Michael Whitmore

Juggling the Thing of a Thing of a Thing

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Michael Whitmore's aptly named "Some'tet" seems to be an ever-evolving collection of musicians backing the guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. The dark and moody works they create are an uncategorizable blend of jazz, folk, rock, parlor music, and Obscured by Clouds-era Pink Floyd spacy soundscapes, all anchored by Whitmore's gruff half-spoken/half-sung vocals. At times, the instrumentation sounds almost as if Calexico is performing outtakes from Sketches of Spain or if a boozy Tom Waits has stumbled in on Tortoise in some underground club. Like Waits and his contemporary, Leonard Cohen, Whitmore's dramatic bluster takes some getting used to, and even then his voice is an acquired taste, but as a songwriter and bandleader he certainly knows how to set a scene and evoke a mood.

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