Tag Archives: Donald Duck Dunn

Bill Withers, Just As I Am (Sussex, 1971)

Gratitude rundown this week:

  • @boomservicenyc on Discogs for your spectacularly low price on that Fatback Band record. I’m following the tracking and it should arrive tomorrow, thanks to the mighty USPS. Related: thank you to the mighty USPS.
  • Jason Hehir for the Last Dance doc on ESPN, and to Rudy Chung, music supervisor, for the decision to put “I’m Bad” over that footage of Michael Jeffrey Jordan LIGHTING UP THE FUCKING CELTICS, because it truly moved me and 5 days later I’m still thinkin about it so bravo.
  • My mom for location scouting for me because I needed a brick wall to do this cover. In the end, I was too self-conscious to take a pic out in the real world so I used brick photo paper in my living room, but Mom, your kindness did not go unnoticed.
  • Wild, wonderful West Virginia, for giving us Jerry West, the white Jason Williams, Randy Moss, and William Harrison Withers, Jr.
  • Stills, Nash, Booker T., and anyone else in the studio during the Just As I Am sessions, for encouraging Bill to leave all 26 “I know”s in “Ain’t No Sunshine.”
  • WordPress’ generous character allowance for its captions, as it has allowed me to self-indulgently write all these lines while I struggle with thinking of something fitting to say about Bill Withers that would describe how his music has shaped me but still… I got nothin, other than to say his voice is like a hug on your grandma’s porch and goddammn if this man couldn’t take the most regular mundane thing in life like a Harlem radiator and show you some meaning and beauty in it that you’ve been overlooking while you’re getting ready for work and worrying about your checking account.

Mitch Ryder, The Detroit-Memphis Experiment (DOT, 1969)

HFS Mitch 1264

The actual Detroit-Memphis experiment was that time Willie Mitchell produced Bob Seger, and then Dilla did that SICK remix of Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ the Dog.” There’s that super secret Derrick May & Sam Phillips collab I’ve heard about too. But I’ll allow this album title, I guess.

Album from Dot Records, produced by the god Steve Cropper. Fake sky backdrop (ain’t no way I’m going outside topless) by Office Depot.  Eyebrows from when the Moors conquered Europe. Waist-hip ratio from Mom, tacos, and forgetting to eat sometimes because my antidepressant decreases my appetite.