January 9

Lukas Nelson Covers His Dad’s Classic “Always On My Mind,” And It’s So Moving

Musician Lukas Nelson is undeniably his father’s son because, in 2013, he performed Willie Nelson’s 1989 hit classic “Always On My Mind” during a cruise trip. It was definitely a touching tribute and a showcase of the young Nelson’s insane talent.  

In the video clip, Lukas held a mic and asked the crowd for a song suggestion. The audience answered, “Always On My Mind,” to which he responded, “Wanna do that?” to the pianist. The pianist then said, “Why not? Let’s do it.” Lukas didn’t miss a beat as he started singing, which was incredible. Then, a trumpet player joined in on the fun in the middle of the song.

A few minutes later, the young Nelson opened his bag of talents even bigger and skillfully whistled the song. The performance culminated with applause from the avid listeners. 

“Always On My Mind”

This ballad was written by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher, and Mark James. Brenda Lee recorded the song first, but Gwen McCrae was the first to release it in March 1972. Since then, there have been 300 recorded song releases, including Elvis Presley’s, John Wesley Ryles’, and Willie Nelson’s Grammy Award-winning version.

But more than Lukas Nelson covering the song to honor his father, what really caught people’s attention was the fact that his vocals sounded strikingly reminiscent of the legendary country singer’s. 

The song quickly went viral, and one viewer even commented in the video, “Well, we’ll be able to go hear Willie sing live for another 50 years or so.” 

Despite the striking vocal resemblance, the young Nelson was certainly grounded in his own style.  

Lukas actually paved his own path in the music scene with his own country-rock band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, based in California. The group was officially formed in 2008, and they have since released eight studio albums along with four live recording albums. 

As for individual projects, he sang the theme song for the Netflix series The Ranch with Shooter Jennings. It was their fathers’ 1978 hit duet titled “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys,” originally written by Ed and Patsy Bruce. 

Catch Lukas Nelson’s “Always On My Mind” cover in the video below. 


Lukas Nelson, Willie Nelson

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