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William Elliott Whitmore

With a voice that sounds like the reincarnation of an old gospel preacher from the 1920s and a fascination with sin, death, and redemption to match, William Elliott Whitmore is one of the most unique artists to emerge on the Americana scene in years. The son of a farmer, Whitmore was raised on a horse farm on the banks of the Mississippi River outside of Keokuk, Iowa. His songs have a stark universality that is sketched out with minimal instrumentation, usually just a banjo or guitar and a smattering of percussion. Whitmore is rumored to have gotten his start in the music business by working as a roadie for Iowa hardcore band Ten Grand, famous for their fast-and-furious 20-minute sets, and Whitmore frequently stepped in with his songs to fill out the time. His voice is the one Tom Waits has been after for years (imagine a cross between Captain Beefheart and Dock Boggs), and his folk- and blues-inflected songs feel like they've been left out in the rain for months, weathered and tightened to the snapping point. Whitmore released Hymns for the Hopeless on Southern in 2003, followed by Ashes to Dust, also on Southern, in 2005. Whitmore appeared on the 2006 compilation CD/DVD entitled Let's Be Active, along with two other artists. In 2006 he released a third album on Southern, the characteristically stark (and critically acclaimed) Song of the Blackbird. Animals in the Dark followed in 2009. Whitmore toured extensively in late 2009 and for much of 2010 and saw his reputation as a songwriter increase, playing for ever larger audiences. He returned to recording in early 2011 with another stripped-down set, entitled Field Songs, which was released by Anti in July of that year. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Comments

8@
William Elliott Whitmore is my hero.
slappy1321
The bios on here are super sketch. Rarely fact, mostly opinion.
to the person who writes the bios give facts not ur opinion...
Right on Alex! Am I the only one old enough to remember when Tom's voice was not gravely, blah, blah, blah.
Like!!!!
Why have I never heard of this guy and is he still performing??
Tom Waits is too unique to be offered as a comparison in this synopsis...s e r i o u s l y
devanhoward2 1
@swirleynois e , who cares?
mr leggett, sir i mean no disrespect but, no, this is not the voice tom waits has been after. similar in ways, yes. were talking apples and oranges here. whitmore is very good in his own respect, but please, tom waits is really a different story.
Even though I'm from the south, the banjo, bluegrass and twang aren't exactly among my favorite sounds. Consider this my exception.
webersf
Oh I like this but remember Iowa also has Greg Brown
gailic629
They has his music on The Big C, Showtime.
a.trainor
Will is the f..ing best. One concert is all you need to see. If y'all are from the country you will feel your roots again when you hear these songs. May the rain follow the plow!
aha the fact that tom waits is evern mentioned in such a way is asinine i agree.
bogartbc
Tom Waits discovered a lost universe where this guy could exist. To imply that Waits somehow came up short is asinine.
Tom Waits is cool, but vocally I'm pretty sure he has been trying to sound more like a muppet, and not this authentic gent.
His voice is the one Tom Waits has been after for years

HORSE S**T
Gotta love this twangy s**t
I agree!
His voice is the one Tom Waits has been after for years . . . (from the bio above). Um, f**king excuse me? Are you kidding? Anyway, really dig both artists but that is just a f**king stupid thing to say.
Found him on my station from the Lawless soundtrack. Good stuff... He's more country than a tobaccy-spit i n ' , Stetson hat with the brim down, weed in his mouth, barefoot on a weathered-lo o k i n g wooden porch.
possibly the greatest singer to come from iowa... cant wait to see him in concert again, saw him in Dubuque Iowa and it was great
blockheadeig h t y
Wow. That is a beautiful sentiment Nanyn. All I can say is he doesn't suck. At all. No suck whatsoever.
His voice is amazing. he opened up for Chris Cornell in LA. The sun had just set and his voice danced with the evening breeze, It was the greatest opening act ever. I cant wait to see him SEpt 28....
I love his sound. But I disagree with this review. Tom Waits doesn't need to sound like anyone but Tom f**king Waits.
WOW..JUST WOW...Where has he been all my life...First time hearing him..I am hooked.
Like fine grain sandpaper, shaping things into something durable and useful.
Oh yeah, this guy is good.
dunnypicker
I 1st saw Will open for Clutch. I bought his first 2 CD's. while deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom I emailed the label about buying his 3rd CD. It was sent to me while deployed. By chance I got stationed in Keokuk, at the time I had no idea Will was from the next town over. I was blessed the the chance to thank him in person. He is a very nice and humble person.
I love his voice!
Brew and View..... And Concert
Seen Him live in Rock Island Illinois back in 03sh. Great show!... It was at old brew, Probally 60 peolpe. Ill never forget that concer!!!
damnit pandora. i want the f**kin album info, what happened? anyway, i love this guy. havent been listening for more than a few months but this is pretty excellent. only really dig 3 out of ten songs, and the vocal patterns are a little redundant but f**k it, i lift my jug to the sky everytime i hear this guy
My grand daughter Elizabeth, from Montrose Iowa near Keokuk, turned me on to him. The more I hear him the better he sounds!
Love that rain on the old tin roof. You paint a visual and your voice coats it with a thick covering of raw honey. Love it!
I want to say i like W.E.W., I really do. Its all there, gruff vocals, banjo, dark lyrics, the stuff that has birthed American greats. Even reading the review cant help think 'this is for me'. However it is not, though I am pleased this artist has a following and fans. A man with a banjo and something to say, is worth a listen in my book.
whoa!!! this guy is great!! love the lyrics and the tremor of his voice
sort of hill country stomp,,, definitely long distance driving song.. Wow!
nemurdock
You truly are the soul, the spirit, and the real holy ghost of music in which I have searched for in music for years, thank you for keeping it alive.
LOVE YOU.....YOUR SHOW AT THE DUBUQUE FEST WAS AMAZING CANT WAIT TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHAKE YOUR HAND AGAIN!
Love his voice....
Thanks toots for showing me this artist... H
alhartburn
Tom ain't no fake. And neither is Son House or Mr. Whitmore
Tom Waits Sounds like he is Faking it, this guy has the real deal soulfull voice that is easy to listen to...
taggaul
He is opening for Chris Cornell's Songbook tour... his voice just boomed and filled Town Hall... Freaking incredible
william should get more time on the radio outside pandora.
Any shows planed for Houston in the near future?
ben.erdman
This guy is great to listen to, but saying that Tom Waits has been "after" his voice for years is an insult to a very accomplished artist. Who writes these things?
I adore this voice!!!
nimnokblue
groovy. definately NOT om Waits style tho.
Saw W.E.W. open up for Gaslight Anthem at the Stone Pony in Ashbury Park last summer, been a HUGE fan eversince. Great voice and talent!!!!
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