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William Elliott Whitmore | Hymns For The Hopeless (Southern)
A twenty-five-year-old who hails from near the Mississippi, William Elliott Whitmore was discovered opening for hardcore thrashers Ten Grand, for whom he was also once a roadie. To hear his music released by Southern is initially as big a shock as it surely must have been for Ten Grand's expectant audience. But a good shock, certainly a shock to awaken the senses. For behind a reserved country-blues haze lies a deep, deep, heavily-cracked voice singing tales of loss, redemption and other people's shattered lives, all from a first-person perspective. And although it lacks any real change of pace or musical revelations, the windswept opener Cold And Dead alone - and that voice - convince that Mr Whitmore's future should be bright and prosperous. In sharp contrast to that of the victims tortured within his songs.

Ian Fletcher
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003