The Fort Collins jamgrass outfit WhiteWater Ramble has dropped its short cinematic debut, "A Band Widow's Lament." The award-winning video consists of three of the band's songs stitched together to address gun violence in the United States. The short film recently won the Best Music Video category at the International Indie Short Fest in Los Angeles. The band individually released each of the tunes that comprise the video as stand-alone vids before combining them into the acclaimed triad shown here by Westword.
"We released [the videos] in reverse chronological order," explains 43-year-old Patrick Sites, original member and founder of WhiteWater Ramble, which has been around for approximately fifteen years. "The full movie runs about eighteen or nineteen minutes and tells the whole story. In the film, they are all in order and fit together visually as one complete tale.
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"We're trying to break out of the traditional way of doing stuff," Sites, the group's mandolin player, continues. "'Hollow,' which is the first single we released, is the end of the story. It was the first music we had put out in six years. Then we released a short segue trailer that was followed by 'Kentucky Windage,' and the last chapter [song] is called 'It Don't Matter.' The entire movie is called 'A Band Widow's Lament.' We're easing towards a different sound on our new record, and videos help us capture peoples' attention. We have a fourteen-track disc coming out, and we're looking for something different to bring them in. This project has been eye opening and has changed my approach to writing songs and producing music."
Sites says that the band's video has been well received, but that it has also been controversial among some viewers.
"We got a lot of love from fans but also some hate," he shares. "I've gotten two hundred-plus comments on one page. I've left it up online. We knew we'd get some blowback, so we took a strict 'no reply' stance. It's art, and it's a reflection of society, and we're sorry if some people can't handle that. It touches on domestic violence, which ties into the theme of the story, which is gun violence in our society. People are desensitized these days, yet they're also very easily offended."