Late-Night TV Music (Juneteenth Edition) | June 18, 2020

Leon Bridges' soul-stirring number is everything you need to hear this morning.


Many if not most of the musical performances on late-night TV are just there to entertain you while sending you off to sleep. And there’s no shame in that. But every now and then, the talk shows manage to deliver something timely. Something topical. Something relevant. On Thursday, that something was Leon Bridges’ soul-stirring performance of the yearning, racially charged ballad Sweeter, backed by a jazz combo featuring pianist Robert Glasper and Terrace Martin on sax. As a way to mark the morning of Juneteenth — and drive home the message behind it — that’s really all you need. And if the late-night TV gods had any sense, they would have stopped there. But they didn’t. So, just to be complete, I’ve also included the other clip of the night: Country party boy Luke Bryan’s cloying ballad Build Me a Daddy, performed in a church. I can only assume it’s supposed to entertain you. Or put you to sleep. But believe me, I don’t like it any more than you do.