Anthony David would rank high among the artists whom fans would want to explore the Bill Withers songbook. The two soulful singer/songwriters have a few things in common: Both are great guitarists and lyricists who have a penchant for crafting stories and using songs to create memorable characters. David and Withers are also military veterans.
So, it’s not surprising that Hello Like Before, David’s heartfelt and faithful tribute to the music of Bill Withers, includes a version of “I Can’t Write Left-Handed.” David doesn’t stray too far from Withers’ classic version of this Vietnam era tune about the micro-level cost of war, right down to the dirge-like hums from the backing vocalists. What distinguishes David’s version is the personal touch that he gives to the monolog that opens the tune. Withers wrote this song in 1973, and recorded it around the time that America’s military role in Southeast Asia was coming to an end. Withers introduced “I Can’t Write Left-Handed” by telling the now famous story his encounter with the veteran who asked him to write a letter to his mother because the man’s right arm had been amputated.
By Howard Dukes