Paula Nelson spent much of her childhood on the tour bus of her famous dad, Willie Nelson, traveling with the singer and his band. But when her dad gave her his bus, the fabled Honeysuckle Rose, for her 39th birthday, she saw the gift as a mixed blessing.

"Of course I'm extremely grateful," she tells the Pasadena Star-News. "But people are around it like, 'Oh my god, a tour bus, you've got a tour bus.' I realize that I grew up on one and it's hard."

As the leader of the Paula Nelson Band for the past 12 years, the Texas-based singer has forged her own career path -- one that also included such non-musical pursuits as working at an Alzheimer's treatment center at age 18, becoming an 800 number operator at 19, waitressing and attending massage therapy school.

Nelson says she no longer worries how people will react to her music.

"I'm not terrified anymore with what people think of me," she says. "I'm proud of the stuff I'm putting out there because it's totally honest and an open book of my thoughts and feelings. I don't really have anything to hide anymore."

Nelson says her latest album, 'Lucky 13,' is like her dad's music, in that it reflects a wide range of styles. She's also come to appreciate spending much of her time traveling from show to show.

"More time on the road means more adventures, more stories and more life to write about. I'm content with that."