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Lukas Nelson finds musical inspiration in engaging with audiences

If you’re heading to Tuesday’s show at the Jefferson Theater, keep in mind that Lukas Nelson and POTR had you in mind while they put their new album together.

“I’ve always written best this way, while I can visualize myself singing the live show to the audience,” Nelson said. “If you go to a show, you can tell if the audience isn’t into it. It’s not as fun an experience. You want to engage the audience in some way.”

Together, they’ll perform music from “Sticks and Stones,” released by 6ACE Records/Thirty Tigers.

“It’s not quite a live album. It’s an album geared toward the live show,” Nelson said. “We did do overdubs. It’s a studio album.”

The album was created with the band’s live country show in mind.

“We would write songs that would do well in our live set,” Nelson said. “The engagement with the audience is great fun. It’s a good time. It’s a celebration of bringing people together.”

The organic feel of the live show draws energy from musical ties forged over time among the members of POTR, or Promise of the Real. The musicians include Anthony LoGerfo, Tato Melgar, Corey McCormick and Logan Metz.

“We’ve been playing together for about 15 years,” Nelson said.

The Grammy Award-winning musician’s childhood community has been on his mind lately, and he’s pitching in to help Hawaiians recover from the devastating wildfires in August. The music video for “The View,” a song from “Sticks and Stones,” released Friday, includes footage from across the island of Maui, where Nelson grew up.

Nelson has organized a December event to salute the community after the wildfires. “Lokahi: A Celebration of Maui” is set for Dec. 17 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Joining Nelson there will be Jack Johnson, Nathaniel Rateliff, Paula Fuga and Lily Meola.

He also has been collaborating recently with Emily King. Their Sept. 30 concert for “The Soho Sessions” raised funds for National Alliance on Mental Health Hawaii.

“We did a benefit for mental health in Maui,” he said. “That was special.”

Fans who enjoy “Sticks and Stones” will be pleased to know there’s new music in the pipeline.

“I’m always starting to compile stuff for the next project,” Nelson said. “I can write on the road. In fact, I think I like to write on the road more sometimes.”

Ben Chapman also is on Tuesday’s bill.

Tickets are $35; they’re $30 in advance. Doors will open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show.

Remember to bring a new unwrapped toy to donate for a chance to win prizes; winners will be announced Dec. 1 during the Toy Lift main event. Learn more online at or by phone at (800) 594-8499.


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