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Lean on Him: Bill Withers

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For those passionate about soul, Bill Withers is an Everyman. An airplane mechanic who never played an instrument until he picked up a guitar and decided to teach himself songwriting, before writing “Ain’’t No Sunshine” on one of his first demos out.
A series of retrospective recognitions of Withers’ has been sparked by his recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including his ‘Master Class’ lecture at ASCAP’s EXPO 2015. On Thursday October 1st, the Carnegie Hall held a tribute to his music, in which they recreated his iconic 1972 concert, which is considered a stand-out moment in the history of live music.

A night that already has some of the most timeless voices of a generation now has a modern jazz giant in Branford Marsalis, a muscular soul man in Anthony Hamilton, and a do-it-all dynamo in Jonathan Butler joining D’Angelo, Ledisi, Michael McDonald, Dr. John, Gregory Porter and more at the concert. On Bill Withers’ 77th birthday this year, Jhene Aiko wrote:

“Bill didn’’t start creating music until he was in his 30’s, proving that there is no limit to what you are capable of. One of the things that inspires me the most about Bill is his attention to lyrics and storytelling. It wasn’’t about his image, being flashy, or putting on a “show”. For him, it was about the song. No fluff, just pure feeling. It was about connecting. It was about the music. And it is still about the music.”

playlist
Dr. John Such A Night
B.B. King – You’re Gonna Miss Me
Bill Withers – Ain’t no sunshine (The Total Eclipse Mix)
Ellis & Branford Marsalis – Sweet Lorraine
Bill Withers – Lean On Me
Jonathan Butler More Than Friends
Michael McDonald- I Keep Forgettin
Aloe Blacc – Love Is The Answer
Anthony Hamilton – Charlene
Amos Lee – Arms Of A Woman
Bill Withers – Lovely Day (Sunshine Mix)
Ledisi – Like This
D’ Angelo – Lady
Ed Sheeran – Give Me Love [Official Video]
Kathy Mattea – Where’ve You Been
Bill Withers – Use Me (Live At Carnegie Hall)
Gregory Porter – Liquid Spirit
Keb Mo Better Man
Bill Withers – Grandma’s Hands

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