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Ethan Pilzer

Nadir’s Tribute to Bill Withers – “Sunshine” by Jack Johnson from “Round One”

So many of us have very personal Bill Withers stories. Because she practically dared me, I sang “Use Me” to Akanke Rashad-Omowale at our wedding.

We also recorded this Bill Withers cover for the Jack Johnson Round One album in 1995. That’s Simone White on drums, Ethan Pilzer on bass, Paul Cochrane on guitar, and some dude named Kurtis McFarland on vocals and drum loops.

The album was mixed and co-produced by Rob Feaster and Kurtis at The Castle in Franklin, TN.
Corbin Dooley and Paul Brinberg were the heads of our record label, PC! Music Company. Bill Steber took the band photo.

You can check out the full album on Bandcamp:
http://jackjohnsonroundone.bandcamp.com/album/round-one Name your own price if you want to download it. We will not be mad at you. You might hear some other songs you recognize.

Anyway… We will really miss Bill Withers. His music meant so much to so many of us.

 

Fields Are Burning – Music Inspired By Rodney King & The LA Riots

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F11419098&show_comments=true&auto_play=true&color=ff7300 Jack Johnson (the band) – Fields Are Burning by nomowale

20 years ago today Rodney King was beaten by LA police officers after a high speed chase. The attack was videotaped by a resident in a nearby apartment complex, and later aired around the world. We all witnessed the brutality inflicted by men who were trusted to protect and serve.

Over a year later those police officers were acquitted, and that miscarriage of justice sparked one of the worst race riots in US history. The burning and looting was televised as well. We all watched as black people beat a white truck driver, and entire neighborhoods went up in smoke at the hands of local residents.

2000 miles away in Nashville, Tennessee, my roommate, Steve and I tried to make sense of it all. Steve, who is white, could certainly understand the anger, but couldn’t fathom why these people were so enraged that they would destroy their own community.

In those nights of frank discussion I found it difficult to explain the madness. It was hard for me to articulate to my white middle class friend the frustration and alienation that blacks in America felt at that time.

With this verdict we saw proof that our lives were meaningless in the eyes of the US legal system. Here was evidence that a man had been beaten unjustly, but the perpetrators were found not guilty. A jury of the officer’s peers – not Rodney King’s peers, mind you – said it was okay. This was the America we lived in every day.

Would I be next? There was no way to know.

A few weeks later, I wrote this song. It was recorded in 1995 by my band Jack Johnson for our album Round One. In retrospect, I’m not sure I articulated the anger any better, but I believe the recording, and especially the one-take solo by guitarist Paul Cochrane, captures the frenzy and fury of those long dark days.

Has America improved since then? I think so. But I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I see a squad car behind me. I wonder if that feeling will ever go away…

“Fields Are Burning”
Written by Kurtis McFarland
Performed by Jack Johnson (the band) for the album Round One (PC! Music)
Produced by Kurtis McFarland & Rob Feaster

Paul Cochrane – guitar
Simone White – drums
Ethan Pilzer – bass
Kurtis McFarland – vocals, guitar, programming

Fields Are Burning – Music Inspired By Rodney King & The LA Riots

20 years ago today Rodney King was beaten by LA police officers after a high speed chase. The attack was videotaped by a resident in a nearby apartment complex, and later aired around the world. We all witnessed the brutality inflicted by men who were trusted to protect and serve.

Over a year later those police officers were acquitted, and that miscarriage of justice sparked one of the worst race riots in US history. The burning and looting was televised as well. We all watched as black people beat a white truck driver, and entire neighborhoods went up in smoke at the hands of local residents.

2000 miles away in Nashville, Tennessee, my roommate, Steve and I tried to make sense of it all. Steve, who is white, could certainly understand the anger, but couldn’t fathom why these people were so enraged that they would destroy their own community.

In those nights of frank discussion I found it difficult to explain the madness. It was hard for me to articulate to my white middle class friend the frustration and alienation that blacks in America felt at that time.

With this verdict we saw proof that our lives were meaningless in the eyes of the US legal system. Here was evidence that a man had been beaten unjustly, but the perpetrators were found not guilty. A jury of the officer’s peers – not Rodney King’s peers, mind you – said it was okay. This was the America we lived in every day.

Would I be next? There was no way to know.

A few weeks later, I wrote this song. It was recorded in 1995 by my band Jack Johnson for our album Round One. In retrospect, I’m not sure I articulated the anger any better, but I believe the recording, and especially the one-take solo by guitarist Paul Cochrane, captures the frenzy and fury of those long dark days.

Has America improved since then? I think so. But I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I see a squad car behind me. I wonder if that feeling will ever go away…

“Fields Are Burning”
Written by Kurtis McFarland
Performed by Jack Johnson (the band) for the album Round One (PC! Music)
Produced by Kurtis McFarland & Rob Feaster

Paul Cochrane – guitar
Simone White – drums
Ethan Pilzer – bass
Kurtis McFarland – vocals, guitar, programming

© Nadir Omowale