A battered acoustic + penchant for a good story = a shiny new music career. Michael Leonard Witham sounds like someone who has lived a life even though he’s still a young dude.
And with that spirit, Witham has a gift for weaving stories and melodies that hang in the air long after the playing. From “Sorry Girl But the Show is Over” to “Where the Witches Live,” Witham’s debut record A Scandal In The Violets is filled with longing, humor and a raw style, untouched by the industry that is infectious.
As the story goes, Witham loved him some beautiful trash and was an avid junk collector. It was after a successful dumpster dive behind a strip mall in Shreveport that he rescued a Yamaha acoustic guitar. He took the stringless, slightly-battered guitar home for some much-needed TLC.
Still healing from a wholesale ass beating by a blackjack dealer at a casino, Witham thought he’d try the calmer life of a troubadour, even though he’d never played guitar or written a song.
Soon after fixing up the dumpster guitar and writing incessantly, Witham was chosen from an iPhone recording as one of a handful of artists to perform in the Arkansas Times Musician’s Showcase. He began performing often and continued to craft songs that would become “A Scandal In The Violets,” his debut.
After the bruises faded and the guitar restored to playing condition, Witham taught himself how to awkwardly play a few chords. And then the words poured forth, winding, unusual and informed by someone who had already figured some things out.
Scandal In The Violets will likely launch Witham into the spotlight as long as he stays faithful to this organic persona, the blossoming singer/songwriter, sprung from the dumpster in a dirty old Southern town.
“John’s Old Lady”