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Denison Witmer

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States

Denison Witmer is an American singer-songwriter from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States. His first release, in 1995, was a cassette titled My Luck, My Love. He has since released six studio LPs; two live albums, a cover album (Recovered); three EPs; and an LP with The River Bends — a side project consisting of members of the Philadelphia-based alt-country band One Star Hotel. Witmer's 2005 album, Are You a Dreamer?, produced by Don Peris of The Innocence Mission and featuring Sufjan Stevens, received acclaim, including positive reviews from Pitchfork Media and Entertainment Weekly. Witmer and Stevens appeared on Rosie Thomas's 2007 album These Friends of Mine, an album which included Rosie Thomas' version of “Paper Doll,” a track originally written and recorded by Witmer. Witmer toured with Rosie Thomas in support of that album in venues across the US and Europe.

Witmer's style has been described as “neo-folk.” He has also been compared to 1970s-era singer-songerwriters, including Cat Stevens and Nick Drake. Witmer's lyrics are poetic and thoughtful; his guitar work, while simple-sounding, relies on complex finger-picking.

Denison Witmer was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was raised Mennonite and attended Lancaster Mennonite School. His guitar teacher was Don Peris.

Before becoming a full-time musician, Witmer worked in the greenhouse which his family owned.

Witmer's and all of his brothers' full names have the initials “DSW.”

Witmer released a cassette tape titled My Luck, My Love in 1995. The album was recorded as a project for an English class during Witmer's senior year of high school. Only 250 copies were made, and the album was given to family and friends. Though My Luck, My Love is Witmer's first release, he does not view it as his true debut but as the extension of a hobby.

Witmer released his first album Safe Away in 1998. The album, produced by Don Peris, was first self-released by Witmer. He began playing shows in an effort to sell the one thousand copies produced. The album sold out, and indie label Burnt Toast Vinyl approached Witmer, asking to re-release it.


1995 My Luck, My Love
1997 Safe Away
1999 River Bends EP Velvet Blue Music
2000 Safe Away (reissue) Burnt Toast Vinyl
2001 The '80s EP Burnt Toast Vinyl
2001 Of Joy & Sorrow Burnt Toast Vinyl
2002 River Bends EP (reissue) Burnt Toast Vinyl
2002 Denison Witmer Live Burnt Toast Vinyl
2002 Philadelphia Songs Burnt Toast Vinyl
2003 Recovered Fugitive Recordings
2004 Philadelphia Songs (reissue) Bad Taste Records
2005 The River Bends …And Flows into the Sea Bad Taste Records
2005 Are You a Dreamer? The Militia Group
2006 Safe Away (reissue) The Militia Group
2008 Carry the Weight The Militia Group
2011 The Ones Who Wait (limited release) Mono Vs Stereo
2012 The Ones Who Wait Asthmatic Kitty Records
2013 Denison Witmer Asthmatic Kitty Records
2020 American Foursquare Asthmatic Kitty Records
2020 Lancaster Country [single] Asthmatic Kitty Records

My Luck, My Love

1995 Independent

Denison Witmer - vocals, guitar

Ryan Burkhart - Guitar on “My Luck, My Love” and “Prayer Song”
Douglas Witmer - Background guitar on “Prayer Song”

  1. So You Took My Love
  2. Monday at 2:30
  3. Lift My Head Up From My Knees
  4. Good Cry
  5. Take What You Need
  6. My Luck, My Love
  7. I’m On My Way
  8. Master of Being Alone
  9. Prayer Song
  10. Say You’ll Stick Around

Safe Away

1997 Independent
2000 Burnt Toast Vinyl (btv024)
2006 Burnt Toast Vinyl (btv077) / The Militia Group (TMG047-2)

Denison Witmer - Vocals, guitar, organ, piano

Don Peris - Guitar, organ, bass
Daniel French - Bass on “Miles”
Scott French - Drums, harmonica on “Say You'll Stick Around” and “Meant to Be”
Kelli Cain - Vocals on “Meant to Be”

  1. Steven (2:30)
  2. Breathe in This Life (3:11)
  3. Over My Head (2:49)
  4. This and That (2:00)
  5. Closer to the Sun (3:16)
  6. What Will Stay? (2:19)
  7. Miles (2:30)
  8. Dain (3:49)
  9. Los Angeles (2:17)
  10. Around Everything (3:20)
  11. I Would Call You Now (3:44)
  12. Sarah's Bridge (0:58)
  13. I Won't Leave / Broken (7:17)
2000 reissue bonus tracks
  1. Broken (3:20)
  2. Say You'll Stick Around (4:46)
  3. Meant to Be (6:36)

River Bends EP

1999 Velvet Blue Music (VBM 036)
2002 Burnt Toast Vinyl (btv045)

Denison Witmer
Don Peris
Steven Yutzy

  1. Healing Time (3:09)
  2. Los Angeles (2:17)
  3. St. Jude (3:02)
  4. Steven (2:29)
  5. You Got Me Good (6:24)

(…to be continued…)

denison_witmer.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/16 04:21 by admin