Sturgill Simpson recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform the bluegrass version of his song, “Breakers Roar.”
Simpson performed remotely at Nashville’s Station Inn with a seven-piece band covering mandolin, fiddle, banjo, double bass, two acoustic guitars and a snare drum. The group delivered an engrossing rendition of “Breakers Roar” that brightened up the emotional studio version found on Simpson’s 2016 album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.
While recording said album, Simpson met one of his heroes: the studio’s co-owner and famed musician John Prine. The pair hit it off and remained friends up until Prine’s death in April this year.
Simpson recounted their meeting to Colbert elsewhere during The Late Show. “We’d finished the record and I was in there mixing it one day, and I was pretty in the zone… and when I turned around, John was sitting in a chair in these plaid pants,” he recalled. “I kind of freaked out, you know when you come face to face with your hero. And he was like, ‘That was pretty good, do you want to go get some meatloaf?’”
Simpson returned to Prine’s studio to record his recently released 20-track project Cuttin’ Grass – Vol 1 (The Butcher Shoppe Sessions). The album contains bluegrass versions of songs from across Simpson’s own discography.
Watch Simpson’s Colbert performance here: