RNR News and Notes

Remembering John Prine and Bill Withers - Artists Pay Tribute to the Latest Losses of the Musical World

With two of music's heavy weights passing in one week - naturally the tributes have come pouring in. 


Soul legend Bill Withers passed on March 30, 2020 from heart complications at the age of 81.  


In a statement to the Associated Press his family said:


We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other. As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.

Some of the tributes to Withers include:


Jim James of My Morning Jacket performing a resonating version of 'Lean on Me' on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (from home of course) 




Portugal. the Man revealed their cover of 'Lovely Day' along with this touching message:


We did a cover of “Lovely Day”, we know it pales in comparison to the original but there is something special that happens when you learn how to play your favorite songs. We grew up listening to AM radio in remote Alaska and Bill Withers was one of the mainstays on those long drives to the grocery store. Bill’s music is imprinted in our DNA. It touches everything we do and we love him for the gifts he gave us. Bill will be missed but his music will live on forever. 

Thank you Bill. We love you.



The second musician lost in the week was John Prince - the legendary singer songwriter who succumbed to coronavirus complications.  


The tributes are pouring in for John as well - 


Fellow folk icon Joan Baez shared a video of her at home playing Prine’s “Hello in There”



Local musician Tristan Gilbert posted his tribute - a cover of In Spite of Ourselves 



Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, along with his sons Spencer and Sammy, covered “Illegal Smile” during on of theirStuffinourhoue livestreams:



The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy posted a cover of  Prine during a livestream on Sunday, doing a rendition of “Angel from Montgomery.”