Sheryl Crow has released a cover of Bill Withers’ “Lonely Town, Lonely Street” in his honor, following the news of his death last week. The track, recorded prior to the coronavirus quarantine, features vocals from Citizen Cope and production by Steve Jordan.
“I love Bill Withers. His passing last week was a heavy blow, on top of the challenges we’re all facing just trying to live day to day right now,” Crow said in a statement. “After making incredible, beautiful, funky records like ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ ‘Grandma’s Hands,’ ‘Use Me,’ and ‘Lean On Me,’ Bill got tired of the music business and stopped recording in 1985. When I was fortunate enough to meet him, I begged him to make music again and he replied, ‘I am a stonemason now and I am good at it!’ He told me he was happy and didn’t want to make music anymore.”
She continued, “Times like these remind us about what’s really important in life — love, family, living life in harmony with each other and our planet. Bill’s music was about that, and so much more.”
Crow herself released what she has called her final album, Threads, last September. It includes guest features from Bonnie Raitt, Chuck D, Eric Clapton, Sting, Kris Kristofferson, St. Vincent, James Taylor, Maren Morris, Gary Clark Jr., Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, and Neil Young.