July 16, 2011

William Elliott Whitmore - Field Songs (2011)

Field Songs unfolds like the musical score to a film on agricultural life. I can't help but think of digging my hands in the dirt, hammering cracked barn siding and tilling long stretches of soil on a rusted-out tractor. With this album as my soundtrack, such a life almost sounds appealing. The vivid imagery speaks to Whitmore's ability to channel so much soul, old-timey grit and emotion with just his unique voice, banjo or acoustic guitar and crickets, birds and frogs as backup singers. Field Songs is even more simplistic than Animals In The Dark, Whitmore's fantastic 2009 release, which is fine from my perspective. It also helps that Whitmore seems like a genuinely likable and humble guy—someone I'd really enjoy sharing a Black Star sixer with on a front porch somewhere where the stars glow like floodlights. The title track (below) is probably my favorite, but in truth, I could listen to the whole album over and over without interruption. For additional individual highlights, check out: "Everything Gets Gone" and "Not Feeling Any Pain."

The man will be playing Slim's in San Francisco on September 23rd with James Vincent McMorrow. Should be an amazing show.


awmercy said...

What a wonderful video. So simple, yet perfect for the song.