Strand of Oaks‘ Timothy Showalter brought along a stage full of ringers to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday night (March 13) for a run through the wistful “Ruby” from the Indiana rocker’s upcoming sixth album Eraserland album (March 22).
In addition to a few members of My Morning Jacket, the low-key SoA singer was backed by Americana favorites (and real-life couple) guitarist/singer Jason Isbell and singer/fiddle player Amanda Shires, all of whom appear on the album.
With his long wavy hair cascading over a dark jacket with a tie-dye-like pattern, Showalter harmonized with Shire on the mid-tempo song’s double-time pre-chorus, singing, “Put down your mind/ Light up and shine/ Reach out of me and feel it/ Gonna make your move and/ Act like a fool/ Quit holding back and waiting for the ending.”
With MMJ drummer Bo Koster and bassist Tom Blankenship adding rich, earthy backing on the typically nostalgic Showalter anthem, a low-key Isbell hung in the background for the most part playing rhythm guitar, ripping off a modest, brief solo as the song chugged to a big finish.
In a press statement, Showalter explained that “Ruby” is actually the “happiest” song he’s ever written: “Ruby isn’t a person, rather the concept of time and memory and how with every passing year it becomes non linear. In the past I would’ve dismissed such unabashedly pure optimism, but I’ve been through a lot and I’ve learned to appreciate those rare moments of light.”
Watch Strand of Oaks perform “Ruby” below.