Watch Jim James Cover Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” From Home for “Stephen Colbert” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Watch Jim James Cover Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” From Home for “Stephen Colbert”

Withers Passed Away Last Week

Apr 07, 2020 Bill Withers
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Soul legend Bill Withers died last week due to heart complications. For last night’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which Colbert is currently doing from home, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James performed a cover of Withers’ classic “Lean On Me,” filmed in his home with just him on guitar and singing. Watch it below.

Last year James released The Order of Nature, a new live album recorded with The Louisville Orchestra in collaboration with conductor/arranger/composer Teddy Abrams, via Decca Gold. Previously James shared the album’s first track, “Set It to Song,” as well as a video for the track. He performed the album’s “Back to the End of the World” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with Abrams and members of The Louisville Orchestra.

The Order of Nature was performed on April 6-7, 2018 as part of the Louisville Orchestra’s annual Festival of American Music. The April 7 performance is the one that made it on the album. It was recorded in one take and features no overdubs. The album features some of James’ previous songs, as well as new songs. Abrams spent several months working on the arrangements.

Withers was born on July 4, 1938 in Slab Fork, West Virginia and had a string of hits in the 1970s and 1980s, including “Ain’t No Sunshine” (1971), “Grandma’s Hands” (1971), “Use Me” (1972), “Lean on Me” (1972), “Lovely Day” (1977), and “Just the Two of Us” (1980). Withers released eight studio albums, stretching from 1971’s Just As I Am to 1985’s Watching You Watching Me. “Lovely Day” was written by Withers and Skip Scarborough and is notable for a sustained note held by Withers for 18 seconds, one of the longest notes ever in a Top 40 pop song. He was 81 at the date of his death.

Read our interview with Jim James on the 2018 midterm elections.

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