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William Elliott Whitmore's 'Field Songs' Celebrate Farmers

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William Elliott Whitmore's 'Field Songs' Celebrate Farmers

William Elliott Whitmore's 'Field Songs' Celebrate Farmers

William Elliott Whitmore's 'Field Songs' Celebrate Farmers

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William Elliott Whitmore stands next to his grandpa's shop on the family farm in Lee County, Iowa. Chloe Millward hide caption

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Chloe Millward

William Elliott Whitmore stands next to his grandpa's shop on the family farm in Lee County, Iowa.

Chloe Millward

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We'll Carry On

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Not Feeling Any Pain

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William Elliott Whitmore has been called a folksinger, a roots troubadour and an heir to Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen. He grew up in the "fertile crescent" — his words — between the Mississippi and Des Moines Rivers, on his family's horse farm.

He still lives there, where he works out the dark, rich dirt under his fingernails on the frets of his banjo and guitar, and sings songs about pain, hard work and politics.

Much of Whitmore's new album, Field Songs, is an ode to family farmers. "Field Song" is its anthem.

"I live in Iowa," Whitmore tells NPR's Neal Conan. "These are things I think about a lot, so it's my little way to try to put a poetic spin on it.

"I kind of predict a return to the small farm," he says. "A lot of them got swallowed up by a lot of the big factory farms, and that was just sort of the way of things."

But Whitmore predicts a coming paradigm shift in the other direction, toward "sort of a more sustainable way of farming, something that's going to make the land a lot happier."

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Field Songs

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Album
Field Songs
Artist
William Elliott Whitmore
Label
Epitaph
Released
2011

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Day the End Finally Came

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Album
Day the End Finally Came
Artist
William Elliott Whitmore
Label
Southern
Released
2011

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Field Songs

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Buy Featured Music

Album
Field Songs
Artist
William Elliott Whitmore
Released
2011

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?