Alabama Shakes leader Brittany Howard is a once-in-a-generation vocal talent. Geniuses often go unheralded in their time, so it’s gratifying that her band is doing so well, and it’s gratifying to see them absolutely bring the house down on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night.
The group performed “Joe”, a bonus track from their excellent 2015 album Sound & Color, and while the song isn’t as boisterous as many of their other songs, the lack of a loud climax actually provides a big payoff. Instead of relying on cresting waves of loud-quiet dynamics, “Joe” and Howard’s provocative vocals rumble loudly beneath the surface, coming up for air when the soulful chorus hits.
Simply put, there are few who are better at doing what Alabama Shakes do. The fact that the band was able to perform a song that only sort of made the album and absolutely slay is high praise about the songs that did make the cut for Sound & Color. We’re willing to bet that Alabama Shakes could release a collection of outtakes from the Sound & Color sessions and it would be better than a good amount of the albums that have been released in 2015.
This isn’t Howard’s first time on Colbert’s Late Show. She was part of the all-star lineup that covered Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People” on Colbert’s debut episode, and it seems certain there’s no way it will be her last time in the CBS studios either.
Featured image courtesy of CBS