Editor’s Note: Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan will talk about co-hosting the 52nd annual ACM Awards on an all-new CMT Hot 20 Countdown on Saturday (April 1) and Sunday (April 2) at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan turned the Late Show with Stephen Colbert into a late night honky-tonk on Wednesday’s (March 29) show with their live cover of Merle Haggard‘s “Ramblin’ Fever.” The two were backed by New Orleans musician Jon Batiste and his band, Stay Human.
Before their performance, they conversed with Colbert in what was Bentley’s first couch interview on late night TV, and exchanged their best advice on hosting major award shows. Bentley and Bryan said having booze around always helps so they keep a full bar stocked backstage.
“We encourage the audience to drink, too,” Bryan joked.
Colbert then listed nine acts who are nominated for ACMs that have performed on his show at the famous Ed Sullivan Theater. They were Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Lori McKenna and Bentley with Elle King.
“What’s amazing is,” Bryan said, “when we were walking up the stairs to come up, I was like ‘Gosh, a lot of cool people have come up these stairs.'”
That’s when Colbert pointed out that Elvis Presley performed right where their interview was taking place.
“He’s your dream collaboration,” Bentley said pointing to Bryan.
“Living or dead,” Bryan said. “I choose Elvis, which is a weird thing to ask somebody. People are like, ‘Living or dead? Who would you like to perform with?’ I’m like, ‘That’s kind of weird.’ I always say Elvis, which is kind of weird, too, I guess.”
Who is Colbert’s dream collaborator? Jesus.