Last year, Alabama Shakes leader Brittany Howard released her thoughtful, funky, genre-agnostic solo album Jaime. Howard had already proven herself as a great rock frontwoman, and the LP and her ensuing tours allowed Howard to branch out further, investigating all the different things her voice could do. On late night shows during the album’s promo cycle, she’s been a tremendous presence, all fiery vocals and big-stage charisma. And last night, during a quarantine episode of Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, she showed that she can shine even in less theatrical settings.
Howard usually plays great in front of a crowd. She obviously can’t do that now. But as the musical guest on Fallon last night, Howard sang in a studio with a band — bassist, guitarist, drummer, keyboardist, two backing singers — with her. (It sure feels great to hear people playing music in a room together again, even if you can’t be in the same room as them.) Howard sang a relatively subtle and restrained version of “Goat Head,” a Jaime song about a hate crime that someone committed against her family when she was a child.
“Goat Head” is not a belter of a song, and Howard sang it with a powerful sense of timing and attitude. She communicated anger and confusion along with a sort of drawling, theatrical pride. It’s a very cool performance. Watch it below.
Jaime is out now on ATO.