- Artist: William Elliott Whitmore
- Album: The Early Years Box Set (2014)
- Purchased at: WilliamElliottWhitmore.com for $50
William Elliott Whitmore is a Midwest treasure. His simple delivery of raspy vocals with a kick drum and banjo or guitar is about as rootsy as it gets. He hails from western Iowa and all his songs take place there. He doesn’t sing about inflated topics or made up scenarios, everything is all too real in his songs. He writes about gravel roads, floods, crops and death; everything he deals with on an every day basis.
This three-album set consists of his first three albums re-recorded. The differences on the songs isn’t much, he replicates song orders and most songs as closely as he can from their original versions recorded from 2003 to 2006 originally. He has aggressive songs with thunderous bass drum like “Diggin’ My Grave” and fast picking songs like “Lee County Flood.” He also has a great knack for pulling on heartstrings with some of the most meaningful words you will hear sung on tracks like “Pine Box” and especially “Porch Light.”
These out-of-print (on vinyl) releases are packaged together and it fits. He did a limited run of 500 of them to appease his fans’ desire to own them. Each set comes with a handwritten postcard from Whitmore himself. Mine is inscribed “Be Well” and others I have seen say things such as “Play in the dirt.” His appreciation for his fans is apparent if you know anything about him. If more artists approached their music with this kind of care, music would be a much more personal experience for listeners.