Field Songs (Deluxe Edition)
On Field Songs, William Elliot Whitmore sounds like he worked the land during the day and then created these songs alone around a campfire at night — which could very well be true. Living on the same Iowa farm where he grew up, he comes by this perspective honestly. He’s clearly inspired by his surroundings and this stripped-down and quietly forceful album is deeply rooted in its own sense of place. Field recordings of birds and crickets can even be heard on several tracks. His deep, husky voice — a thundering instrument that makes him sound twice his age — is more subdued than usual this time around, and this restraint underscores a stoic resolve to recognize beauty despite difficult circumstances. These are social songs with stark and honest lyrics about life, death, weathering tough times, and the merits of honest labor for clearing the mind and fueling creativity. Accompanied by just guitar, banjo, and the occasional kick drum he intertwines social and historical viewpoints into his stories to create songs with both intensely personal and universal themes. A moving work of raw and rustic power.