Last night Alabama Shakes reminded fans that they still have one of the best albums of the year with a smoldering gospel performance of their song "Joe" on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Brittany Howard led the band through the gorgeous tune, which serves as a bonus track to the group's genre-melding 2015 album Sound & Color, proving that she still has one of the finest voices in music right now.
"Joe" is as true of a rock gospel tune as any the band has ever played before. The organ and backing choir give it a distinct preachy feeling as Howard effortlessly sings conversationally to the audience about how she's been blessed by many fortunes in her life, but without Joe in her life, they all seem pointless.
"Now people, God give me so many things, he fulfill my many wishes and I have achieved my many dreams/ but oh, see Joe/ see he's he only thing I want/ But I ain't gonna get what I want," she sang on the show.
The song has been performed live before and elicited some church-style call and response from the crowd. This performance marks the first time we've heard a proper recording of the song, since the original came from a cell phone.
Alabama Shakes' appearance caps off a string of stellar guests this week that kicked off with the debut of the new Chance The Rapper song, "Angeles," an interview with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and a performance from Jazz-pop singer and bassist Lianne La Havas. Colbert seems to have quickly branded himself as the hip place to release and perform music, or at the very least, giving Jimmy Fallon and The Roots over at The Tonight Show a run for their money.
You can purchase the single on iTunes now for $1.29 or find it on any streaming music service. Watch the performance on The Late Show below.