Tuesday, December 24, 2013

AntiCurrent Archive Vol 7: William Elliott Whitmore- The Jarett Mitchell Demos

For the seventh edition of the "AntiCurrent.com Archives", a collection of rare albums I'm releasing through this blog, I'm releasing the second of three collections of demos for one of my FAVORITE artists of all time.  Click here to view all past AntiCurrent.com Archive Albums.

AS I said in my previous edition of AntiCurrent.com archives, I discovered William Elliott Whitmore organically by watching him open for The Pogues. Wishing to introduce more of people to him, on May 2nd 2009 I had a close-knit group of my nearest and dearest attend his show with me at The Knitting Factory (RIP) in Hollywood California without having yet exposed them to his music. The opening band, which we also discovered and quickly came to love was Los Duggans, a punk/metal/bluegrass hybrid band with an amazing standup washtub bass player.

By the time came for Whitmore to come on, we were all drunk. My friends were largely in the back at the bar and I was coming and going from the front row of people and them, presumably annoying everyone in between. 3 songs in I went to the back to refresh my drink and I found my best friend at the bar crying. Now, being a punk-rocker himself I assumed the worst. Someone had died, his girlfriend left him, his sister was in a car-crash, something. No. This badass of a dude was SO moved by the performance he was watching by an artist that he had never heard or heard of that he was literally shedding a tear due to William Elliott Whitmore's incredible performance. This is the time of sorrow, joy, happiness, and triumph that the dude can bring just by performing a few of his songs. I never have, and will likely never again see a performer who can illicit such an emotional reaction just by doing his job. It is truly incredible.

About 3/4 of the way through the performance, someone bought WEW an entire bottle of Jack Daniels. He grabbed it from an audience member, and being the eternal badass that he is, took a few swigs and said "share and share alike my friends" and passed it out into the audience for all of us to drink. I of course had a swig, but so did my friend at the time. She had never before, nor never again drank whiskey, but the emotional weight of the gesture caused her to drink it without thinking twice.

Fast forward to the end of the show and Whitmore has just went off stage. Like, he walked off stage into the audience and proceeded to shake every hand and meet every person that wished to do so. My drunken friend then decided that she desperately wanted to meet him so we approached. Although she was annihilated, and I was no shade of sober, he was incredibly gracious at our sloppy praise. We took a picture and she immediately went ill. He asked if she was ok just as she turned and vomited in the trashcan next to him. He laughed and said "Shit, we've all been there before." and shook my hand and left for the bar. We carried her to the car, got in and all recounted our miscellaneous stories about what an amazing dude this was.

Now, from my pieced together history of what William Elliott Whitmore's catalog was before he released his first real album "Hymns For The Hopeless" I believe that "The Jarrett Mitchell Demos" otherwise known as "Born in the USA" and also "Calendar Club of Danger and Fun" was the first of his self-released collections. This is debatable based on what I have read. HERE it states that this album is known as "CCoD&F", however on Wikipedia it states that these two albums are entirely separate. IF I am not mistaken, this first self-release was later followed up by "Legalize Freedom" (Which I previously released), and finally "The Death Valley Sessions" which was demo only available on his 2002-2003 tour. "The Death Valley Sessions" is the next of the AntiCurrent.com Archives that I will make available.

The personal highlight of this album for me is "Gravel Road". Now there are three available versions of this song, but this is the first and by far, most raw. Something about the lack of quality of recording and just a barely in-tune guitar and his growly amazing voice speaks to the very depths of my soul. Live this song is amazing as before he regales you with it, he will tell you the story of packing black-powder under a bowling ball and launching it like a cannon hundreds of feet into the air, only to find it on his property years later.

Somehow WEW turns a sub-par recording, one guitar, and his voice into what is one of the best demo collections of any artist of all time. As always, go and purchase his actual music, see him on tour, and meet the man himself. These releases are not meant to be the only material you take from the artists, but are intended to give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of some of the best talent that has ever been seen musically on this planet.

Download The Entire Album and Cover Art Here:
MP3 Zip Archive

The tracklist is:
1: Grey Skies
2: Marrow
3: Livin' Like A King
4: South Lee County Brew
5: Gravel Road
6: On The Chin
7: The Prairie Yields
8: Diggin' My Grave
9: Going To The Moments
10: Black Iowa Dirt
11: Lift My Jug
12: Let's Call It A Night
13: Have Mercy
14: Red Buds
15: Shotgun
16: Never Forget

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