THE PRESS RELEASE: “When we walked out of Shangri-La recording studio on the sixth day, we knew we had captured something special. The process had been simple: we would gather around a coffee table on the lawn, Lukas would present a new song on an acoustic guitar, and then we’d go inside and roll tape. The atmosphere was joyful and mellow, yet intensely productive — we rarely spent more than two takes on a song before moving on to the next one. It was so productive, in fact, that there was simply no way to fit all the material on one release. So, think of this project as something of an epilogue to our previous album, Turn Off The News (Build A Garden). Some of these tracks are alternate performances of songs from that record. Others, like Bad Case, appear in their early developmental stages. But the majority of this album comprises songs that, for one reason or another, didn’t make the final cut, and yet were just too special to keep to ourselves. Some strings are out of tune. Some lyrics are inconsistent. There’s microphone bleed, tape machine buzz, conversations and laughter between takes … that’s how we like it. Our hope is that Naked Garden offers a glimpse behind the curtain, at POTR in our most raw, honest, and naked state. For our band’s name is truly our mantra, and if nothing else, this project is an attempt to make good on our promise.”
MY TWO CENTS: “I gotta focus on the music / Let the music carry me, merrily and gently down the stream,” Lukas Nelson promises himself. And Willie’s singer-guitarist son does just that on the latest offering from his crew of California country-rock hippies. A companion piece to their 2019 set Turn Off The News (Build a Garden), this release houses a handful of remixes from the original album, along with 10 outtakes and leftovers that didn’t make the cut. In keeping with the band’s freewheeling ways, most of these loose-limbed, likeable cuts are shape-shifting jams that pack more musical twists and turns into four minutes than some bands can shoehorn into their entire career. That’s what you call keeping it real, I guess.