Lukas Nelson at the Great American Music Hall, by William Wayland
Lukas Nelson (photo: William Wayland)

Lukas Nelson sounds just like his father, but — with all due respect — might be even more talented. He plays a style all his own that starts off country but at some point during the set, the cowboy hat comes off and there’s no mistaking his rock and roll energy. Nelson co-headlined the Stagecoach Spotlight tour at the Great American Music Hall on April 23, 2018. Everything he plays becomes his own, including “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles and Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” In fact, I thought he was kidding when he launched into this one. Nope.

Tyler Childers looks like he’s ready to punch someone. Always. But the stories he tells between songs are unexpected and everyone in the hall is smiling and laughing before Childers starts a new song about life, love, hope, and sadness. Childers is a master lyricist and when you look around, some are drying their eyes. Before the Stagecoach Spotlight Tour I last heard him play before a sold out crowd of 80 fans at The Hotel Utah. It’s exciting to see his music reaching a wider and wider audience.

Signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records, Lillie Mae is another up and comer. This talented performer on guitar and fiddle is one of a new group of women challenging country music stereotypes.