On Sunday, April 12, A&E is debuting Willie Nelson: American Outlaw, a two-hour tribute concert and interview special dedicated to the seven-decades-long career of Nelson, who in April will both turn 87 years old and release his 70th studio album.
The performances run the gamut from other legends like George Strait, Jimmy Buffett, and Emmylou Harris, to the hottest stars of today like Jack Johnson, Chris Stapleton, and Eric Church, to alternative country supergroup The Little Willies, led by Norah Jones and Richard Julian.
But perhaps no performers are nearer and dearer to Nelson’s heart than his sons, Lukas and Micah.
Lukas and Micah Are Performers in Their Own Right
Both Lukas and Micah have their own bands. Micah performs in a band called Insects vs. Robots, and Lukas fronts the country rock band Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real.
Formed in 2008, Insects vs. Robots is based in Venice Beach, California. Its website describes their style as “experimental” and having a “boundary-less musical vision.” It also says they have shared a stage with Neil Young, Jack White, Tinariwen, Primus and more.
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real has also shared the stage with Young. Its website says Lukas has a regular gig as Young’s band lead and lead guitarist, with the band as a whole serving as Young’s support ensemble. Their style is described as “straddling rock and roll, country, soul, folk and R&B.”
Lukas and Micah are Nelson’s 6th and 7th Children
Nelson has been married four times and has five children from his first three marriages. But in the late 1980s, he met his current wife, Annie D’Angelo. In December 1988, Lukas was born, and in May 1990, Jacob Micah was born (he goes by Micah) professionally. In 1991, Willie and Annie were married and remain so to this day.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Micah says the family has been quarantining together outside of Austin. He says “however unfortunate the circumstances,” it’s been nice to finally have the opportunity to spend more time with his loved ones. He also says, “The fact that we can play a live show in our living room, just the three of us, with my mom shooting on an iPhone, and broadcast it to the world is pretty neat.”
Lukas echoes his sentiments, telling Rolling Stone, “You can look at this as a blessing in disguise in some ways. My dad would never have given himself the chance to rest, and we would have never had this time together if we had not been forced to. And he’s getting up there. The years would be going by, and we would just be grinding on the road,” he says, adding, “This virus, in some ways, couldn’t have come at a better time, because of the interconnectedness we all have with technology. And it’s going to make us appreciate human connection even more, once we’re able to get back on the road and be more able to gather again, which could be a while.
Willie Nelson: American Outlaw premieres Sunday, April 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on A&E following the Dolly Parton biography at 8 p.m. ET/PT.