Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 News Archive

Wes has posted two new tunes, “Remember When” and “Dear Abby,” from his forthcoming album (By the Side of the Lake) on his MySpace Profile (public) and Facebook Fan Page. Look for the full album in early 2010!

Songwriting Scene blog interviews Wes regarding the Seattle scene.

Wes adds mandolin to the song “Button” on UK singer/songwriter Ian Lang’s album The Whisper, slated for release later this fall. A new WW CD is also in the works—check back for updates!

Footage of Wes and audio from “Autumn’s Calling” are featured in a television spot promoting the Northwest Folklife Festival, now airing on Q-13 FOX.

“Carry On” appears on Victory Music’s new compilation CD, A Northwest Acoustic Celebration, Vol. 1, along with many other fine local artists.

Film from the full WW Band 5/8/08 performance at Conor Byrne Pub in Seattle now available on the WW YouTube Channel.

2009 Gig Archive

2009: Stickin’ around, makin’ a record...

Date City Venue
12/17/09 Bellevue, WA Crossroads
10/17/09 Pasco, WA Three Rivers Folklife Society
Opening for Bill Staines
10/11/09 Charlottesville, VA Private Wedding
10/8/09 New York, NY Googie’s Lounge
10/3/09 Everett, WA KSER Sound Adventure
Aboard the Schooner Adventuress
9/24/09 Seattle, WA Seattle Children’s Museum
9/12/09 Seattle, WA The L.A.B.
at Seattle Drum School
9/6/09 Richland, WA Tumbleweed Music Festival
8/4/09 Seattle, WA Maple Leaf Lutheran Church
8/2/09 Seattle, WA Westside UU Congregation
7/24/09 Mercer Island, WA Youth Theatre Northwest
(Faculty Showcase)
July 18-19 Seattle, WA Sound Transit Link Light Rail Launch
6/4/09 Kent, WA Sunnycrest Elementary School
5/28/09 Seattle, WA Seattle Children’s Museum
May 23-24 Seattle, WA Northwest Folklife Festival
5/22/09 Bellevue, WA KBCS 91.3-FM Interview/Performance
4/28/09 Edmonds, WA Driftwood Players
4/11/09 Everett, WA House Concert
4/10/09 Bellevue, WA Crossroads
3/20/09 Seattle, WA Q Cafe
2/12/09 Seattle, WA Seattle Children’s Museum
1/29/09 Bellevue, WA Crossroads
1/8/09 Seattle, WA Seattle Children’s Museum
1/3/09 Seattle, WA House Concert

Performance Notes

Thu., December 17, 2009
Bellevue, WA: Crossroads

Nice to close out a more reclusive, close-to-home year on a home-court gig. Looking forward to hitting it harder in 2010 with a new record!

Sat., October 17, 2009
Pasco, WA: Three Rivers Folklife Society
(Opening for Bill Staines)

When I was very young, I refused to go to sleep until my folks had spun both sides of The Whistle of the Jay, and I still remember my father helping a 7-year-old me gather up all of my stuffed animals to take to a Bill Staines concert, where we sat in the back and held them up appropriately (yes, appropriately!) during the verses of “All God’s Critters.” How delightful (for me), then, that Bill couldn’t go on until I’d done my 25 minutes! A special evening for yours truly...

Thu., October 8, 2009
New York, NY: Googie’s Lounge
(Above The Living Room)

Through my Northwest Home work—and general disposition—I’ve developed an acute defensiveness toward the prevailing New York ‘how could anyone live anywhere else?’ attitude: many are where they are for a reason, I counter, and their lives matter! But...this city really is unlike any other place imaginable (or not; further proof, Brooklyn-based friend Pat Wictor remarks, that the ‘NY-is-the-only-way’ approach is absurd). And Googie’s is a great little songwriter spot on up-and-coming Ludlow Street! Feels good to stretch out a little (and road-test some new tunes) after a largely close-to-home year thus far.

Sat., October 3, 2009
Everett, WA: KSER Sound Adventure
- Aboard the Schooner Adventuress

What a day for a sail! (And not like last time, when the breeze howled at the dock and then died once we made our way out into the sound...) And kind fun to play for a very captive audience—little chance anyone’ll jump ship—but hard to shout down the wind.

Sat., September 12, 2009
Seattle, WA: SDS L.A.B.

The Seattle Drum School’s L.A.B. (‘Little Auditorium in the Back’) is a cool space, and it’s nice to be part of a ‘songwriter’ evening that’s not full of the usual suspects (much as I love ’em)—and probably good for me to learn a Neil Young tune, too (everyone had to do one). Particularly enjoyed Mary Lydia Ryan’s piano stylings, and always nice to hang with Steve Mason; additional co-bill props to Sarah Burgess, Judd Wasserman, and Zach Moss, who’ll be great fun to watch as time keeps marching on.

Sun., September 6, 2009
Richland, WA: Tumbleweed Music Festival

The ‘lucky’ 13th Tumbleweed festival, with a theme of Superstition to boot—figures it’d dump rain on the evening the desert (steppe...). Stays dry enough for my set, but plenty-windy; and there’s enough flat surface area on the back of an acoustic guitar (or, perhaps, significant dearth of available shielding material on the player’s bean-pole body) to catch the gusts pretty well a la a sail. Nice to be back on the buddy-system for a weekend with Joe Jencks, hear a great winning song from Mike Murray (who took home a trophy hand-made by yours truly), learn a very effective way to deal with hecklers from Tom Lewis, and visit with old and new friends alike. RIP, John F. Perry (1943-2009)—thanks for all you’ve done.

(From my post to the FAR-West list-serv earlier this year:)

The FAR-West community lost a gem with the passing of John Perry (66) last Friday, co-founder (along with his wife, Micki, and others) of Three Rivers Folklife Society in SE Washington State. Like any of us, John was a wonderfully complicated fellow, a folkie as folky as they come with a distinguished career as a nuclear engineer for the Navy and then local power companies. I could list a host of accomplishments and names in tribute, but I'd rather share an endearing memory and some personal thanks:

What's remarkable about the vast, 'non-Seattle' expanse of Washington State known to most merely as 'Eastern Washington' is just how far away from the popular Northwest image of rain-in-your-Starbucks these communities lie: distance; climate; politics; life... I grew up in one of these towns--not near *anything*--and determined local citizens with a 'why not?' vision were the only reason I could be exposed to live music as a child.

Under John's watch the Tumbleweed Music Festival ( in Richland, WA, has grown to attract performers from across the country (without sacrificing a close, local feel), built a reputation for its splendid treatment of artists, and almost single-handedly revived a songwriting scene that had been spinning its wheels in places. John hand-made the trophies presented to the winners of the festival's annual songwriting contest, which feature striking copper-wire tumbleweed sculptures in a style John learned from his father-in-law.

I will never forget John attending the house concert panel at the 2007 FAR-West conference. As the discussion began to wind down and artists looked for subtle ways to be seen by the panel, John started asking some pretty pointed questions about how certain templates might apply in more rural, conservative settings. He certainly violated the atmosphere of gentle-schmooze, and his style might not have won him any points, but his thesis deserves repeating: do not assume any community is less vital because it is less known.

RIP, friend -

Sun., August 2, 2009
Seattle, WA: Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation

It’s not every day that one gets to contribute songs to a service with the sermon “Spiritual Practice: From Twitter to Prayer” a Masonic Lodge, no less! Can’t make it east to kick off the second decade of Gospel Sundays, so I suppose this is the next-best place to be...

July 18-19, 2009
Seattle, WA: Sound Transit Link Light Rail Launch
(Rainier Beach Station)

I remember when ‘Light Rail coming in 2009’ seemed an eternity off, but here we are (and here I am singing at the opening). And come another ten or so years, the landscaping vision in place down MLK is likely to pay off handsomely as the trees fill out. For the time being, however, the sight of a scrawny songwriter inching slowly east to follow the shade of a scrawny Henderson Plaza tree as each afternoon dwindled must’ve been worth a chuckle or two... Nice to pass the musical time withAmanda and Erin , and really neat to finally ride the train when my four sets finally wound down—riding a subway through Seattle feels like I’m in a completely different city taking in new views!

May 23-24, 2009
Seattle, WA: Northwest Folklife Festival

Folklife has asked me to be ‘Community Coordinator’ for singer/songwriters at this year’s festival, a task which—after all requisite cat-herding jokes—I have enthusiastically embraced. What makes songwriter music different from anything else one might encounter at the festival (and one can certainly encounter most everything else here!) is that it is original music, so rather than host a performance of select individuals for my community’s ‘show,’ my crack-coalition has created events in the form of open, unamplified Emerald City Song Circles where anyone is welcome to share an original song (just as anyone is welcome to just come and listen!). Our hope is that this becomes a recurring way to celebrate local songwriting, and I think we’re well on our way. (I also had a normal set...and ended up on aTV promo from the local FOX affiliate...)

Tue., April 28, 2009
Edmonds, WA: Driftwood Players

Kinda nice to run the full outfit out there on a stage with some elbow-room. And a few choice prop-room finds really tied the set together...

Sat., April 11, 2009
Everett, WA: House Concert

Backing Nancy K. Dillon (good friend) and the UK’s Ian Lang (fast becoming good friend) tonight—sideman gigs don’t usually make it onto here (don’t know what I’d say in a dozen annual Reilly & Maloney entries...), but this one was so fun and new that it made the self-indulgent cut.

Fri., April 10, 2009
Bellevue, WA: Crossroads

Excited that Crossroads is trying a songwriters in-the-round format with one of its weekend dates, and can’t think of a better group with which to (half-)circle than Messrs. Larry Murante (New CD!), Orville Johnson, & Brad Warren—though, if the format sticks and Crossroads wants to do this again (I hope it does!...judging from several comments, folk dig it), we’ll have to get a female or two involved!

Fri., March 20, 2009
Seattle, WA: Q Cafe

Victory Music has long been a custodian of and presence in the local acoustic music community, and for the first time in quite a while it has released a new compilation of works from Northwest songwriters and artists: A Northwest Acoustic Celebration (Vols. 1 & 2). My tune “Carry On” appears on Vol. 1, so I’m joining many of the stellar other artists for a release concert tonight. Nice hall, nice crowd, and always fun to drag Erin along—the Vol. 2 concert’ll be April 17!

Thu., January 29, 2009
Bellevue, WA: Crossroads

It just works here. You wouldn’t think it would, but it does. And I love it! Good place to road-test some new tunes and keep the organization’s efforts humming.

Sat., January 3, 2009
Seattle, WA: House Concert

Joining Joe Jencks at the last minute for a pleasant gathering to kick off 2009 with potluck and song!