A super-group of Irish artists have joined forces to record a cover of Bill Withers’ classic ‘Lean on Me’ to raise money to help provide PPE for charity-run nursing homes. The idea was initiated by the owner of Hot Pres/IMRO-award winning venue Mike the Pies, Aiden O’Connor and Paul Linehan of The Frank & Walters. Together they brought together some of the most popular names in Irish music to record the track and a unique Zoom video set for release this Friday.

Despite the challenges of remote recording due to the COVID19 lockdown, Aiden and Paul managed to gather the vocal talents from various locations (including Power of Dreams’ Craig Walker in Berlin), to piece together a fantastic version of the classic tune.

Artists featured on the track include The Frank & Walters, Jerry Fish, Delorentos, Marlene Enright, Cherym, Craig Walker (Power of Dreams), Columbia Mills, John Spillane, Paul Frost, HamsandwicH, Roe, Dylan Howe (Rowan), Mundy, Jack O’ Rourke, The Pale, Relish and The Riptide Movement. 

“When I heard that a local Nursing Home Aras Mhuire weren’t receiving any PPE because they’re a charity I thought I might be able to do something through music,” explains Aiden. “I started texting around and got a great response. Paul Linehan was one of the first to respond but he made it more professional. A month later we have the finished product, with 15 bands/artists involved. Paul put the track together, mixed by Ber Quinn, mastered by Richard Dowling.”

Paul Linehan picks up the story: “This was all done by remote recording and we didn’t see each other for the whole time. When the backing track was in a rough stage I sent it to each artist to sing it and to send me a dry vocal. Most artists sang the whole song, I then put what I thought were their best parts on the song. It was like a jigsaw puzzle, but I did my best to make it sound as if we were all singing in the same room, coming from the same direction.”

The result is a superb version of the Withers’ Number One hit, first released in 1972. The track will be released on Monday June 8 and available to purchase on i-Tunes and other online platforms.