Dave Matthews brought guitarist Tim Reynolds and a string quartet to The Late Show on Wednesday for a performance of “Samurai Cop.” “Samurai Cop” is a relatively recent entry in Matthews’ discography; he debuted it live last year during a show celebrating his group’s 25th anniversary.
Matthews and Reynolds opened with tightly entangled patterns on guitars. The violinists joined quietly, plucking strings, before adding their own melodies. “Samurai Cop” is an understated plea for compassion and tolerance. “Let’s not forget these early days,” Matthews sang, “remember we began the same.” He pushed his voice from a growling low register all the way to piercing falsetto.
Matthews has spoken about his strong musical connection with Reynolds. “He’s the greatest guitar player I’ve ever met,” the singer told Rolling Stone in 2015. “He is so constantly spontaneous and really is so connected to what he’s doing when he plays that it almost makes no difference what I do… when I play with Tim, it’s sort of like I’m being carried. He’s a profound musical talent.”
During the interview portion of Colbert, Matthews touched on the disastrous Fyre Festival. “I don’t want to belittle suffering, but I do hope that the Fyre Festival goes down almost as fantastic as Woodstock,” he said, shaking his head and smirking. “It’s terrible, I know it’s terrible … but that kind of disappointment, that kind of surprise…”
Watch the full clip below: