Having the co-sign of Jack White may sound like a free ride to stardom, but if the past few months have taught the world anything about Lillie Mae, it’s that she could get there just fine on her own. The Third Man protégé released her debut solo LP, Forever & Then Some, in April and on Tuesday she gave a simmering performance of her single “Over the Hill and Through the Woods” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
While Forever & Then Some marks her first release under her own name, 26-year-old Lillie Mae Rische is no stranger to the stage, having been a full-time musician in her family’s band Jypsi since she was 9. She’s no stranger to being on television, either, thanks to the six years she spent playing fiddle and singing backup vocals in White’s touring band, so it’s no surprise that she appears totally comfortable on the Ed Sullivan Theater stage. Charmingly, Mae even says a quick “Thank you” to Stephen Colbert for his introduction before starting the song.
Flanked by her brother Frank Rische on guitar and sister Grace on harmonies, Lillie Mae opens “Over the Hill and Through the Woods” trading licks with Frank on her fiddle – an opening not featured when she performed the same song on Conan in April – before switching over to acoustic guitar. “I never saw you coming, sure didn’t think you’d be gone so soon,” she belts out, dropping the hammer on the first verse. The next two and a half minutes show Mae in a noticeably authoritative mood that suggests she has plenty of staying power.
Forever & Then Some, which was produced by White, was released on Third Man Records on April 14th. Mae hits the road next month starting with a show at Proud Larry’s in Oxford, Mississippi on July 15th.