John Legend's upcoming collaborative release with The Roots is not your average covers album. Aptly titled 'Wake Up!,' the album includes the oft-overlooked Bill Withers track 'I Can't Write Left-Handed,' Ernie Hines' 1970 classic 'Our Generation' and Donny Hathaway's 'Little Ghetto Boy.' When Legend sat down with The BoomBox in April, the singer-songwriter explained how he carefully plucked songs with depth in sound and lyrics.

"It's an album full of socially-conscious songs about empowerment, songs about struggle, songs about standing up for your rights and believing in something bigger than yourself," Legend explains. "Songs about love, connecting people, believing in one another and believing that we all are valuable and that we all have something to offer in the world."

In the following clip, Legend gives us a taste of the studio recording of Withers' 'I Can't Write Left-Handed.' Originally recorded in 1973 for the 'Ain't No Sunshine' singer's 'Live at Carnegie Hall' album, Withers places himself in the shoes of a Vietnam vet returning home without an arm after being shot in the shoulder.

created 02.09.2009 by S.Kellman