Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

356

Bill Withers: Just As I Am

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Withers
Just As I Am
Columbia/Legacy
2005

The 1960s and early 1970s were a time for social reform in the United States. Popular folk singers such as Bill Withers made a difference in our lives by helping to shape general attitudes and by pointing out where change was sorely needed. This need exists today with as much urgency as before. We need more social activists like Withers who can communicate with us through their songs.

In his video interview, the singer is right on target, reminding us where we stand today. Social progress? Yes, there's been some, but the road is long and hard. He speaks candidly about his humble start, the hard work that went into these best-selling songs, and the joy that he's garnered from knowing that he made a difference.

This DualDisc provides remarkable insight into the seeds that grew his music and what made it all happen. Whether we consider ourselves white-collar professionals, blue-collar workers or no-collar personalities, the music means the same to all of us. It's a wake-up call that needs to be answered.

The solemn "I'm Her Daddy," "Moanin' and Groanin'," and "In My Heart" come from acoustic roots, placing the focus on Withers' vocals, his guitar, and his foot stompin' on a wooden crate. These natural elements help to take his message to the people. The best-selling "Harlem" and "Ain't No Sunshine" include strings in their arrangements, expanding the sound considerably. "Grandma's Hands" and "Better Off Dead" come equipped with pared-down homespun messages that carry the same properties as soulful gospel or blues.

Withers communicates well with a large audience, both through his popular songs and through his vivid interview. We all need to stop and take a few lessons from this veteran singer/songwriter who's been there and who knows what it's all about.


Tracks: Harlem; Ain't No Sunshine; Grandma's Hands; Sweet Wanomi; Everybody's Talkin'; Do it Good; Hope She'll Be Happier; Let it Be; I'm Her Daddy; In My Heart; Moanin' and Groanin'; Better Off Dead (35:37).

Personnel: Bill Withers: vocals, acoustic guitar; Booker T. Jones: keyboards, guitar; Stephen Stills: guitar; Al Jackson, Jim Keltner: drums; Bobbye Hall Porter: percussion.

Program Notes: Directed by George T. Nierenberg. Special features: 20-minute video documentary with interview and full video performances of "Ain't No Sunshine," "I'm Her Daddy," and "Harlem."


Visit Bill Withers on the web.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read La La Land DVD/Film Reviews La La Land
by Gareth Thomas
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl DVD/Film Reviews Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl
by Doug Collette
Published: October 7, 2017
Read Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015 DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First 40 Years DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At Carnegie Hall DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Rolling Stones - Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America" DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones - Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings" DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First 40 Years" DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home - Deluxe 10th Anniversary  Edition" DVD/Film Reviews Bob Dylan: No Direction Home - Deluxe 10th Anniversary ...
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Fathom Events Presents "The Grateful Dead Movie"" DVD/Film Reviews Fathom Events Presents "The Grateful Dead Movie"
by Doug Collette
Published: April 30, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!