You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Head and the Heart Bring Jimmy Fallon Backstage Via ‘Rivers and Roads’ (Watch)

The intimacy of the music room backstage at “The Tonight Show” was put to particularly good use when the sometimes folk-leaning band the Head and the Heart came through, as the group cooked up a low-simmer version of one of their earliest songs, “Rivers and Roads,” with Jimmy Fallon in the middle of the action. Variety has the premiere of the digital-only video.

That the Head and the Heart already have multiple lead vocalists doesn’t prevent Fallon from taking on that role here, too, if only for one line. The host also gets in a bit of piano-top percussion. But he’s setting any comic instincts aside and immersing himself in the solemn hootenanny vibe that made the Head and the Heart folk-rock favorites from the time they first emerged on the Seattle scene in 2009 and independently released a record that same year that included “Rivers and Roads,” marking this as an unofficial 10th anniversary performance.

It’s definitely the season for the valedictory-feeling “Rivers and Roads,” which opens with the lines “A year from now we’ll all be gone / All our friends will move away…” Although what exactly will cause this old gang of theirs to break up goes unspoken, the anthemic sing-along ballad clearly speaks to graduating high school or college seniors. But it’s also been used in other scenarios where friends are about to separate and has been favored by TV music supervisors for farewell moments. The song was used in the series finale of “Chuck” and a season 4 finale of “New Girl,” as well as on the shows “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Good Doctor.”

“Rivers and Roads” was never released as a single but has remained a fan favorite since it appeared on the 2011 re-release of their self-titled debut album on the Sub Pop label. The group has gone on to sign with Warner Records and just released their fourth full-length, “Living Mirage,” in May.

The “Backstage Acoustic” tag here hasn’t been used for many “Tonight Show” performances to date, although the cozily cramped confines of the music room will seem familiar from the show’s other digital video franchises. No classroom instruments here, anyway, but this version of “Rivers and Road” is of a similarly mood-lit vibe to the “Cover Room” videos the show produces, although in this case, obviously, the Head and the Heart are covering themselves.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • 'David Foster: Off the Record' Review:

    Toronto Film Review: 'David Foster: Off the Record'

    By the early 1970s, as the counterculture was dissolving and reconfiguring, there were new pop-star archetypes on the horizon that we still tend to think of — the glam rocker, the sensitive singer-songwriter, the hair-band metal strutter, the prog-rock wizard, the belting pop chanteuse, the punk rocker. But there was another figure of the era [...]

  • does self-described "family brands" business Hasbro

    With Hasbro Acquisition, Is eOne Planning to Offload Family-Unfriendly Properties?

    Hasbro’s $4 billion acquisition of eOne in August instantly put the Canadian toy giant in the league of major entertainment and content companies thanks to eOne’s arsenal of IP assets in music, television and film. But does the self-described “family brands” business that’s home to The Game of Life and My Little Pony align with [...]

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Snoop Dogg Weed

    In the Cannabis Business, Not All Star Strains Are Created Equal

    With the cannabis green rush in full swing, many celebrities are jumping into the fray with their own brands, including such well-known stoners as Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong. But as it turns out, not all star strains are created equal, so we assembled a trio of crack experts to put the product [...]

  • The Cars - Ric OcasekThe Cars

    Ric Ocasek's Death Brings Turbo Boost to the Cars' Sales, Streams and Airplay

    For fans of the Cars, relistening to the band’s music was just what they needed in the hours and days following news of band leader Ric Ocasek’s death. The Cars was the artist with the second-highest overall album sales in the two days following Ocasek’s death, according to BuzzAngle Music, with the Sept. 15-16 long-dormant [...]

  • Richard Branson Jason Felts

    Kaaboo Festival Acquired by Virgin Fest Owner Jason Felts

    Kaaboo, which says it has “shifted the music festival paradigm by offering a highly amenitized festival experience for adults,” is now under new ownership. Virgin Fest founder and CEO Jason Felts (pictured above with Virgin founder Richard Branson) has fully acquired all of the festival brand assets through an affiliate of Virgin Fest, the music [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content