By Annie Reuter
(Jeremy D. Larson/

Bryce Dessner and Matt Berninger of The National. (Jeremy D. Larson/

Stephen Colbert is celebrating “Christmas Carol Week” this week on The Colbert Report, kicking things off last night (December 16) with a collaboration between indie rockers The National and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman.

The National frontman Matt Berninger alternated lead vocals with Allman and Colbert on the classic holiday track “Silver Bells.” Berninger’s deep baritone blended surprisingly well with Allman’s familiar wavering vocals. Meanwhile, Colbert assisted on harmonies, not to mention an intriguing yet questionable spoken-word portion mid-song.

Also ahead on The National front, the band is nominated for Best Alternative Music Album for Trouble Will Find Me. In an interview with earlier this year, the Brooklyn rockers spoke of their Grateful Dead tribute album, due out next year. Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Kurt Vile and the War on Drugs all signed up to take part in the project.

“We’re taking our time with it, that’s part of the fun. We’re trying to enjoy the process,” Bryce Dessner said. “One thing that we’re looking at with this idea of doing a Dead tribute is just sort of examining who are unlikely fans of The Dead, and one person I would say is a composer name David Lang is a really important kind of post-minimalist composer — he won the Pultizer prize a couple of years ago — he’s like a massive Dead fan.”


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