BY RYAN MARR
Denison Witmer is not a niche artist.
I can imagine his particular brand of soft, inoffensive neo-folk working just as well winning over guests at my Jackson Browne-loving grandmother’s dinner parties as wooing potential Iron & Wine-inclined love interests on college-radio based mix CDs.
Perhaps it’s this cross-generational appeal which has dampened Witmer’s chances of building the kind of online hype magic that has propelled his friend and frequent collaborator Sufjan Stevens to the pinnacle of indie-dom.
Nevertheless, despite flying under the radar for over a decade now, Witmer has remained one of the few undiscovered gems in America’s currently blossoming folk revival.
Channeling a diverse background of Americana influences including Gram Parsons, Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake, Witmer has continually put out consistently underrated albums of introspective finger picked folk musings reminiscent of Elliott Smith.
His albums have drawn rave reviews from publications as varied as Entertainment Weekly and Pitchfork.com—further proof of his wide demographic appeal.
And fortunately for Mary Washington music fans, Witmer still wears a low-enough profile to fill up intimate, low-cost venues like the Loft in downtown Fredericksburg.