That only a handful of artists are able to do Bill Withers justice, especially when it comes to some of his most famous work, is what makes Jarvis Church’s newly minted cover of “Just The Two Of Us” — available now — so refreshing… It pays fitting homage to the late legend, while remaining unique all on its own.
The release is fresh from Jarvis Church’s forthcoming album, The Soul Station Vol 3: A Tribute to Bill Withers and Beyond — the latest in an ongoing series paying tribute to his favourite soul singers.
“This time, however, there’s a twist,” Jarvis hints of the new offering that features four inventive and contemporary reimaginings of Withers’ hits. “I decided to lose the retro sound, and interpret these classics with contemporary modern production.
“And, for each of the modern production styles of the four Bill Withers classics, I used contemporary hits as sonic references. See if you can identify them…”
In addition to “Just The Two Of Us,” The Soul Station Vol 3: will also include “Lovely Day,” “Use Me,” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Deliberately missing? “Lean On Me,” he reveals. “I did about five versions of it, but I couldn’t get a modern take I was happy with. Club Nouveau’s version was one of my favourite songs when I was a kid; there was just no way to top that.”
It’s this unbridled passion for soul music and modern production that fuse together to make both Jarvis Church’s cover of “Just The Two Of Us, as well as The Soul Station Vol 3: A Tribute To Bill Withers and Beyond, so special. Listening to the retro addition of high-pitched saxophone wailing, coupled with modern house synths and drum kits, invites new and old listeners alike to experience the song from a unique angle.
“The album also features five original songs that take my love of soul and house music ‘Beyond,’” he adds, with a nod to the title. “It is ‘Beyond’ part that was an invitation for me to make the kind of music that really excites me, especially since, like so many people around the world, I found solace in my craft during the isolation of the pandemic. The genesis of The Soul Station series was my love for performing live… What better way than combining my 20-year catalog of original songs with my favourite soul singer classics?”
Based in Los Angeles, with his roots in Toronto, Jarvis Church is the lead singer for the R&B-pop group The Philosopher Kings; it was during the group’s 10 year hiatus that he started his solo career with the release of his debut album, Shake It Off.
From there, Jarvis Church has actively been paying homage to the artists who inspired him as a young soul-singer. Following the release of his past Soul Station Volumes, including The Soul Station Vol. 1: The Songs of Sam Cooke, A Tribute, and The Soul Station Vol 2: The Songs of Curtis Mayfield: A Tribute, Church moves forward with his newest album release — set to arrive this Spring 2022.
“Just The Two Of Us” is available now.