Michael Leonard Witham – “Oh The Evil !!!”
Folk rocker Michael Leonard Witham has the story you’d expect from a nostalgia-generating folk artist in 2014. He has been an admitted “junk collector” since childhood, and always had a tendency to check garbage piles for potentially valuable items. In the summer of 2010, on top of a garbage pile, he found a Yamaha acoustic guitar without strings. Upon arriving home, he taught himself how to re-string the guitar via YouTube, and was soon after playing for the first time. Via a little modern-day Internet instruction and some good-old playing around, Witham eventually got a feel for the instrument, which he picked up for the first time just over four years ago.
Just a few months after the treasured dumpster find, Witham was chosen as the only solo performer – out of 200 bands submitted – to perform at the Arkansas Times Musician’s Showcase. Now, four years later, Witham is releasing his debut album, the ten-track A Scandal in the Violets. Listening to its tracks, it’s impressive how far Witham has come — not only as a guitarist, but as a songwriter. Album highlight “Oh The Evil !!!” floats on pleasant guitar twangs and a sturdy acoustic backing, with occasional bursts of harmonica complementing Witham’s passionate and herky-jerky voice. Folk-revering artists like Ryan Adams come to mind, which is impressive for any artist, let alone one that became a musician within the past few years. I’m looking forward to seeing how Witham will continue to develop as a guitarist and singer/songwriter.