As most of you know, I stand in awe at the talent that is everywhere. So I’m always on the lookout for art done just for the love of it. In this regard, I recently discovered a guy by the name of Whitty Whitesell. In 1993, he put out an album 57 by Whitty Whitesell & the Life Parade. I have only heard the song, What Does The Word Mean? It’s very compelling power pop — reminiscent of the first ‘Til Tuesday album, but with more musical clarity and a better hook than Aimee Mann was writing at that time.
Well, Whitesell is middle-age now with a career and family. But according to his website, he was listening to his album with his kids and decided that he didn’t want it to be his final musical legacy. So with the encouragement of his family, he wrote some new songs and recorded them. They are simple in a sense: just him with his 12-string guitar and occasionally harmonica. It is all well-crafted, beautifully performed, and without pretense. (I have one of his songs stuck in my head.) Personally, I would prefer the songs with less processing — but I’m sure I’m in the minority with regard to that. It is impressive how it sounds like a whole lot more than just a guy and a guitar.
I’m particularly fond of “St Lucy’s Flyin’ High,” “Breathe,” and “Infamous Maggy.” But he’s created a video for another song, “Dying to Myself.” Whitesell encourages you to download the whole thing for free and burn a CD (he’s showing his — and my — age). Or you can listen to the whole thing directly from his website. It is well worth checking out.