Armed only with a banjo and a bass drum, William Elliot Whitmore makes a return to these shores for a show at the Sugar Club on Saturday November 19th in support of his new album Field Songs. William comes from the land, growing up on a farm in Lee County, Iowa, at the southeastern tip of the state, between the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers. “It’s some of the most fertile land in the world,” Whitmore proudly proclaims. Still living on the same farm today, Whitmore has truly taken the time to discover where his center lies. From that he will not be moved. With his powerful voice and honest approach he makes his claim, and when the eight tracks that make up his latest record end there is no doubt this is someone who will be heard.
Where he comes from says a lot about where William Elliot Whitmore is going. Whitmore’s father played the guitar and his mother the accordion; both grandparents were also musicians, and he never had to go far to discover great new music. “My parents’ record collection was amazing and inspiring,” Whitmore remembers. “It included everything from the country music of Charlie Pride and Willie Nelson to the soulful music of Ray Charles and Leon Russell. We used to listen to them and sing along loudly.” Around 15 or 16 when his hands finally got big enough to go around the guitar neck he started strumming some chords and writing lyrics. He hasn’t looked back since.