Watch Willie Nelson’s Son Cover “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” for His Dad’s 90th Birthday Celebration

Willie Nelson celebrated his 90th birthday with a massive concert event at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California in April 2023. The two-day concert events saw artists from across the musical spectrum taking the stage to celebrate the Red-Headed Stranger. Among those was his son, Lukas Nelson.

Videos by American Songwriter

In the video below, taken from the Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday Celebration TV special, Lukas takes the stage to perform “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” one of his dad’s No. 1 singles. During the performance, it becomes clear that the younger Nelson received a fair amount of his musical talent and training from his dad.

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While singing, “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” Lukas walks the tightrope between copying his dad’s vocal delivery and making the song his own. At the same time, his guitar work sounds much like Willie’s. He nails the blend of jazz and Spanish guitar that has become a hallmark of his father’s playing over the decades. The only real difference is that Lukas’ steel string guitar has a sharper sound than Trigger which employs nylon strings for a warmer, more rounded tone.

Lukas Nelson on Willie Nelson’s Career

Before he took the stage, Lukas Nelson spoke about Willie Nelson’s drive and work ethic. “He has the strongest work ethic, I think, of anybody you’ll ever meet,” he said of his father. “Being able to persist at what you love while not compromising your integrity, that’s really a blessing. And that’s what dad has,” he added.

[RELATED: 4 of the Best Collaborations Between Willie Nelson and His Sons Lukas and Micah]

“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”

Willie Nelson wrote “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” for the 1980 film Honeysuckle Rose. In 1981, the song became the second single from the film’s soundtrack. It went to No. 1, giving Nelson his seventh chart-topper.

Lukas Nelson’s cover fits well among the renditions recorded by other artists. Bob Dylan, Alison Krauss, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and many other acts have produced renditions of the song over the years.

Featured Image by Mickey Bernal/Getty Images

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