Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real (or short: POTR) are back. The famous son of Willie Nelson releases his new album Sticks and Stones on 14th July 2023. I already had a listen to the songs and share my thoughts with you.
Lukas Nelson – About The Artist
Sticks and Stones is already the eighth album by Lukas Nelson & POTR. I introduced you to two of his last three releases. Especially his 2019 album Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) had a lot of success. Two years later, he released his latest album so far, A Few Stars Apart. Both reviews also hold additional bio information about the Los Angeles-born artist.
Lukas Nelson & POTR – Sticks and Stones – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 36 minutes.
1. Sticks and Stones
The album starts with the title track. The song is a nice opener. The sound is slightly old-fashioned, but not bothering and has a nice rock music texture. Great groove as well. Country music fans feel welcome from the very first moment.
Can I get an Alocohallelujah – ain’t that hilarious songwriting? I really love this track and wonder that it did not get the attention it truly deserves. Again, there is a traditional touch in this song, also driven by the very present keyboard. On the other hand, Promise of the Real simply add the right level of rock boost. Great song.
3. Every Time I Drink
The easy and swinging Every Time I Drink feels to be the perfect follow-up to the Alcohallelujah before. I love the cheeky, ironic style of the song, which is swinging, but even has a bit of a spiritual gospel touch to me. Lukas Nelson is indeed a lovely storyteller.
4. More Than Friends (feat. Lainey Wilson)
This collaboration with Lainey Wilson has been the first release of the album – and it is still its most successful one so far. Nelson states in the press kit about his musical partner for this song: She just is so young and talented. I was grateful that I got her because when I called her and asked her to do it, she was sitting in her dressing room at the CMA Awards. I got so lucky because later the nightshe won all these awards […]. I also feel thankful about it. Lainey’s voice is the perfect match for this song.
5. Ladder of Love
Ladder of Love is a fast, rhythmic, traditional style song, which is beautifully showcasing the musical quality of POTR. Especially multi-instrumentalist Logan Metz and drummer Anthony LoGerfo do a great job in here.
6. Wrong House
wrong house, wrong home – may I kindly use the phone? Lukas Nelson feels to be able to put any kind of song and topic into the right vibe. A bit of country and some rock’n’roll lead to a very entertaining listen.
Icarus rather reminds me of songs of the 1960’s. Nonetheless, the way Nelson does the song does not make it feel old. Even though the song is about conflicts between Lukas and his parents, he also states that Sticks and Stones is Willie’s favorite so far, due to the country music core of the record. I like the beautiful, virtuous style with boots and hat-heart as well.
8. If I Didn’t Love You
If I Didn’t Love You is a rather short song, which is majorly focusing on the main phrase If I didn’t love you, why did I call?. I like the change between the very rhythmic style of the major part of the song, driven by the piano, and the rather fluent bridge. Despite the short duration of 2:15 minutes, there is still time for a piano solo.
The work on the guitars is clearly the most lovely part of Overpass to me. The story is nicely told, but a bit too tame compared to other songs on the album.
Just having Lukas Nelson and an acoustic guitar, Lying is truly a special song on Sticks and Stones. Nelson states that they originally had a full band version of this track as well, but that one just did not catch the mood he intended. Good choice – I feel that this version of the song is a beautiful part of his 2023 album.
11. All Four Winds
This one is another very special listen on the album. The melody feels very harmonic and gentle. A feel-good song by Nelson and his band mates. All Four Winds are a warm wind for your music lover heart.
12. The View
The gentle style of All Four WInds feels like a perfect warm-up to the farewell tunes of The View. The instrumental part of this very personal song is as limited as it can be. The focus on the story in this beautiful country-style musical narrative is just the right tune to keep in your mind after the album is finished.
Lukas Nelson & POTR – Sticks and Stones – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Lukas Nelson & POTR – Sticks and Stones – My View
Sticks and Stones is definitely my favorite Lukas Nelson album I reviewed so far. I love the styles of the songs, the beautiful way of telling stories. And I enjoy the country music heart in the vast majority of the songs. If you like rock music, this one is a very good choice. And if you are a country music buff, you should give it a try as well.
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