Chris Stapleton didn't pull any punches Monday night (Dec. 7) when the veteran country musician brought his slow-burning "Devil Always Made Me Think Twice" to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

That's because, while TV music performances in the pandemic era are essentially just pre-taped music videos (as Stereogum rightly points out), Stapleton's late-night run-through of the Starting Over number proved that he and his band were undoubtedly performing the song live — warts and all.

The performance clip, captured with multiple cameras, displayed the bona fides in close-up shots of the musicians working their instruments. For sure, it's a befitting presentation of the earthy cut that appears as the second track on Starting Over, Stapleton's fourth studio album, released last month.

Is it country music? Roots rock? Americana? It doesn't matter. The singer behind the song doesn't give any credence to genre restrictions.

"I don't consciously think about that," Stapleton tells Vulture. "I don't think about making music for awards or any other reason than trying to do something that I would like, or that I think is listenable or proper. I'm fine if I fall into one category more than another, and I'm not unaware that I jump around a little more than some people think I should, but music is music."

Well said, Chris. If anything, the rumbling-like-a-freight-train Colbert version of "Devil Always Made Me Think Twice" should show listeners that being real is a lot more meaningful than being trendy.

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