Iowa OUTLAWS WILLIAM ELLIOT WHITMORE and DAVE ZOLLO bring their songwriting super group, MIDDLE WESTERN to the Sondheim to share the stage in a double-headlining show with San Francisco ANGELS, JOLIE HOLLAND & SAMANTHA PARTON. This rare opportunity brings four of America's greatest songwriters together in what is being called, a night of poets and prophets.
MIDDLE WESTERN, featuring WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE & DAVE ZOLLO along with STEVIE DOYLE & BRIAN COOPER will charge through a set of bluesy, roots-rock, while Zollo and Whitmore alternate taking the lead vocals on different songs. Middle Western brings together the influences and talents of its members to create something unique and familiar.
Merging the unique piano, strings and singing styles of its two front men, Paste Magazine recently named Middle Western as one of the "9 Best Things We Saw at Daytrotter Downs," which is Daytrotter's annual festival in Davenport. Despite Whitmore and Zollo having decades of experience between them, Middle Western is still a relatively new collaboration.
MIDDLE WESTERN is the culmination of almost 20 years of friendship and discussion between well-known Iowa singer-songwriters William Elliot Whitmore, from Montrose and David Zollo, from Iowa City, and Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist, sideman, and producer, Stephen "The Kid" Howard. Zollo and Howard played together in The Body Electric, the band Zollo formed after his first group, High and Lonesome, disbanded, and both played on recordings of Whitmore's.
In 2011 the three began performing together, along with Body Electric drummer Brian Cooper, under Whitmore and Zollo's names, but the idea of forming a group that would write together and employ multiple singers, began taking shape.
In 2015, with the addition of Chicago-based lead guitarist Steve Doyle, Middle Western was born. Work began immediately on writing songs for a debut recording, which was begun at Iowa City's Flat Black Studios in March 2017. With Whitmore moving to bass guitar and Howard playing lead and rhythm electric guitars; Doyle on all manner of slide guitars; Zollo on keys and Cooper on drums, and Whitmore, Zollo and Howard sharing singing duties, Middle Western mixes the members many, varied, influences to create a sound that is both comfortable yet distinctive. From punk rock to New Orleans-inspired piano stompers, and everything in between, the band has a sound that is, frankly, Middle Western in nature.