Whetherman (from the album This Land)
It took Whetherman a while to get to This Land, his recent album release. Over the course of the last decade, Whetherman, the musical alter ego of thirty-two year old indie troubadour Nicholas Williams, has been a student, immersing in the varied styles available in the American Roots songbook, bringing the sounds of Folk, Blues, Country, Soul, and Bluegrass to audiences, playing over 150 shows a year since 2011. This Land introduces the man who has staked out claim in its territory with album opener “Six Rivers” as Whetherman sets sail on the tune under a flag that brands him as a man whose ‘footprint is light’ as he ‘tries to give back to the land’.
Sepia tones of sound color for the music of Whetherman, the songs bearing a rustic rumble as percussion runs steadily under “Current of the Sea” while melody moves as slow as a warm summer day for “The Hold Up”, notes and a slapped beat ride on a staggered rhythm with “Train Station Stop Blues”, and “What Am I Supped to Think” hushes the backing instruments so the questions and observationa can stand in the stark spotlight. Entering Chromatic Studios in Jacksonville, Florida, Whetherman took the lead for production and engineering on This Land with help coming from Gene O’Neil and Alex Hayward. Taking on the role of Folk revolutionary, Whetherman charms with the call of ‘take heed’ as the title track walks close to the brink of human legacy. This Land lets lightly plucked guitar notes flow gently in and out under “Tides”, strums alongside “Sounds of the Forest”, and shuffles with the admissions of “With What You Have” as Whetherman soulfully faces life choices on “All About Nothing” and tenderly talks to a memory in “Strawberry Blonde”.