From Anthony David’s forthcoming album, Hello Like Before (due out Sept 21st), comes the first single, the Bill Withers cover “I Can’t Write Left-Handed.”
Officially to be released on July 4th, the birthday of both Bill Withers and the nation, “I Can’t Write Left-Handed” is a song that means a lot to David since his and Withers’ lives parallel: the song was written in 1973 after Wither’s served in the Vietnam War and like the iconic singer/songwriter, David began his musical career after serving in the military, participating in combat in Desert Storm and like Withers, David plays the acoustic guitar.
“I Can’t Write Left-Handed” is not one of Bill Withers’ best-known songs, as it was not released as a single or even recorded in a studio version. It was initially only available on his Live At Carnegie Hall album. It is not a conventional “anti-war” song but rather a ground-level exploration of what war means and the military to ordinary men. In Anthony David’s version, informed by his own combat experience, he emphasizes in his opening monologue: “this is not political.”
His forthcoming album Hello Like Before is David’s tribute to Bill Withers, whom he says he gets a lot of inspiration from. “In many ways Bill Withers is the artist most influential to my music career,” confides Anthony David. “When I started, I considered myself more of a writer than a singer and for the subject matter and instrumentation on my first project, people would always point and mention his name on terms of my sound. Once I refreshed myself on his music that I grew up with, it gave me confidence, because up until then I wasn’t sure there was a space for me. I’ve covered some of his songs in my sets and there are so many great ones I wanted to do the big classics, plus some deeper in his catalog that I’ve always loved.”