Has there ever been a house band for a late-night talk show that are this revered? It’s not like the Max Weinberg 7 were ever considered cool, or won multiple awards like this little group from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Obviously the Roots were ultra-cool way before Fallon, dropping consistently solid albums and being the most in-demand of any live band out there. But since joining the show four seasons ago, their profile has risen along with their game. December saw the release of the outstanding Undun (Def Jam), rivaled only by Game Theory or possibly Phrenology in the outfit’s canon — despite a continuing exodus of members over the years. Figure in a diverse nature that allows them to play events from this year’s NHL Winter Classic, cover U2 songs for a tribute to Bono, or curating their own annual music festival in their native Philadelphia, and the Roots are not just one of the best R&B acts, but one of the best groups ever.
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