“Texas Flood”—Willie and the Boys Come Together to Cover Stevie Ray Vaughan

Texas has produced several legendary musicians through the years. Among them was electric blues icon Stevie Ray Vaughan. “Texas Flood” is one of SRV’s signature songs. Originally released in 1958 by Larry Davis, Vaughan made it the title track of his 1983 debut album. He transformed the song, changing the key and adding several sections of improvised soloing.

During the 2004 Farm Aid concert, Lukas took on lead guitar and vocal duties for the song while Micah played percussion and Willie played rhythm guitar on Trigger. The performance shows that Willie has no problem stepping back and letting his boys shine.

Featured Image by Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Did Taylor Swift Fire Back at Dave Grohl After "Errors" Tour Comment?

Did Taylor Swift Just Fire Back at Dave Grohl After “Errors” Tour Comment?

Roger Waters Dedicates Heartfelt Performance of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” to Palestine