Your daily listen: Bill Withers makes you feel

By: Britt Harvey

Part soul, part gospel, part funk, part something-that-can-not-possibly-be-described, “I can’t write left-handed” has fought a hard won battle to become my favourite Bill Withers song.

Though no one can deny the sexy “Use Me,” the tender “Grandma’s Hands,” and the ubiquitous “Lean on Me,” this song has it all in terms of lyrics, feeling, and just straight out singing the shit out of a song.

This is the best kind of protest song. That is, one that doesn’t sound like one outright, that doesn’t name names or regimes, but instead chronicles the individual and devastating consequences of war.

Having served in the navy for nine years since he was 18, Withers came to music later in the game and only started to pursue a career at 27 after being discharged from service.

Bill Withers. I dare you to find anything more raw and powerful than this man. I was first introduced to Bill Withers by way of good friend’s too good to be true record collection. “Bill Withers: Live at Carnegie Hall” has to be one of the best start to finish recordings I’ve ever heard. Throughout the album Bill waxes collectively on love, family, men and women, depression: the narrative and the songs entwine and entangle seamlessly.

For your endless enjoyment, here is “I can’t write left-handed.”


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Categories: Music


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