So.... how can this "almost" be a musical discovery? Well... it's simple. First, let me backtrack and tell you about Mr. Denison Witmer. Mr. Witmer is a singer/songwriter that hails from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He has been on the scene for the better part of the last decade, and came to my attention by way of Rosie Thomas, who has been one of my favorite musical discoveries of the past couple years. In 2007, Rosie recorded an album called, "THESE FRIENDS OF MINE", which featured Indie phenom, Sufjan Stevens, as well as Denison Witmer. That particular album was mainly recorded in the apartments of the principle musicians and is one of the most heartfelt recordings I have ever heard.
After watching the Rosie Thomas documentary, "ALL THE WAY FROM MICHIGAN, NOT MARS", which goes behind the scenes with Rosie and the tour in support of "These Friends of Mine", including live footage with Sufjan and Denison, I decided that the time had come for me to finally investigate the music of Mr. Denison Witmer.
Today, I received a copy of "SAFE AWAY", a 2006 release that featured a bonus CD that includes the E.P. "Are You a Sleeper?", in addition to some live cuts (most of which are direct from the soundboard, with no post production). Included on the second disc is a track featuring the angelic voice of Rosie Thomas, called "Castle and Cathedral". It is honestly one of the most moving songs I have heard in a long time.
In the case of the album "Safe Away" and the accompanying bonus disc, I actually find the studio material on the bonus disc to be more compelling than the album, itself. That being said, the material on this (as well as his other albums) has been compared to the work of Nick Drake and Cat Stevens. Songs with heartfelt, poetic lyrics, layered with sparse acoustic guitar accompaniment. It has been stated, however, that although his guitar work seems simple, it is actually a rather complex style of fingerpicking.
So... kick back and enjoy this....ummmm.... "video", which isn't actually a video at all. It merely happens to be the music of Denison Witmer (assisted by the lovely Rosie Thomas), as featured in the show PRIVATE PRACTICE.