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 Song of the Blackbird 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

Song of the Blackbird

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

William Elliott Whitmore hasn't changed one iota for Song of the Blackbird, the third in a stylistic trilogy that began with 2003's Hymns for the Hopeless and continued in 2005 with Ashes to Dust. He's still fascinated by death and the re-examination of a life lived that death forces into play, and he still approaches his songs on a sparse, rustic level, sounding very much like an old Appalachian banjo player who's been reading Nietzsche while throwing down shots of bootleg moonshine. Whitmore's remarkable croak of a voice makes all of this work, and if that voice and the general dour, slow-paced feel of his songs makes him seem like a one-trick pony, well, that pony knows one hell of a trick. Song of the Blackbird doesn't set any new dishes out on the table, consisting of Whitmore singing over his own banjo or acoustic guitar accompaniment, for the most part (some moody drums and organ creep into a couple of the songs), and life doesn't seem to have been any easier on this latest bunch of Whitmore's hardscrabble characters, but while it's easy to view him as a scribe of the dire and the dying, there's a stubborn kind of faith at the root of his songs, a sort of unsaid hope in redemption and renewal that puts tremendous faith in the rhythm of the soil. Things are born, they live, they die, and the whole cycle renews. In the final song here, "Everyday," the sun comes up over the field to the east and then a verse or two later it sets over the field to the west. That's something, Whitmore is saying, that you can count on everyday. For all of their dark and desperate fears, the characters in these songs all cling to that notion of renewal, and Song of the Blackbird, although it moves track to track like a dirge stuck in a single key, is full of the hope for redemption, and there is a fervent and stubborn joy here, buried in the darkness.


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
Song of the Blackbird, William Elliott Whitmore
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings

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