FTC: Bill Withers

Not really my closet, more like your cool uncle’s closet.  Or that guy down the street who works at the vintage clothing shop and wears orange turtle necks and big collared leather jackets.  This week’s FTC features Bill Withers, a soulful singer/songwriter/genius from the 1970s whose concentrated but powerful R&B and Soul songs left an indelible mark on modern music.  Though he hasn’t released any new music in awhile, you can’t escape his songs.  His track “Lean On Me” is a standard, like “You Are My Sunshine” that was written 35 years earlier, it is hard to identify this song with any particular artist.  It is timeless, and belongs to all of us.  Of course “Aint No Sunshine” is a perfect song.  The heartfelt delivery and soulful vocal tell such a compelling story on their own that you hardly notice the a capella 3rd verse that just repeats “I know” twenty six times.  Alicia Keys owes her career to this song.  Notice the vocal intro, the minor key progression… Bill Withers should get royalties for every time “Fallin” was played in 2001…  And the hook to “No Diggity”…  There are more to speak of, but the track we’re going with today is “Use Me”.  Another funky, simple, but powerful track built around Bill’s strong vocal and a locked-in backing band.  Come back Bill.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/12-Use-Me-Single-Version.mp3]

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