I have a confession.
I always wanted to review THE folk album. A few came and went, wisps of sweet vanilla in the air. Few ever passed my tried and true test of what I call the ‘foot tap’.
The idea with the ‘foot-tap’ is, take any song on the album and without paying much heed to your body, check to see if you are tapping your foot or swaying from side to side. If by any chance you are eyeing that lighter on the table next to you, with eyes full of lust and ideas of fire in the sky, then you my friend have got yourself THE album of the summer.
Keep all that in mind as I tell you about William Elliott Whitmore’s Field Songs.
Field Songs is that moment when your ice cream melts and it starts to run down your hands, but you are quick and lap it up before it finds the ground. It is sweet satisfaction.
I don’t often find myself saying this, but I am a convert to the Whitmore gang. Think banjos and mandolins with earthy acoustic guitar riffs and deep drums reverberating through-out. Then add a voice that penetrates all the acoustics with lyrics that twist your gut and push your body a little bit to this and that side.
The album is a collection of songs about rural life. But it is more than just tales of lifting bales of rye, there is satisfaction in those lyrics, and more importantly there is meaning. The album is a story, and like all good stories there is sorrow, a sadness at the vanishing culture and deep roots of rural life.
You hear the growls of Whitmore’s voice as he straddles blues, folk, and personal ties to Mississippi and bluegrass, and you can’t help but be a convert to his music, his home-grown crowd winning sound.
The construction and sound manufacturing is true to the genre, and the lyrics true to what you might imagine a farmer feels when a month with no rain passes by. There-in lies the magic of the album, a story woven into fabric that envelops you in a history saturated with harness, work, and long hot days in fields of cotton and rye.
I have a confession…
I’ve fallen hard for this album, much too fast.