Bonnie Whitmore played in her family’s band as a child, joined the Brent Mitchell Band when she was only fifteen, and released her first solo record by twenty-two. Whitmore’s dual roles as sought-after bass player and independent songwriter offer a breadth of professional choices, but also pull her in different directions creatively: from playing Austin City Limits one night, to a tiny club with ten people the next. The ebb and flow of a music career sometimes has a quickly turning tide. Whitmore, though, has not caught the right wave yet.
As an in-demand sideman on both bass and cello, Bonnie Whitmore created deep personal and professional friendships with noted players and songwriters. Recently, Whitmore has been most recognized for her time playing with Hayes Carll. Even her immediate family remains connected to music, with a side project called The Pretty Pennies with her sister Eleanor and friend, Leslie Mendelson, and Eleanor’s main project, The Mastersons, with husband, Chris (formerly of Son Volt). Chris Masterson produced Embers to Ashes, bringing in their support team of George Reiff, Falcon Valdez, her sister Eleanor, and the only overdubs of pedal steel with Rich Hinman–a stellar lineup of friends and family making the whirlwind two-day recording sessions happen.
Bonnie Whitmore’s songwriting comes from her personal life, albeit embellished. Given her propensity for creative ways to murder an ex–metaphorically, of course–her former beaus are treading in dangerous waters. Some of the sweet-sounding songs are the most dark lyrically. Whitmore and her friend, Amanda Shires, co-wrote several songs, some of which are on her latest album. Organic songwriting partnerships work for her, but the forced ones have gone nowhere. Similarly, Whitmore herself has recently relocated to her home state of Texas–again–from Nashville. Embers to Ashes has resolution in its concept, but is also open to a sequel, as her next album (to be recorded late winter) will likely be.
Songs in this radio show include:
- Bonnie Whitmore Embers to Ashes “Embers to Ashes,” “GTO,” “Tin Man”
- The Mastersons Birds Fly South “You Don’t Know”
- Hayes Carll KMAG YOYO “Lovin’ Cup”
- Muddy Waters “Baby Please Don’t Go”
- Centro-Matic “Fidgeting Wildly”
- The Happen-Ins The Happen-Ins “Be Yer Fool”
When you buy these songs, you support these musicians. There are several instances of words that have been bleeped in this conversation. We have already bleeped Hayes Carll’s tune, as well. This entire program is FCC-safe.