Robert Earl Keen, Lukas Nelson headline inaugural Wildlands Music Festival
In an effort to celebrate Montana’s wild and open spaces and support the non-profits that work to protect them, Outlaw Partners will present the inaugural Wildlands Music Festival at the Romney Oval on the Montana State University campus on Friday, August 10th with gates at 5:30pm. The concert will feature dual-headliners, acclaimed singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen and country-rockers Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Montana Land Reliance, and Yellowstone Forever – three nonprofits whose missions align with the festival’s ethos.
“The road goes on forever…” It’s not easy to sum up a career – let alone one’s life ambition – so succinctly, but those five words from Robert Earl Keen’s calling-card anthem just about do it. You can complete the lyric with the next five words — the ones routinely shouted back at Keen by thousands of fans a night (“and the party never ends!”) – just to punctuate the point with a flourish, but it’s the part about the journey that gets right to the heart of what makes Keen tick.
Some people take up a life playing music with the goal of someday reaching a destination of fame and fortune. From the get-go, Keen just wanted to write and sing his own songs, and to keep writing and singing them for as long as possible. Now, three decades after the release of his first album, Keen continues to write, record, and tour across the nation. In 2012, he was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame along with the Late Great Townes Van Zandt and his old college buddy Lyle Lovett.
When Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real play, it’s exciting, visceral, and – above all – real. They have come a long way since releasing their debut EP, Brando’s Paradise, in 2010, which sent them on a trajectory of non-stop touring and recording. The band has released six albums in five years, including 2010’s debut full-length, Promise of the Real, Wasted in 2012, live album Live Endings, in 2012, and a free collection of demos, I Ain’t Mad Anymore in 2013. Their latest, the self-titled Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, is a mesmerizing, emotionally genuine, endlessly rewarding work featuring the band’s signature cosmic country soul.
And along the way, the press has been ever so kind. No Depression magazine once noted, “With a unique voice and gift for penning timely socially conscious lyrics stretched over muscular guitar riffs, Lukas Nelson is earning not only fans, but heaps of critical praise as well.”
The Wildlands Festival will bring people together who share a love of nature, outdoor recreation, parks, trails, and the enjoyment of what makes Montana special. The event will celebrate the state’s wildlands, and will be an opportunity for concert-goers to support the spaces that they cherish, while enjoying live music in a picturesque outdoor setting.
Tickets are available at the Bobcat Ticket Office, www.ticketswest.com, or (406) 994-CATS. Prices are $47 for general admission and $177 for VIP tickets, which include access to a hospitality tent with food and beverages, and a preferred viewing area for the show. Attendees are encouraged to bring low-rise chairs and blankets to the event. No outside food or beverages will be allowed. There will be food, beer and wine available for purchase. •