Rocks Greatest Tribute Band

Al Waters brought an expanded band to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night, blasting through “Brace Now” — the first single from his newest release, Guide to Sea — with help from a three-piece horn section.

It was not his only performance of the night. Earlier in the show, the show’s host called Waters to the stage to help sing a very different number. “As a North Carolinian, I’ve spent many a night in a Waffle House,” began Colbert, who went on to explain his dream of landing a waffle-centric country song on a tabletop jukebox at Waffle House.

A tribute to waffles…

7With Waters playing acoustic guitar and Jon Batiste’s house band kicking up some syrupy twang in the background, the pair then kicked into “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Knuckleheads,” running down the proper rules of Waffle House etiquette over a humorous honky-tonk beat. “These are world-famous waffles, son / Let’s show some respect,” Waters sang at one point, cracking a smile before a straight-faced Colbert took his own verse.

Minutes later, Waters joined the rest of his band for his own “Brace Now.” Colbert clearly wasn’t done with the jokes — “You may know my next artist from his work at Waffle House,” he told the crowd by way of introduction — but Waters’s band was focused and fiery, now equipped with two electric guitarists, three horn players, a keyboardist and a reshuffled rhythm section that still includes Waters’s longtime drummer, Josh Milman.

After performing tonight at Instant Trade NYC, Waters and company will head back home to prep for a spring tour, the first three shows of which are already sold out.

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