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Field Songs

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 12, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

On his 2011 album Field Songs, Iowa troubadour William Elliott Whitmore documents a vanishing American landscape with all the heartfelt soul and quiet fury one could hope for. "Heartland firebrand blows fuse, fights for truth" heralded Spin Magazine when describing Whitmore, who utilizes a powerful singing voice beyond his years and a stark dramatic sound rooted in bluegrass, blues and folk protest music. These songs vividly evoke a life of struggle, humble resilience and family bond inspired by life on his family s farm along the Mississippi River. Whitmore has made a name for himself both within the punk movement, where his populism and sincerity resonate with alienated urban kids, and the roots community, where writers like Andy Downing in the Chicago Tribune have placed him within the "new pastoralism" of Bon Iver and the Fleet Foxes.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 12, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Anti
  • ASIN: B0050546G4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,937 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 19, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Armed with only an acoustic guitar, a banjo, and a world-weary voice that belies his thirty-three years, William Elliot Whitmore has released his second CD for the Anti label.

At little more than thirty minutes and eight songs, Whitmore speaks to the hard times facing most Americans. Check out the album's closing track, the stark "Not Feeling Any Pain":

My sweat and blood are spilling out, no bandages can mend;
And in my mind there is no doubt that none of this trouble will ever end.
I've had my days, I've had my doubts
Of how this whole thing will play out;
But still I know that all I see
Someday soon will cease to be;
But I am not feeling any pain.

I saw Whitmore perform last year in a venue that barely accommodated three hundred people. It was an amazing show. He's coming back next month. (I've already got my tickets!) Listen to the samples; then get this album. You won't regret it. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED [Running time - 34:09]
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
William Elliott Whitmore sings with the birds, the tin roof, the rooster, the fence posts and muddy rows of a field. I've never heard someone's heart so close to home in a song, it's almost as if the rhythm of the beat of that heart keeps time with an old Ford 8N.
Give this music a chance, rustic poetry; everyone I've shared this CD with, after a slow time- asks who this is or WHAT this is...and if they can sit on the old swing a little longer and hear more.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
WEW never disappoints. His music and voice speak to that country soul inside us all. Even if you've grown up in the big city all your life, anyone can relate to the themes within every song. This is perfect driving music, but also great so putting on while you're sitting out on the porch on a hot summer night. My personal favorite is the opening track "Bury Your Burdens in the Ground." If you get a chance, see this man live, it's an amazing experience.
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Format: Audio CD
Those of you who have played the innovative Xbox 360 game "Red dead redemption" will have already heard the deep raspy voice of William Elliott Whitmore singing without accompaniment a haunting Western lament "Bury me not on the lone prairie" which in terms of tradition owes a much greater debt to Tom Waits than it does Hank Williams. His latest album is firmly located in that unflinching commitment to raw frontier folk and throughout its basically Whitmore's voice, assorted banjo's and guitars. William Elliott Whitmore was formerly a hunk core punk and that ethic can also be found in the sparse songs of this vocalist and musician from Lee County, Iowa. In this album he rails agains the "manifest destiny of factory farms" on the powerful title track and states a powerful case for American individualism in the pumping "Don't need it".

This is by no means a long album and in one sense it might start to jar if it was. Whitmore makes little concessions to any explicit modern influences although strangely the banjo introduction to opener "Bury your burdens in the ground" does remind this reviewer of the melody of The Beta Bands "Dry the Rain" (that said the old "hearing" is playing up at the moment!). When Whitmore does introduce the greater warmth of an acoustic guitar he also tends to counter this with a darker set of lyrics not least in "Everything gets gone" where he intones that like "shutters in the wind I'm just holding on" reminding all that we are just here for a little while. It is somewhat of a relief then when the mood lifts to something more uplighting in "Let's do something impossible", while the albums concluding song the primal "Not feeling any pain" would not go amiss being sung to a gospel gathering in a chapel within the deep south.
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Format: MP3 Music
William Elliott Whitmore is a beast, and Field Songs is his burden lifted. The record keeps his stark style intact with simple, traditional instrumentation and his booming baritone, while in the background, the ambient sounds of birds, roosters, frogs and insects form the perfect choral section. He's been through tough times. He's spent years and albums dealing with pain. And now he's finally emerged from the dust to sing and strum about loss less like a farmboy and more like a man. Whitmore will forever be toiling away on the farm, and Field Songs gives us yet another reason why - there's no place like home for healing the soul.

Full review:
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
play it through about a 1/2 dozen times and make sure you listen. pandora kept playing him and he grew on me. they said he has the voice Tom Waitts wishes he had.... if that sentence intrigues you ....you'll probably like this
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Format: MP3 Music
Went into my local music store and heard this playing. Had gone in with my son to buy "his" music - and left with this one in my pocket. I've already ordered all the others. This is powerful music from the gut - and it makes me want to put it on - loud - and take a long drive.
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Format: Audio CD
If you love music, you should listen to this. WEW does more with his voice, a guitar, a banjo, and a bass drum that most bands do with so much more. This is definitely a strong example of how passion trumps everything else in music.
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