Gibson Lukas Nelson '56 Les Paul Junior review

A vintage repro Junior to remind us that simplicity is often the secret to great guitar design

Gibson USA Lukas Nelson Les Paul Junior
(Image: © Gibson)

Guitar World Verdict

With modern improvements, slightly aged looks and voiced for vintage mojo, the Lukas Nelson ’56 Les Paul Junior is a poised and mature Junior model you’ll want to put your own wear and tear into for years to come.


  • +

    Only one pickup but it's exceptional.

  • +

    Classic design.

  • +

    Quality hardware enhances intonation and tone.

  • +

    Custom Shop vibe at production line price.


  • -

    Not everyone likes simplicity.

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“Who the hell is Lukas Nelson?” If you’re like me, that’s probably what you’re thinking. Suffice to say, Lukas Nelson is the son of country music legend Willie Nelson, and this young country-rocker fronts his own successful band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, with him and his band often pulling double duty as the touring band for Neil Young. 

If that’s not enough, Nelson played a prominent role for the 2018 film A Star is Born by collaborating with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper and co-writing and co-producing the soundtrack, all of which earned him a Grammy and a BAFTA. 

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.