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Seattle, WA | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Seattle, WA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Duo Rock Adult Contemporary




"Witherow sets 'Christmas' album release for Black Friday"

Witherow’s ‘Christmas’

Featuring: “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Snowfall” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”

“Christmas” available at www.witherowmusic.com and on major music sites Nov. 27. Album release show that night at The Upper Room.

Witherow “Christmas” album release at The Upper Room

• 112 N. Lincoln St., Port Angeles, 6 p.m. doors. 6:30 p.m. show, Friday, Nov. 27.

• Opening: David & the Psalms

• Tickets: $7, includes “Christmas” album; 12 and under free entrance.

Advance sale at Port Book & News.

An electric season for Witherow

It’s been a DIY Christmas for some musicians on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Popular duo Dillan Witherow, 22, and Abby Latson, 26, plan to self-release their latest album “Christmas,” a 5-track on Black Friday. They host an album release show that night at the Upper Room in Port Angeles with admission including a copy of the album.

While distinctly a Christmas album, Witherow said it serves as an introduction to the band’s new electric sound. “Christmas” releases exactly three years after their first album “Standing on Shoulders,” which was more of a folk release.

Since a summer tour in 2014, the duo said they asked themselves “What do we want to play?” after finding their sound “not being folk enough” for the folk crowd, Witherow said.

Following a push by former bandmate Adam Bettger to go electric, the duo eventually softened to the idea but Bettger “left right after we got used to it,” Witherow said.

So they embraced the change as Witherow taught Latson electric guitar over a few months. Now she plays lead guitar for the band while continuing to share vocals with Witherow.

As she became more comfortable behind the guitar, Witherow shared their experiences online and the band found itself in a new world.

Witherow said they started gaining thousands of fans/followers on Instagram, a mobile social networking site, as they shared videos and photos, which led into more social media and YouTube attention for them.

Latson said people were generally interested in seeing a woman working with gear and playing instruments because it’s predominately male-dominated in the music industry.

“They like to see a girl who knows what she’s doing,” she said.

Over the past year, Witherow said they started using the Internet more to their advantage, which led to more opportunities with sponsors and promotions for the duo including gigs at trade shows.

After experiencing what they feel were mixed results from their first album and 2014 single “Love You Better,” Witherow said they felt they could do much of the promotion and recording themselves.

“We care about our band more than anyone else,” Witherow said. “Why not do it ourselves?”

Costs of outside services were one push for the duo, too.

Latson began going to Peninsula College to learn marketing and web design with plans to earn two two-year degrees while Witherow built a studio in a spare room in his mom’s house.

There the duo with friends, including longtime bass player Jason Taylor, recorded “Christmas.” Sequim producer Jeremy Cays mixed the album.

“It’s so much more gratifying to maintain creative control,” Witherow said. “It’s empowering to be in a community where we can make music surrounded by people we love.”

Without outside influence, the duo said they can create and release content faster, too, which includes plans for a new full-length album sometime next year.

“Abby plays electric guitar now and that’s rad but people can only hear our folk music now,” Witherow said. “Our content has to match and keep up with what we’re doing.”


“Christmas” is one part passion project for the duo and the other part a gateway to their new sound, the duo said.

Latson said she’s a big Christmas fan and wanted to do a Christmas album since her time with Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys.

While keeping the album on a DIY budget, the duo said they mostly chose songs that were free of royalties such as “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night,” Witherow’s favorites, and “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” Latson’s favorite.

They did opt to choose one licensed song, “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas,” which they said bridges the two halves of the album nicely.

Witherow wrote their instrumental “Snowfall” in pieces over recent years and they found it tied well into “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” Choosing “O Come O Come Emmanuel” started as a joke though, Witherow said, as he played a rock version of it for Latson. But she liked it and said she had to convince him it was a keeper.

Latson said they wanted to think outside the box for the physical release of their album, too. Witherow had the idea to package the CD version of “Christmas” like a card so that people could share it. But again he wasn’t keen on the idea. Latson said she and friends and neighbors had to convince him to do it.

Going into Thanksgiving and December, the band plans to release music videos produced by Latson to coincide with the release.

For more information on Witherow, visit www.witherowmusic.com. - Sequim Gazette

"WEEKEND: Witherow's new record debuts tonight with Port Angeles concert"

PORT ANGELES — The pair of Port Angeles sweethearts know what they want this Christmas.

Dillon Witherow and Abby Mae Latson want to be home, together, making music.

For months now — “crazy” months, Latson says — they have prepared for this. First, in the attic of Witherow's mother Susan's Port Angeles home, they built their own recording studio.

It's a rag-tag studio, Latson said, and it worked just fine to make “Witherow Christmas,” their CD to be released this evening at the Upper Room, upstairs at 112 N. Lincoln St., in an all-ages concert. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and David and the Psalms, David Rivers of Port Angeles' new band, will open the show.

“We'll be playing a wide range of Witherow songs, some full band songs, some acoustic songs,” Latson promised, “and new renditions of Christmas classics,” some of which are on the new disk.

Tonight's Witherow lineup has Dillan on guitars, Latson on vocals and Jason Taylor on electric bass; guitarist Sean Burton, who is listed in the CD's credits as “recording engineer and moral support,” will also be part of the ensemble.

The record is an EP, an “extended player” shorter than a typical album.

Producing a full-length CD would cost twice as much, Witherow said; Latson added that they wanted to finish the thing in time for a Thanksgiving-weekend release.

So the two narrowed it down to their favorites: “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “O Come O Come Emmanuel” and Witherow's original tune “Snowfall.”

They gave the tracks their own rock-flavored arrangements. Latson created the artwork for the CD sleeve, choosing a photograph of the woods above Lake Sutherland for the front.

On the back is another of her pictures, this one taken from her window at home, replete with a melting snowflake on the glass. Latson also handwrote the “Merry Christmas” on the front; her love for the holiday is visible in the script.

“Christmas for me is the anticipation of something beautiful,” Latson said in an interview at Easy Street, the downtown Port Angeles cafe, last Saturday.

“For weeks, you anticipate it.

“It's just a beautiful, beautiful time, when people at least try to be kind.”

“No one loves Christmas as much as Abby,” added Witherow.

The CD's liner notes are simple: “We hope that as you listen,” he and Latson write, “it reminds you of those you hold closest . . .”

And then a quotation from Dr. Seuss, via the Grinch: “Blast this Christmas music. It's joyful AND triumphant!”

The past couple of years have been a time of growth and development for Latson. She became known across the Northwest as the lead singer in Abby Mae and the Homeschool Boys, a bluegrass quartet.

In gigs at festivals, bars and barns, the group used one microphone, so Latson had to belt out her lyrics.

“It was like a fight,” she recalled. “I was always fighting.”

With Witherow, she sings softly. Her voice is light, like her heart.

Latson, 26, and Witherow, 22, met about four years ago at a songwriters' circle hosted by David Rivers. They later formed a band called Standing on Shoulders, then changed the name to Witherow, and began gigging around the North Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound region.

This summer they went to NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants guitar show in Nashville, Tenn., — because Latson, like Witherow, is a guitar player.

She took several months off in 2013 to study the instrument; then in January 2014 Witherow reappeared as a band, playing Port Angeles' Snowgrass festival, a benefit for First Step Family Support Center.

Latson grew up playing classical violin, starting in fourth grade at Franklin Elementary School and continuing through Port Angeles High School, where she performed with Ron Jones' Roughrider Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The discipline of the violin “helped in a lot of ways,” she said. The instrument taught her to not only make music, but also to do a bunch of things all at once.

Witherow, meanwhile, is a busy guitar teacher, composer and arranger. Like Latson, he is fiercely proud of the homegrown nature of the “Witherow Christmas” project.

Jeremy Cays, whose Cays Productions studio is in Sequim, did the mixing and played drums and strings. And though the mastering was done by Rick Fisher of Seattle's RFI, the artists see the CD — and tonight's concert — as a showcase of local energy and talent.

Witherow and Latson chose the Upper Room, which is part of the Independent Bible Church, not because theirs is a Christian band, but because they wanted a family-friendly venue.

Sure, they could have held the concert at a bar, Witherow said, but then people wouldn't be able to bring their kids.

“It's about being together, and having a sense of community,” he said.

“The idea is to be really proud of where we're at.” - Peninsula Daily News

"WEEKEND: Port Angeles acoustic duo kicks off national tour with intimate home-town show tonight"

PORT ANGELES — Homegrown musical duo, Witherow, this evening will kick off their first national tour with an intimate performance in downtown Port Angeles.

The acoustic duo consists of lovers Abby Latson, 27, and Dillan Witherow, 23, both of Port Angeles.

The two will perform from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Easy Street Coffee and Tea, 128 W. First St.

Entry to the all ages show is by donation.

The whole tour simply will be “acoustic guitar and our voices singing lots of harmonies,” Abby said.

“The show at Easy Street will be our first showing of our acoustic set, with some new songs. We're very, very excited to kick off this whole adventure here, in our hometown.”

“We're a duet, so we share the melodies pretty evenly and heavily emphasize the harmonies,” Abby said.

“I think the single most exciting thing about our songs is how we write harmonies and sing together. Sometimes both of us are singing harmonies but either could be the melody. It's really great.”

The two “take a lot of influences from our favorite singer-songwriters and add our own take on the harmonies,” Abby continued.

“I would classify us acoustic folk pop.”

Dillan specializes in finger tapping, and sings along with Abby during performances.

Dillan is a “prolific guitar player,” Abby said, “although every once in a while I'll pick up a guitar or I'll play a tom drum.”

Love inspired

Being partners both on and off stage has a direct correlation with the music the duo writes, Abby said.

“Being in a relationship, and doing music together, our music often is a great place to write about our hopes, dreams and love,” she said.

“We write songs about the challenges we face in our lives as well, and hope that people can relate to that.”

Recently “we've been writing a few songs about how important it is to pursue what you're good at, and to work really, really hard at that,” Abby continued.

“It's not exclusive to music, and we really hope that people can gain motivation and inspiration from those songs, as well as feel the warm fuzzy feelings we do when we sing about love.”

National Tour

The national tour will span from July 1 until Aug. 31, Abby said.

“We are going to bring our little corner of the world all over the country. We have a lot of new music to showcase.”

So far, “we have a little more than 20 dates booked,” Abby said, “spanning from Washington to New York, south a bit to South Carolina, and back across to California and north to home. Every day leading up to it, we get a little bit more excited.”

The two will be “taking videos and photos along the way to go in a music video with the release of new music when we get back,” she said.

The two have gone on a few shorter state tours, “but nothing this big,” Abby said.

“We're super excited about it, and also pretty nervous. We've never gone this far, but we're excited to see how it goes. We have a lot of friends and places that we'll see over the tour, and that is something great to look forward to.”

Local flavors

Both Abby and Dillan were raised in Port Angeles, Abby said, adding their musical style is steeped in the local culture.

“I would say Port Angeles has shaped our sound a lot,” she said.

“You gain inspiration from where you are, lyrically and melodically. From the cloud formations off the Olympics, to birds singing in the trees, to the sunsets over the Strait — the stunning views here have a transcendental effect on our music.”

Their various mentors and educators also have had a hand in guiding their formation, Abby said.

“The music program in Port Angeles is incredible,” she said.

“We've had lots of mentors and influences. Dillan was heavily involved in the [Port Angeles High School] choir program with Jolene Gailey, and I was in orchestra from the time I was 8. There are a lot of fantastic musicians and educators here, and a lot of them have helped us to do what we do.”

Abby has been performing music professionally for eight years, while Dillan has been playing guitar for 12 years.

The two formed Witherow about four years ago, Abby said.

“Our band formed in the spring of 2012, when I was in a bluegrass band called Abby Mae and the Homeschool Boys, and Dillan was in a folk band called Witherow and Gibson,” she said.

“We started writing songs together and found we loved it so much we'd create our own project.”

Since then, the two have released one album together, 2012's “Standing on Shoulders.”

In 2015, they released a Christmas themed EP and are working on a new EP to be released later this year.

The newest EP is being recorded in a private studio the two unsigned musicians built themselves.

“We are totally independent artists,” Abby said.

“We built our own studio and have been recording a lot there this year. We've been really proud of the sounds we can get there. This fall or winter, when we release our first original music in four years, I'll be proud to say that we recorded everything completely on our own at our own studio and wrote all the songs.”

The do-it-yourself nature of the project has been “a really gratifying experience,” Abby said, “but it takes a lot of work.”

Spreading their wings

“It's been a really fantastic adventure being a band based in the small town of Port Angeles” that is “always trying to find ways to connect with the outside world,” Abby said.

“Our first step to growing elsewhere was to plug into the amazing network of musicians in the area. This last year we realized how many connections we have made over the years, and decided to pull the trigger and start booking our tour.”

The two “booked every single show while we were also doing school full time at Peninsula College this last quarter,” Abby said.

This “huge step wouldn't be possible without the ceaseless support of our community,” she continued.

For more information about the band, visit www.witherowmusic.com.

For more information about this evening's performance, call 360-775-5041. - Peninsula Daily News


'Standing on Shoulders' Independently released in November 2012

'Christmas' independently released November 2015



We live in the Northwest corner of Washington State.
We are practically Canadian.
We are comprised of two members: Abbygail Mae and Dillan Witherow.
We are, in fact, together.

We have written and performed a lot of songs.
Some of them have been played on PBS.
All of them have been played at hundreds of shows.
We have played with some amazing musicians.
We just got back from a two month national tour.
We are currently recording more songs.
Listen to our songs.
Come to our shows.

We sound like the Sun peeking in through maple leaves on a summer day. We sound like waves against ancient crags. We play like brilliant color bursting out amid the barren damp of springtime. We play to take the chill out of winter. 

Band Members