In the early 1970s, Bill Withers created a completely fresh mixture of southern R&B, folk, singer/songwriter pop, and soul music, which he employed to great effect on several classic hit singles. Several of Withers' songs have become pop standards, covered by scores of singers and sampled by countless hip-hoppers. Unfortunately, as Withers often shies away from the limelight, his later output has been extremely sporadic.
DISC 1 for Live at Carnegie Hall (CD) Album
By Bill Withers
Despite the import of the occasion--an October 1972 night at America's most prestigious hall--what really impresses about Bill Withers's Live at Carnegie Hall is the good feeling and sense of interplay passed between the star, his band, and the audience. From the surpassingly casual opening of "Use Me" and its build through eight-plus minutes and an extended ending to the complexity and occasional joy of Withers's socio-personal "Lean on Me," "I Can't Write Left-Handed," and a medley of "Harlem" and "Cold Bologna," Carnegie is an underappreciated document of what for a moment was progressive R&B. Always one of music's most humble performers, Withers quietly, intensely proves his mettle over the length of this one-time double LP. --Rickey Wright
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