“… really strong songs, both lyrically and musically …” – Dean Driver, Doodad Farm
His guitar-driven folk-pop sounds like Neil Finn got way into Patty Griffin and hired ollabelle to back him up. Wes sings about goddesses on a rope swing, and dodging Legos to get to the coffeemaker. He has a happy little song about drinking yourself to sleep, and another about sleepwalking through grief. He apparently has a lot to say about sausage.
Wes started out playing covers for a living, but parked his Takamine under the bed and worked at a straight job for ten years. He dug the guitar back out in 2000 and got back at it, but he hit his forties before writing his first song, mainly because he was scared to write bad ones.
And now he has a record he’s mighty proud of. Produced by Chris Rosser, his new CD One Layer Down draws on talent like River Guerguerian (David Wilcox), Eliot Wadopian (Paul Winter Consort), Will Straughan (Red June), and others.
A random sample from the eleven tracks on One Layer Down:
“I kill the overhead, and I’m steering for that blinker
Like a lighthouse on my coffeemaker”
At once mournful and joyous, Chasing Hallelujah deploys two guitars and a banjo to admit that kids wear you down, break your stuff and light you up like a sparkler.
“Kissed your forehead and whispered I’d see you on the other side
Left my tears on your face and took a good long look
So why am I looking for you everywhere?”
Nobody has to tell you it hurts to lose a loved one, but nobody thinks to tell you how weird it is.
On Come Around, Wes, River, and Chris invoke that dislocation with 12-string, frame drum, fretless bass, harmonium and backward electric guitar.
Other things you might want to want to know about Wes – he garnered a first place win in the 2012 NC Songwriter’s Co-op Contest, he can imitate the sound of a skipping CD, and he’s a recovering record collector.