William Elliott Whitmore
William Elliott Whitmore is a singer-songwriter/banjoist/guitarist/drum-stompin’ solo act from Lee County, Iowa. He has released six full-length albums that seamlessly meld country, blues, folk, and punk styles - spanning from 2003’s Hymns for the Hopeless (Southern Records) to 2015’s Radium Death (ANTI-). His songs are haunting, rustic, powerful, and real – byproducts of living his entire life on the family farm, being involved in the hardcore-punk scene in the local community, and touring hard across the country. His seventh album Kilonova (2018) is different from everything else in his catalog, a collection of 10 cover songs from artists who have influenced his 15 plus-year career.
A man armed only with a banjo and a bass drum can be a formidable force, especially if his name is William Elliott Whitmore. With his powerful voice and honest approach, Whitmore comes from the land, growing up on a family farm in Lee County, Iowa. Still living on the same farm today, Whitmore has truly taken the time to discover where his center lies, and from that he will not be moved.
Whitmore has consistently carved his own path, honoring the longstanding tradition of folk music throughout his nearly 20-year career, while always allowing his blues, soul, and punk rock influences to shine through. Getting his first break opening for his friend's hardcore band with just a banjo in hand, he would discover bands like The Jesus Lizard, Bad Brains, Lungfish, and Minutemen and soon learn to play his own brand of rural, roots music with that same DIY ethic.
William Elliott Whitmore has been back and forth across the United States and to cities around the world. He's toured with such diverse acts as Frank Turner, Trampled By Turtles, Clutch, and Chris Cornell, to name a few. He's appeared on some of the biggest stages around the world including Stagecoach Fest, Byron Bluesfest (Australia) and End of the Road Fest (UK). His willingness to take his show to any playing field has proved invaluable as he turned strangers to diehards with every performance.
Raye Zaragoza is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and performer whose multinational heritage (Native American (O'odham), Mexican, Taiwanese and Japanese) deeply informs her music. This perspective can be heard in her independently released song “In the River,” a response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. The quiet yet powerful track resonated strongly with listeners and went viral in late 2016, garnering half a million views on the video, national media coverage, and a Global Music Award and Honesty Oscar.
Raye’s debut album, Fight For You (independent, 2017), displays her compassion, dedication to justice and equality for all, and keen eye for the seemingly small daily moments that become our most meaningful memories. About the record, Raye says, “This album is about finding yourself and finding your voice. It’s about maturing and realizing that you can make a difference if you so choose.”
Raye performs her music all over the United States and Europe. Her music has been featured on Democracy Now! and on numerous lists of the best modern-day protest songs, including those by Paste Magazine, What Culture, and Overblown. Raye has been invited to perform at the United Nations in New York City, and will be performing with TEDX Herndon, VA.
Zack Dupont a Burlington, VT based, independent songwriter and guitarist. Active since 2008, music has lead him all over America to festivals like SXSW, The Cambridge River Fest and Grand Point North sharing the stage in support of nationally touring acts like Taj Mahal, Sturgill Simpson, Grace Potter, Blake Mills, Suzanne Vega, Julian Lage, Jerry Douglas, Bahamas, Sam Amidon and Pat Benatar to name a few. Poetic lyrical imagery, finger style guitar work and a comforting-humorous stage presence creates a working landscape in which Dupont dwells.
“I want to create music that is a sound track of the human brain and experience. I have a strong belief that people should be able to see or hear themselves in the songs without any limitations. It’s an environment where people are free to be exactly where or who they need to be in that shared moment. “ - Zack Dupont
“Simply put, Dupont is an elite guitarist. Here and throughout the album, his attention to dynamic subtlety — in addition to immaculate technical polish and engaging melody lines — is remarkable.
Similarly, Dupont’s vocal performance is intimate, nuanced and affecting. He appears to take as much care with his hushed delivery as he does with his impressively understated guitar work.
Each of his talents works fully in concert with the others. Imagine M. Ward collaborating with Iron and Wine. The word you’re looking for is, sublime.” -Dan Bolles, Seven Days VT