“Ain’t No Sunshine”–Bill Withers

Great Live Bill Withers

This is another one of those staples among great soulful vocalists. Many are called but few are chosen comes to mind. Bill Withers wrote it and sang the hell out of it on his 1971 release Just as I Am. It is a pure blues wailing over the loss of a woman. The lyrics are sparse and direct. The emotion is real, especially in the Withers and Bland version. King’s rendition sounds like a preacher testifying to the flock. Mayer, well you be the judge.

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
It’s not warm when she’s away
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And she’s always gone too long
Anytime she goes away

Wonder this time where she’s gone
Wonder if she’s gone to stay
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
Anytime she goes away

And I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know,
Hey, I oughtta leave young thing alone
But ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
Only darkness every day
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away

Bobby Blue Bland

Freddie King

John Mayer with a unique Reggae approach.

Selah Sue feat. Ronny Mosuse

Octavius Womack

Matt Andersen

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