Fortunately, Jimmy Fallon knows his way around a guitar. The Tonight Show host stepped in to play rhythm during Chris Stapleton’s Tuesday night appearance on Fallon’s talk show after the country singer’s usual guitarist — his producer Dave Cobb — bowed out with an earache.
Fallon told his audience that Stapleton had texted him the night before saying he needed a guitarist for his performance of “You Should Probably Leave.” “I said to Chris, ‘Say no more,’” Fallon joked. “We Facetimed and [he] tried to teach me the lick and the chords to the song.”
Together, Stapleton and Fallon delivered a loose version of the Starting Over track, backed by Stapleton’s band of drummer Derek Mixon, bassist J.T. Cure, keys player Lee Pardini, and the Nashville vocalist’s wife and harmony partner, Morgane Stapleton. Fallon mainly handled rhythm guitar, but took a brief star turn on a one-note solo. He also couldn’t resist hamming it up, ad libbing, “I should probably leave,” near the end of the performance.
Stapleton’s All-American Road Show Tour stops at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Friday night, with Yola and Marcus King opening. He’s also one of the top nominees at the upcoming CMA Awards, tying with Eric Church with five nominations.