William Elliott Whitmore is a singer-songwriter/banjoist/guitarist/drum-stompin’ solo act from Lee County, Iowa. He has released six full-length albums that seamlessly meld country, blues, folk, and punk styles - spanning from 2003’s Hymns for the Hopeless (Southern Records) to 2015’s Radium Death (ANTI-). His songs are haunting, rustic, powerful, and real – byproducts of living his entire life on the family farm, being involved in the hardcore-punk scene in the local community, and touring hard across the country. His seventh album Kilonova (2018) is different from everything else in his catalog, a collection of 10 cover songs from artists who have influenced his 15 plus-year career.
The label and artist—longtime mutual admirers—have been running in neighboring circles over the years, but it wasn't until recorded contributions from Whitmore for seven-inch and compilation releases that a professional relationship bloomed.
Whitmore said of the signing:
"I remember going to the record store and buying Neko Case, Sadies, and Whiskeytown 7 inches back in the late 1990's. I've been a fan of Bloodshot as a label for a long time, so when the opportunity came up to be on their 20th anniversary comp a few years ago, I jumped on it. Shortly after that they put out a split 7 inch with Esme Patterson and I, thus bringing my awareness and connection with the label full circle through the power of vinyl. Now I've joined their ranks officially, and I'm excited to see where this relationship takes us."
A man armed only with a banjo and a bass drum can be a formidable force, especially if his name is William Elliott Whitmore. With his powerful voice and honest approach, Whitmore comes from the land, growing up on a family farm in Lee County, Iowa. Still living on the same farm today, Whitmore has truly taken the time to discover where his center lies, and from that he will not be moved.
Whitmore has consistently carved his own path, honoring the longstanding tradition of folk music throughout his nearly 20-year career, while always allowing his blues, soul, and punk rock influences to shine through. Getting his first break opening for his friend's hardcore band with just a banjo in hand, he would discover bands like The Jesus Lizard, Bad Brains, Lungfish, and Minutemen and soon learn to play his own brand of rural, roots music with that same DIY ethic.
William Elliott Whitmore has been back and forth across the United States and to cities around the world. He's toured with such diverse acts as Frank Turner, Trampled By Turtles, Clutch, and Chris Cornell, to name a few. He's appeared on some of the biggest stages around the world including Stagecoach Fest, Byron Bluesfest (Australia) and End of the Road Fest (UK). His willingness to take his show to any playing field has proved invaluable as he turned strangers to diehards with every performance.
- "I Wish I Was the Moon" on While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records