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Jimmy Fallon Discovers Thad Cockrell + Invites Him On Tonight Show With The Roots

January 27, 2021


Performs “Swingin’” with The Roots on The Tonight Show

Watch Jimmy Fallon’s Story of Discovering Thad’s Song in a Hardware Store

“This is my anthem, I love this song… When you want to give up, don’t give up! If you’re going to go down, you go down swingin’!” – Jimmy Fallon


Nashville’s Thad Cockrell made his television debut last night in a huge way, performing his single “Swingin’” with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Just three weeks ago, Cockrell had sent his managers an email saying he needed to consider new career options after he wasn’t able to tour on the back of his 2020 album If In Case You Feel the Same. The very next day, he received a call saying that Fallon himself had requested he perform on the show.

Fallon fell in love with the song and its inspirational message after hearing it at a hardware store and Shazaming it. He even told the story on last Friday’s show, saying, “It became my anthem. Because I’m like, when you want to give up, don’t give up! If you’re going to go down, you go down swingin’! This is my anthem, I love this song.” Cockrell shared the clip on his Instagramand it went viral over the weekend, with artists including Sheryl Crow, Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, RaeLynn, and Cassadee Popesharing it. “Ahhh I love this!!,” Crow wrote on her Instagram. “@JimmyFallon – it was meant to be that you were in the store when that song played! Congrats to @ThadCockrell – can’t wait to watch your performance on @FallonTonight! #GreatSongsMatter.” Meanwhile, streams of “Swingin’” doubled, all before the performance even happened.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Fallon recalls the song catching his ear: “It had this George Harrison-y feel, or ELO, Jeff Lynne-type of vibes. I just stood there and listened to the whole song. I was mesmerized… I just kept listening to it. It’s a great song to crank in the car on the way home.” And of Cockrell’s debut on the show, he adds, “It’s those moments where you’re like, ‘Yeah, man, I know it’s hard, the grind is tough!’ But it just goes to show, don’t give up.”




Thad Cockrell has been releasing music both under his own name and with his band Leagues for two decades; he is also a collaborative songwriter who has written with Joy Williams (on her GRAMMY-nominated 2019 album Front Porch), Devon Gilfillian, Joseph and Mathew Caws of Nada Surf. “Swingin’” appears on Cockrell’s 2020 solo album If In Case You Feel the Same, which was produced mainly by Tony Berg (an industry veteran who’s worked with everyone from Phoebe Bridgers to the Replacements) and mixed and engineered by Shawn Everett (Vampire Weekend, Beck, The War on Drugs) and features an all-star backing band throughout – ATO labelmate Brittany Howard (backing vocals on album standout “Higher”), Blake Mills (guitar), Chris Dave (drums), Matt Chamberlain (drums), Ethan Gruska (piano, synths), Ian Fitchuk (multiple instruments). Buoyed by the support of Brittany Howard, whom he first met over a 4 a.m. pitcher of homemade margaritas, Cockrell set to work on his first solo effort in over a decade: an album that exposes his deepest insecurities and weaknesses, all for the sake of creating a transcendent connection with the audience. The album earned praise from outlets including NPR Music, the New York Times, American Songwriter, and No Depression. If In Case You Feel the Same is available to stream and purchase HERE.