Spend Father’s Day with North Americana, Lukas Nelson + Songs For Dad

Lukas Nelson

Sarah Burke here from SiriusXM Canada.

I’m your host for Sunday Service.   We gather every Sunday in the name of Americana Music, old and new, familiar and unknown.  I’ll catch you up on new Americana releases from the founders of folk, introduce you to emerging roots artists, cover upcoming tours, celebrate milestones and anniversaries, and feature exclusive studio recordings. This weekend is especially dedicated to all the Dad’s out there with a special Father’s Day playlist. Full disclosure: some of the best songs about father’s aren’t exactly happy songs…however, I’ll make sure I leave you on a light note after this weekend’s guest, Lukas Nelson, talks about his new album with Promise of the Real and his wonderful relationship with his father, Willie Nelson.

  1. Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars
  2. Bruce Springsteen – Independence Day
  3. Mac DeMarco – My Old Man
  4. Patty Griffin – Irish Boy
  5. Harry Chapin – Cat’s In The Cradle
  6. Calexico/Iron & Wine – Father Mountain
  7. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
  8. Jeff Tweedy – How Hard It Is For A Desert To Die
  9. Neil Young – Prairie Wind
  10. George Strait – So Much Like My Dad
  11. Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real – Turn Off The News (Build A Garden)
  12. Willie & Lukas Nelson – Just Breathe

Bruce Springsteen Celebrates Release of Western Stars

It’s a double whammy for the Boss in this weekend’s Sunday Service. First off, we’ll celebrate the release of his new album Western Stars, inspired by a lot of the greats that you hear in the playlist for SiriusXM’s North Americana. You’ll hear lots of pedal steel & orchestral strings on the album, if there’s anything you do this weekend, listen to the full album! I’ll play you the title track from his new album which just got a fabulous video treatment.

Springsteen has penned several songs about his father Douglas over the years, but ‘Independence Day’ tells the very story of a son leaving the home of his father…here’s a little more on that difficult relationship from Rolling Stone:

When Bruce Springsteen got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, his thoughts turned towards his father Douglas, who passed away earlier in the year. “I’ve got to thank him,” said Springsteen. “What would I conceivably have written about without him? Imagine that if everything had gone great between us, we would have had disaster. I would have written just happy songs . . . He never said much about my music, except that his favorite songs were the ones about him. And that was enough.” The greatest song about their complex relationship is 1980’s “Independence Day,” in which Springsteen admits that “we were just too much of the same kind.”

Mac DeMarco – My Old Man

On track #1 from his breakout 2012 album 2, Mac uses sarcasm as a tool to tell us about the relationship with his father, alluding to laziness, alcohol & drugs.  He’s opened up about this strained relationship over the years, sharing that his father left when he was five years old without paying child support.

Patty Griffin – Irish Boy

Patty Griffin dedicates her album American Kid to her father who passed in 2009.  ‘Irish Boy’ traces her family roots to her father growing up in Boston when many Irish folk were classified as lower-class citizens. Griffin believed this gave him his ‘Irish fighter’ attitude.

Harry Chapin – Cat’s In The Cradle

Again, not all songs in this list are very happy; this could actually be one of the saddest songs of all time! Harry Chapin’s ‘Cat’s In The Cradle’ was inspired by his wife Sandy and the distant relationship her first husband had with his father.

Calexico/Iron & Wine – Father Mountain

Calexico and Iron & Wine celebrate the release of their collaborative new album this weekend titled Years to Burn. You’ll remember they also teamed up for the In The Reins EP back in 2005. The album is a collection of songs about the passing of time, bridging the gaps between time and friendships. Sam Beam of Iron & Wine says:

“Life is hard. Awesome. And scary as shit. But it can lift you up if you let it. These are the things Joey and I write about now. And the title can encapsulate a lot of things. Years to Burn could mean you’re cocky, you’ve got it made. Or, our life is ours to burn, to be inspired. Or you’re burned by life, brutalized. It’s an ambiguous title, because life is complicated. Let’s not talk like teenagers about love, desire, pain, ‘cause we’re not teenagers. And that’s not a bad thing.”

Read more here

Fleetwood Mac – Landslide

Stevie Nicks has told the story of writing this song in five-minutes flat about a father-daughter relationship. She specifically recalls a memory from September 1974 in Phoenix when her father said:

“You know, you really put a lot of time into this [her singing career], maybe you should give this six more months, and if you want to go back to school, we’ll pay for it.”

She wrote ‘Landslide’ shortly after with Lindsey Buckingham and within three months (New Years, 1974), Mick Fleetwood called and asked them to join his band!

Jeff Tweedy – How Hard It Is For A Desert To Die

This song appears on Tweedy’s most recent full-length, WARM, where he contemplates death, fatherhood, addiction and more at 51 years old. His father inspires him to open up through his lyrics, and the companion memoir titled Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back). Turn’s out, that’s a catch phrase his dad used often:

“He was a very selfish man,” the songwriter admits. But the two grew closer in his final years—more than it had once seemed possible. “It tends to turn your mind towards reflection when you’re confronted with your parents’ mortality,” Tweedy says. After his death, “I spent a lot of time at the house I grew up in, getting it ready to be sold, going through my old stuff. I’m sure it helped the book.”

I hear your laugh in my laughter / An old photograph I’ve never seen

The Song Neil Young Dedicates To His Father

Most people, including the late father of Neil Young, assumed his song ‘Old Man’ was dedicated to his father.  It’s actually written about a foreman named Louis who managed the ranch he bought. Young’s father, Canadian sports-writer Scott Young, explained the story in his book Neil and Me. Young did write an entire album dedicated to dad; especially the title track, ‘Prairie Wind.’ He explored bittersweet moments of his father’s battle with dementia before he passed away.

Lukas Nelson Discusses New Promise Of The Real Album & Valuable Lessons from Dad

Happy release weekend to Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real! Lukas and Anthony from the band are guests on this weekend’s Sunday Service to explain the meaning behind the title Turn off the News (Build a Garden)Lukas will also talk about the messages that he hopes his band carry through time, similar to those that came from Neil Young, Tom Petty, and his father, Willie Nelson.

I’ll play you a song about father’s and son’s written by Willie, recorded by George Strait, too.

George Strait – So Much Like My Dad

Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real – Turn Off The News (Build A Garden)

Willie & Lukas Nelson – Just Breathe

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