Six weeks after the show-stealing CMA Awards performance that pushed him to the top of Billboard‘s all-genre album chart, Chris Stapleton is still hitting the TV circuit. During a visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night, the singer performed “Sometimes I Cry,” a searing slow-burner that earned a rare “we’re not worthy” bow from house drummer ?uestlove.
In the video above, Stapleton — joined by a bare-boned, two-person band, a marked difference from the small army of horn players and sidemen who backed him up during the CMA duet with Justin Timberlake — centered the audience’s focus on his voice, leaping into every chorus with a blistering wail of blue notes. It’s a performance that closely mirrors that one captured on Traveller, where “Sometimes I Cry” closes out a tracklist filled with equal doses of southern soul and Kentucky country. That recording was also a live take, with Stapleton and company recording “Sometimes I Cry” in a single performance at the end of a January 2015 listening party, accompanied by more than 100 Nashville-area songwriters and industry employees who’d stuck around to watch.
“Whoa! Melt the TV right there!” shouts an excited Jimmy Fallon after the TV performance, which marks one of Stapleton’s final gigs of the year. After performing a free New Year’s Eve performance in downtown Nashville, the Grammy nominee will immediately kickstart his 2016 tour with a sold-out show in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 1st.