Keb’ Mo’ has today released a cover of Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me” from his forthcoming album Good To Be, released on January 21, 2021 via Rounder Records.
“‘Lean on Me’ is probably one of the most famous songs about friendship”, Keb’ Mo says of the track, which you can check out below. “I wanted to record it to honor my friend, Bill Withers, who we sadly lost last year. What makes this version special to me is the contribution from my lifelong friend, the Freedom Rider, Ernest ‘Rip’ Patton, who passed on this year. This was the last time I got to record his booming bass voice. I’m gonna miss calling on my brothers.”
Last Month, Keb’ Mo’ announced the new album with the official video for “Good Strong Woman” featuring Darius Rucker. Guitar World said the song “…flexes the guitarist’s impeccable blues-based abilities via some pinpoint slide licks, as well as his supremely soulful vocals.” Earlier this year, he released “Sunny and Warm” and “The Medicine Man” (feat. Old Crow Medicine Show), which will both appear on the forthcoming album.
Good To Be was co-produced by Keb’ Mo’ alongside country music legend Vince Gill, who produced three of the album’s 13 tracks, and three-time Grammy winner Tom Hambridge (B.B. King, Buddy Guy). Darius Rucker, Kristin Chenoweth, and Old Crow Medicine Show all make guest appearances on the album.
The album was written between Nashville and his childhood home in Compton, California, which Keb’ recently purchased and renovated. He often found himself reflecting on the idea of home and contemplating what it means to belong and what it takes to stay true to yourself. “You can’t bring an attitude to Compton,” reflects Keb’. “You can’t pose. You can’t be anything but real when you’re walking down the same streets you used to ride your bike on as a kid. In a lot of ways, coming back there felt like it completed me.”