Watch Stephen Colbert Join An Allstar Cast of Musicians for a Cover of “Everyday People” by Sly & the Family Stone


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By Randy Harris

Did anyone really doubt that Stephen Colbert would have something special up his sleeve for his debut as the host of the Late Show? If you did, then shame on you! Jazz pianist and composer Jon Batiste led an all-star cast of some of the best musicians in the world for an incredible rendition of Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People.” Two of the greatest guitarists in music, Derek Trucks and Buddy Guy, originally joined Batiste’s new band, Stay Human, on stage. As if that wasn’t enough, more and more surprises worked their way onto the stage as the song went on, including appearances from Mavis Staples, Aloe Blacc, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes), Susan Tedeschi (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Ben Folds, Paul Janeway (St. Paul and the Broken Bones) and more. Colbert himself even joined in for a verse!

The whole band was extremely tight as Batiste led the vocals in the first verse, setting a strong tone with his passionate voice. Blacc and Howard traded off on the next verse, as Staples made her way onto the stage and into the spotlight! Staples’ gritty, gospel singing is still as unique to her as it ever was. Colbert’s voice isn’t too bad either! He led a verse himself to a raucous roar from the crowd. With the whole cast on the stage now, Trucks and Guy played intense, dueling guitar solos (Derek on slide, of course, and Guy wailing in between), followed by a quick drums section as Staples instructed the crowd to “Put ya hands up!” The whole crew preached “We gotta live together” for the remainder of the tune, sending out a positive vibe of unity to the world.

Highlights from the performance included a horn section that wandered out into the crowd and the dueling guitar solo from Derek Trucks and Buddy Guy… we’d love to see more of that collaboration! Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi will bring Tedeschi Trucks Band to Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, VA this weekend for a very special tribute to the late Joe Cocker, as well as a set of their own material. See the full video of the performance below!

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