Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Artist of the week that a old head told me to check out: Bill Withers

This weeks edition of "Artist of the week that a old head told me to check out", I'm sorry to say, is a rather disappointing one. I informed my alcoholic jazz legend friend that I had a decent amount of knowledge when it comes to music so when I ask him for an obscure group or act, I fucking mean obscure. So because I had this silly rule that I would profile the first person that he brought up, regardless if I was familiar with their work or not, today's artist is Bill Withers.. a dude I'm familiar with. As I handed saxophone Willy his bottle of booze as payment he could see my disgusted look, but he went on to put me through a half hour rant on Bill Withers that I already knew. Because I respect my elders I thanked Willy for his time, but was forced to say as I left "Obscure.. Oooob-Scuuuure!!"

Bill Withers is a great soul force that recorded from the 60's to the 80's, with memorable tunes that you and your mother bob your collective heads to. Born is West Virginia, he joined the Navy at seventeen and stayed in for 9 years before moving to L.A in 1967. He has blessed the world with classics like "Ain't no Sunshine"(a song I played continuously when I was kicked out an apartment I shared with my then girlfriend because she wanted to be with a bum instead of me. But come to think of it, I was the one that was forced to leave, so it was more like "Ain't no sunshine when I'M gone.), "Lean on Me", "Use Me", "Lovely Day", and "Just the Two of Us". His songs have been covered by the likes of Club Nouveau, British glam rock band Mud, Grace Jones, Fiona Apple, Me'Shell NdegeOcello, and Anthony Hamilton. If you don't know about this guy already you should learn, or sit in front of a gun shop and ponder your existence for a while. You can check out the classic Bill Withers song "Ain't No Sunshine"(You know, the one I mentioned earlier, the song I was playing when I was feeling sorry for myself that on my girlfriend left me for a fucking peasant? Yeah, that one) on my myspace page.


Horus said...

"...or sit in front of a gun shop and ponder your existence for a while."

Great Line! Great Blog!

vik said...

can't deny the power of bill withers.

he made timeless music, stopped while he was on top, and decided to full-time raised his family.

probably makin some nice hip hop sample skrilla too.


abbababba said...

the cover of Ain't No Sunshine by the phat cat players is one of...maybe the only great remake of a song i have ever heard...made me want to try and commit to the violin again after 10 years of giving it up after 6 months of playing!

...nice choice!