Austin-based Americana singer-songwriter Bonnie Whitmore will play at The Purple Fiddle Monday, and the Texas native says she's looking forward to making her way back to the Mountain State.
Whitmore, a nationally recognized performing artist, is touring with the roots rock and R&B band, Somebody's Darling, to support her recently released sophomore album "There I Go Again." The album, which was released June 11, is being described by No Depression magazine as "a heady mix of modern Country and Mountain Music" and by Blog Critics as "crammed full of soulful, insistent Americana, with sharp-edged songs reminiscent of Tom Petty."
Originally, from Denton, Texas, Whitmore said the last time she's traveled to West Virginia the state left quite an impression on her.
"It's absolutely beautiful," she said in a telephone interview with The Inter-Mountain Thursday. "The scenery and the people, you get the feeling like it is all a very well-kept secret nestled in the mountains."
Whitmore said she prefers intimate venues, such as the one at The Purple Fiddle because it is "easier to hold the energy of the room."
Born into a talented family - her father, a rock/pop musician and her mother, a trained opera singer - music is in Whitmore's blood. Performing in her father's band when she was only 8 years old, she claims he helped shape her taste in music and her desire to be a performer.
"It's interesting growing up with a family that is always performing." Whitmore said. "My dad would be performing a song by Roy Orbison, Chuck Barry or The Beatles and as a kid I'd just think it was his. For all I knew, he had written all of those classics. At least he played them like they were his."
Though she claims her roots are firmly planted in country music, she also dabbles in bluesy sounds and influences from the rock and pop music culture. Whitmore draws inspiration from many different sources, using music as an outlet for her to focus her experiences into something more, embracing and utilizing some darker subjects to express herself.
"It took me a long time to write a love song," Whitmore said of her songwriting. "I'm more drawn to the underdog stories. But sometimes life is more complicated than happy endings."
Touring with Whitmore is the self-proclaimed "roots rock" band, Somebody's Darling. The five piece-band, from Dallas, Texas, includes lead singer and rhythm guitarist Amber Farris, lead guitarist David Ponder, Michael Talley on keyboards and back-up vocals, Wade Cofer on bass guitar and Nate Wedan on drums.
Farris said the band was looking forward to its first gig in West Virginia. This is their first tour with Whitmore, who Farris said had the "same vibe" as Somebody's Darling.
"She's a born performer and a good lead woman," Farris told The Inter-Mountain via telephone."Her music really complements our classic rock style and classic ballad style."
Inspired by the sounds of popular rock talents like Stevie Ray Vaughn, their music has been described as a "proudly messy blend of rock and country with a roiling rhythm that rips out of the speakers like a wild night on the town" by dfw.com.
"Being on the road, we try to have a plate of songs on the table at all times," Farris said. "We are looking forward to what West Virginia has to offer."