Tagged by many music journalists as one of the most likely songwriters to fill the void left by
catalogs the experiences of young adulthood in almost painfully honest detail. With a soft and sensitive voice that perfectly matches his laid-back 1970s California pop production and subtly expressive guitar work, he has gone from writing in his journal to becoming an intimate of like-minded artists like
Growing up in Lancaster, PA, Witmer
picked up the guitar at the age of 16 and was soon showing enough promise to draw the interest of the Innocence Mission
's Don Peris
. As Peris
's musical mentor, he would oversee and play guitar and keyboard on his apprentice's first recordings, 2000's River Bends
EP and the much-heralded Safe Away
. His reputation rising among singer/songwriters and bolstered by appearances on the summer festival scene, Witmer
would sign on with Burnt Toast Vinyl for 2001's The '80s E.P.
and 2002's Of Joy & Sorrow
, the latter finding him expanding into more electric sounds and having his efforts rewarded with overwhelmingly favorable reviews and extensive North American tour dates. Philadelphia Songs
followed later that year before Recovered
was released in summer 2003 on Fugitive. Are You a Dreamer?
's debut on The Militia Group two years later; the label then reissued Safe Away
in October 2006 as a double album coupled with the EP Are You a Sleeper? (a tie-in to the Dreamer
album) and several live bonus tracks.