On Tuesday night, Brandi Carlile virtually stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote her new memoir, Broken Horses. The musician and the host primarily talked about her “stream of consciousness” writing approach for the book and her “faith journey as a queer person”. Right before the segment’s end, though, Colbert asked Carlile if she would treat him to a cover of Joni Mitchell, and Carlile happily obliged with an acoustic rendition of “A Case of You”.
In a way, this cover song was a multiple-year-long dream for Colbert. Back in 2019, Carlile performed the entirety of Mitchell’s iconic 1971 album Blue at the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. Colbert wasn’t able to score tickets and the event was never captured on camera for public viewing. So the host took it upon himself to see if he could treat himself — and, by extension, the thousands of viewers tuning in — to a special live reprise.
“Would you be able or willing to do any part of it right now?” asked Colbert, after explaining how badly he wanted to see that show. With a huge grin on her face, Carlile chuckled and said, “I mean, I could be convinced,” before pulling an acoustic guitar onto her lap.
For her abridged take on “A Case of You”, Carlile played with a hint of her trademark country tinge. The acoustic guitar could barely be heard as Carlile’s powerhouse vocals stole the spotlight, alternating between belted notes and barely-there fadeouts in what was an undeniably heartfelt delivery.
Watch her full performance, as well as the interview before it, via the videos below.
Earlier this year, Brandy Carlile moved fans with her cover of John Prine’s “I Remember Everything” as well as her in memoriam tribute performance at the 2021 Grammys. Everything she does sounds tender and earnest in a way that recalls the greats of folk rock’s heyday, so it’s no wonder everyone from Leslie Jordan to Cyndi Lauper and the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb consider themselves big fans these days.