WHO ARE THEY? Willie Nelson’s singer-guitarist son and his California country-rock jammers — who have been moonlighting as Neil Young’s band on recent tours and albums.
WHAT IS THIS? Their overtitled but satisfying fifth album (out June 14) is also their most high-profile release, thanks to Lukas’ work on A Star is Born — and to a massive guest list that includes Margo Price, Sheryl Crow, Micah Nelson, Kesha, Shooter Jennings, Randy Houser, Lucius, Young and papa Nelson.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? More Neil than Willie — especially on the hippie-flavoured title cut. But at various points, it will also remind you slightly of Roy Orbison, Little Feat, Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty and The Grateful Dead.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Turn On & Tune In.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While wearing a goofy hat, based on the cover pictures.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Earnest, earthy, jammy, warm, breezy, funky, groovy, positive, rootsy, freewheeling.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Where Does Love Go gets operatically romantic; the shuffling acoustic ballad Mystery features guitar work from Willie; Simple Life is an understated gem; Something Real is a hit of old-school boogie-rock.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Hey, does anybody else have the munchies?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Some of these songs might make it into regular rotation.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A DESSERT, WHAT KIND OF DESSERT WOULD IT BE? Organic hash brownies.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? It’s worth the coin.