William Elliott Whitmore – Parking Lot Pickin’

You can listen to this conversation and a couple of songs here.

It sounded bizarre on paper, William E Whitmore playing in a Winery. Yes, that William E Whitmore, full sleeve tattoo-wearing, weather-beaten former rodie for hardcore Iowa bands like Ten Grand, playing in a wood panelled winery and fancy food in SOHO, New York City among the $300 chablis and $700 Chateau Rothchild. Ten minutes before his set he came crashing through the door with a banjo and a guitar. He had woken in his recently converted (“This summer I just put in electricity”) corn crib that stands on the Whitmore family hundred and fifty acre farm in Lee County Iowa. Well the man travels light. He is taken past the rows of tables, waiting to be filled that evening with Amy Mann fans and through where He has been booked to play: on the loading doc in the winery’s parking lot, during an afternoon weekly mini-festival at which wine (and some premium beer) and snacks are served – Now that’s more like it!
The humor is not lost on William. With the exception of a performance at Bonaroo he has spent the last two months on the farm “not really seeing that many people”. It was an exuberant set with as many guffaws of laughter coming from the stage as off the stage. during which he came out into the audience and shook hands. He has good reason to be in such a good mood these days. The tragic circumstances that informed his first three albums is much behind him. He has signed to major label Anti Records. The new record is still carries the sparse, weather-beaten, son of the soil material delivered with shovels of Iowa dirt.

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