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See Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats’ Sturdy ‘Hey Mama’ on ‘Colbert’

Colorado band to play New Year’s Eve gig with John Prine at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday to perform a heartfelt version of “Hey Mama,” a standout from the band’s latest LP Tearing at the Seams, which was released by Stax Records back in March.

With a slideshow of vintage family photos projected on multiple screens behind the band, Rateliff starts the soulful, slow-rambling tune — an ode to maternal lessons taught with tough love — by strumming plaintive acoustic chords, but as the song progresses, the Night Sweats’ horn-fueled brawn elevates the sentiment. As the groove swells, the song eventually peaks with Rateliff using his husky howl to share some of his mother’s wise words on perseverance: “You ain’t gone far enough to say ‘at least I’ve tried.’”

Rateliff and the band will wrap up the year with five shows in their home state of Colorado this month, before traveling to Nashville for a New Year’s Eve gig with John Prine at the Grand Ole Opry House.

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