Foggy Notions presents William E Whitmore (1 Viewer)

Urchin PR

New Member
Apr 28, 2008
Foggy Notions presents

William E. Whitmore

+Mumblin’ Deaf Ro

Whelan’s, April 20, Doors 8pm

Tickets €14 excl. booking fee from WAV Box-Office (Lo-Call 1890 200 078), City Discs, Sound Cellar,, Ticketmaster outlets nationwide

“He plays a blend of Americana that recalls the twisted whimsy of Tom Waits.” - TIME OUT

“Given that Johnny Cash’s final recording with Rick Rubin has been so widely acclaimed, it’s not inconceivable that Whitmore, with his rugged looks and ability to touch those who would never usually listen to such music, could do very well indeed.” - THE TIMES

“His songs are universally understandable and immediately touching.” - DROWNED IN SOUND

“Whitmore has honed his sound to the degree that the more minimal it gets, the more he sounds like a true vital new talent.” - UNCUT

The rare virtue of William Elliott Whitmore’s songs is that they could have just as easily been sung in the desperation of a Hooverville during the Depression or in an uplifting choir of a 19th century rural congregation or marching on Washington in the 1960s.

His timelessness and universality is both an allusive gift and a testament to his craft, and keeps new album Animals in the Dark from becoming an overtly political record. For all the ire in a number of the songs, there are stirring complements such as the modern hymn “There’s Hope for You” and the achingly beautiful “Who Stole the Soul.” It is Whitmore’s ability to balance contrasts - suffering and humor, truth and fancy, the literary and the earthy - that make his releases so human.

Whitmore’s appeal cuts a wide swath through the modern musical landscape. Rooted firmly in the Americana sound that he loves so well, Will plays the kind of music – raw and seemingly untouched by pop culture – that has drawn young dissidents to folk music since before Dylan’s time. Like a young Billy Bragg, or better yet, like his self-proclaimed hero Shane MacGowan, Will’s innate populism and unaffected sincerity resonate with the alienated and imaginative youth culture that surrounds punk, a scene that has embraced him. Honing his skills playing with Against Me, Converge, the Street Dogs, his beloved Pogues and Lucero among others, Will has the ability to quiet a rowdy crowd with just a banjo, a true testament to his voice and vision.

Whitmore was weaned on music by his musical parents – his father played guitar, mother the accordion. Young William dived unquenchably into their rich collection of “good hillbilly music,” keenly studying vocal nuances perfected by Ray Charles, Hank Williams and George Jones. Two unlikely crooners leveled an even more profound impact: “I always loved velvety singers like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra,” the 30-year-old admits. “Man, I used to try hard to sing like that but soon realized that I couldn’t. I used to smoke a lot and abused my throat. So, I turned my greatest weakness into my strength.”

His craft blossomed accordingly. Born and raised and still residing on a farm in Lee County, Iowa, Whitmore literally cultivates his song cycles from earth. In fact, he wholly envisioned the modern pastorals Song of the Blackbird (2006), Ashes to Dust (2005), Hymn for the Hopeless (2003) and Calendar Club of Danger and Fun (2002) while working his land. Whitmore’s writing, in other words, links art and sustenance into an unbroken circle.

“I still live on the farm where I was born, still have horses and chickens,” Whitmore says. “I write mostly when I’m out doing my chores – I love the land and love the simplicity. I don’t even have a bathroom; I have an outhouse. I love to plant seeds in the spring and harvest in the fall and cut firewood in the winter. I draw a lot from relating the cycles of harvesting to those of birth and death.” - a poignant tome from one of today’s best musical storytellers.

Mumblin’ Deaf Ro is one of Ireland’s finest songwriters and greatest undiscovered treasures. His gentle finger-picking style guitar and beguiling song-stories have been captured on two albums, his 2003 debut Senor, My Friend… and its outstanding follow-up The Herring and the Brine in 2007. The former was recently re-released in digital format.

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