Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Hymns for the Hopeless by William Elliott Whitmore, download iTunes now.

Do you already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Hymns for the Hopeless

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

William Elliott Whitmore has the ancient sounding voice of an 80-year-old Appalachian moonshiner, and while he is yet to turn thirty, his bleak and death-haunted tales are full of the kind of regrets that only a long life full of loss and struggle can validate. On Hymns for the Hopeless, his debut release, Whitmore mines a strip of narrow Americana that conjures Dock Boggs more than it does Ralph Stanley, and if this isn't exactly the blues, well, it sure isn't bluegrass, either. Actually, the simple, stark three-note melodies of Whitmore's dirges sound more like church hymns than anything else, and his ragged crow-croak of a voice (which makes Tom Waits sound glib and Leonard Cohen sound like a pop diva) comes from a place where the blues and gospel first converged into country. From the first track, the unaccompanied "Cold and Dead," Whitmore begins an unrelenting search for redemption and reaches out for death as the only true reckoning of a man's life, and if he seems to share little of a street preacher's faith in a paradise beyond that reckoning, he seems to reach out for it anyway, and by the album's closer, the full-tilt gospel romp of "Our Paths Will Cross Again," he seems to suggest that yes, there's hope, even for the hopeless. This is timeless stuff, delivered in stark arrangements of just banjo or guitar, with occasional touches of junkyard percussion, and throughout there is Whitmore's harrowing, convincing voice that sounds like it has crossed the River Styx and returned to preach to the living. If there is a problem with this striking album, it is in a lack of variety, as each song unwinds at the same slow pace, and occasionally Whitmore simply tries too hard and loses believability, as he does with "From the Cell Door to the Gallows," which, although striking, suffers from an obvious case of jailhouse noir, and it is the lone track where Whitmore fails to completely inhabit his voice. In the end, this is an amazing debut, a country album that is as far from today's hat acts as a hat can get, an album of rare artistic courage, one that faces death, embraces it, and comes out the other end in a gospel hoedown. Hymns for the Hopeless is a brilliant beginning for William Elliott Whitmore.

Customer Reviews


excellent songs, and such a interesting and distinct voice only problem or reason this isnt 5 stars is because "lord only knows" is corrupt and doesnt download would mind it fixed soon as possible!


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With a voice that sounds like the reincarnation of an old gospel preacher from the 1920s and a fascination with sin, death, and redemption to match, William Elliott Whitmore is one of the most unique artists to emerge on the Americana scene in years. The son of a farmer, Whitmore was raised on a horse farm on the banks of the Mississippi River outside of Keokuk, Iowa. His songs have a stark universality that is sketched out with minimal instrumentation, usually just a banjo or guitar and a smattering...
Full bio
Hymns for the Hopeless, William Elliott Whitmore
View In iTunes

Customer Ratings

0 0 0 We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this album.