Tag Archives: William Elliott Whitmore

William Elliott Whitmore – Animals In The Dark

William Elliott Whitmore - Animals In The DarkWilliam Elliott WhitmoreAnimals In The Dark (Anti)

After three fine and sadly overlooked records on the Southern label, Iowa native William Elliott Whitmore moves to the larger Anti- Records imprint for number four, putting him in the same company as Tom Waits, Neko Case, and others that regularly rank high on the Americana heavy rotation list.

To deem Whitmore as merely an “Americana” artist is a disservice. This is roots music, barely a guitar string away from the same kind of songs that would have been prevalent at the start if the 20th century. Added to this, Whitmore still lives and works on his family farm in Lee County, a story that will most assuredly get some traction from people who want to milk his legitimacy and exploit his good-naturedness. Here’s the thing about Iowa though: we have a tendency not to be afraid of a hard day’s work, and we know the moment you start belittling us as some backwash hicks with little regard for your big city perceptions. And here’s the thing about Whitmore: there’s a sense of credibility that flows not from his press bio, but from the first time you hear his voice.

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William Elliott Whitmore – Song Of The Blackbird

William Elliott Whitmore - Song Of The BlackbirdWilliam Elliott WhitmoreSong Of The Blackbird (Southern)

In the scurry to get a taste of what’s new, what’s good, what’s hip, I failed to take a look in my own backyard. We’ve got it rough in Iowa; most tend to think our lone contribution to the musical lore is Slipknot, or at the very least, one of their side-projects. There’s more to the landscape than corn, hogs, and metal bands with mask-wearing personnel, I can assure you, but unfortunately the landscape is littered with more bands that ape their influences than bands that are actually inspired by them.

We’ve had a long musical dry spell in Iowa. We’ve had an even longer dry spell in my old hometown of Keokuk, Iowa, located on the banks of the Mississippi River in the southeastern corner of the state. In the 60s, there was a band called Gonn from here. One of the thousands of garage bands that littered the American landscape in the wake of Beatlemania, they were good enough to get added to Rhino Records’ expanded box of Nuggets.

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