The Whitmore Sisters are real life sisters Eleanor Whitmore (The Mastersons, Steve Earle, Tanya Tucker) and Bonnie Whitmore (Hayes Carll, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock).
Sisters Eleanor and Bonnie Whitmore, two of roots music’s most accomplished songwriter/instrumentalist/vocalists, have released their first album together as The Whitmore Sisters. Titled Ghost Stories, it’s inspired by the loss of family, friends, ex-boyfriends and — on the title track — people who died by police violence. These “ghosts” chose to appear right as Covid became entrenched — when live music evaporated and people were isolated from each other. Bonnie, whose four solo albums are all state-of-a-real-woman’s-heart jewels, decided to join sister Eleanor and her husband Chris Masterson in their Los Angeles closed circle for a break. Chris, who’s recorded four albums with his wife as The Mastersons, saw the visit as an opportunity to issue a mandate: If Bonnie was coming, it was time for the sisters to make a record. Not just an album, but “the album” — the musical inevitability that’s been simmering since a 22-year-old Eleanor was protecting her curly-headed 15-year-old sister at gigs in local bars. The Whitmore Sisters’ original songs, along with two covers — a song by their pal Aaron Lee Tasjan (“Big Heart Sick Mind” and “On The Wings Of A Nightingale” (written by Paul McCartney for iconic siblings The Everly Brothers) — was produced by Chris Masterson.
Ultimately, Ghost Stories’ cathartic songs embrace the beauty and the experience of living. What came from lockdown and shared experiences — hiking the Grand Canyon at five, playing bars at 15, getting their pilots’ licenses (their entire family fly planes), or just embracing the beauty of living — is an album to take you places and make you feel so alive. “Music should move people,” Eleanor affirms. “Or at least cause some kind of reaction. Sometimes it’s comforting, or you can rock out! I’ve always liked Woody Guthrie’s way of looking at it: ‘Music is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.’”