Ken Weatherford
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Ken Weatherford

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"Keeping Faith"

Keeping Faith
Doors open, young musician walks through

By David Williams
January 15, 2006

It was a mighty leap of faith.

What else would you call what Ken Weatherford III took -- literally, spiritually -- a year ago at this time?

Mere weeks out of college and months from his wedding day, at a time when sensible young men are seeking the security of a "real job," he was setting out, guitar in hand, for a career as a Christian music singer-songwriter.

"Because I knew," he said, sitting in his old bedroom at his parents' East Memphis home, on the January 2005 day he took his first tentative steps, "that if I were to wait until after Casey and I were married, I would never ever go for it, out of sheer fear and obligation.

"So yeah, I feel pressure. ... And then again, I'm excited, because I'm getting to do what so many people don't ever get to do. Everybody has dreams. Everybody has hopes. And so many, out of fear or out of their situation, don't get the opportunity."

Opportunity is a window, and through it Weatherford leaped that day.

In the year since, we've monitored his progress -- playing gigs, spreading his message, recording his CD, getting married, setting up house, beginning a new life, and, most of all, keeping the faith.

'He's got what it takes'

"Boy, I was so scared at the start of last year."

Weatherford, 23, is sitting in the Midtown apartment where he and the former Casey Crawford have lived since their Sept. 17 wedding. He's looking back at a year in which he met reality -- marriage, a place of his own and other adult responsibilities -- even as he chased a dream.

"I was nervous and excited and everything else," he said. "I didn't think so many things would have happened."

What's happened? Not fame or riches, for sure. But enough that when asked what he does for a living,

Weatherford answers:

"I'm an independent Christian recording artist."

He recorded a CD, "Chalk," at a Nashville-area studio where Amy Grant and Jimmy Buffett have cut records.

From an initial pressing of 1,000 CDs, he's sold about 700 -- and recently signed a digital distribution deal that will make "Chalk" available on iTunes and other sites.

He met his goal by playing 80 live shows, from church groups to coffee houses, small festivals to an ice cream parlor.

He estimates he made $18,000 to $20,000 for the year, despite a slow start and the career interruption that was their wedding.

"I think we're going to see Ken be noticed, at the very least, on a regional level pretty quickly here," said Josh Vegors, a performer and producer through whom Weatherford got free access to the Bennett House recording studio.

"I think as far as charisma and talent, he's got what it takes. I think all that it's going to come down to is the one lucky break, when the right person gets that album in their hands."

"Chalk" was the best thing that happened to his career last year, Weatherford says.

"I can't speak for the music. Other people have to do that," he said. "But the quality of the production, the quality of the mastering and everything else, it's up there with anything that's on the radio."

Because his friend Vegors worked at the studio, Weatherford was able to record there for free in the off hours.

"We figured out $25,000 in studio time, free," Weatherford said. "Had it not been for Josh (who produced and engineered), I wouldn't have had these opportunities."

To pay Vegors and musicians, and to pay for CD manufacturing, Weatherford got more help -- $2,500 each from his alma mater, Lambuth University, where he studied vocal performance, and from Lakeshore United Methodist Assembly, a Christian camp in Eva, Tenn.

"Ultimately, when it came down to it, I only spent about $2,000 out of my own pocket, really, on the project," he said.

Selling himself

His CD is on He can rightfully call himself an "independent Christian recording artist."

But a year later, Weatherford doesn't presume to have arrived.

He's comfortable performing and professing his faith, but selling himself -- marketing the product that is Ken Weatherford -- remains a challenge.

He's taking a course to help him, for example, pick up the phone and say, "'Here's why I'm different. Here's why I'd be good. Here's why you should book me -- and here's why you should pay this amount of money when you do book me."

There's another challenge -- keeping his career moving on a daily basis, keeping the fire lit.

Casey, having watched Ken struggle with that, put herself in his position, saying, "Sometimes you're really encouraged about what you're doing, and thinking, 'This is what I was called to do.'

"Then other times it's like, 'Maybe I should just get a real job.'"

Casey, 22, graduated from Lambuth in May 2005. She's an assistant editor at Justine, a locally based national magazine for teenage girls.
- The Commercial Appeal

"The Monday Review: Ken Weatherford, Chalk"

The Monday Review: Ken Weatherford, Chalk
Being that last Friday was perhaps the busiest day I've ever had in my professional career, I didn't get a chance to bore anyone with a lengthy album review. Don't fear, however, cause over the weekend I was able to carve out some time to tell you about Ken Weatherford's debut CD, Chalk.

In a nutshell, Ken Weatherford is a singer-songwriter of immense talent. And although I freely admit to being incredibly jealous of his talent, I consider him a great friend. And a top-notch wedding singer too.

Recorded at The Bennett House and produced by the esteemed Josh Vegors, Chalk is Ken's first "real" CD - and it's a keeper. Here is why.

One of the first things that sticks out is the range of styles present on the album. KW3 tackles funk (Untamed Faith), jazz (I Stand), blues (Poor Boy), and even rawk (Get Lost). Each of these songs serve as a showcase of not only Ken's musicianship, but also the abilities of such talented folks such as Casey Webber, Travis Garner, and others.

Aside from the diversity, the real standout tracks on Chalk stay a little closer to the singer-songwriter style. "Made for More," the first single, is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of song - a catchy hook, memorable lyrics, great production. Most artists are lucky to have one of those songs on an album. But in my opinion, Chalk has two more that are of that quality, "The Blackboard" and "In The Grey."

As a side note, a few of the songs on Chalk feature an amazingly talented female on background vocals. I don't know who she is, but I wish I could meet her. She sounds hot.

I knew Ken could sing, and I knew he could play. What I didn't know was how well he (with his lovely wife, Casey) could turn a phrase. "In the Grey," is poetic as a junt. On the surface, "Moccachino Dreams" is a sweet love song - underneath, it's a prayer of thanksgiving and a plea for sacred love. "Untamed Faith" is probably the song that surprised me the most when I read the lyrics, which are densely packed with allusions, imagery, and the wonderful concept of an "eyes closed love."

Maybe Ken had a different theme in mind when he wrote it. Maybe he didn't have a particular theme at all. But to me, this is an album about the process of being humbled.

This thread runs throughout the album, from "Come Get Lost" to his cover of "We Fall Down." But it is probably best illustrated by "The Blackboard," which encapsulates that feeling we have all had of searching for answers amidst so much uncertainty.

Humility is a rare theme for any album, and a welcome departure from the "look-at-me" feeling you get from most debut CDs.

"Made For More," "The Blackboard," "In The Grey," "Untamed Faith"

"We Fall Down"

- Matt Washburn: Lokking Out My Window

"Rebourne Radio"

Week Ending October 30, 2005
Made For More
Ken Weatherford

Top Listener Voted Tracks Weekly

Rebourne Top Ten October 30, 2005
1. Ken Weatherford - Made for More
2. Last Page First - Song For You
3. EchosFlow - Blessed Assurance
4. Flatfoot 56 - The Long Road
5. Crownd - Firestarter
6. Red Baron - Eyes Wide Shut
7. Prizm - Watch Ya Back
8. Autumn Fox - Sweet Love
9. Kai Austin - Happy Place
10. Eric Vinson - Only Thing



Ken's debut Album "Chalk" was released July 1st, 2005. It was recorded at the famed Bennett House in Franklin, TN, home to artists like Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Shaun Groves, and Building 429.



t h e
a r t i s t

Ken Weatherford knows music. It’s in his blood—there’s a guitarist, pianist, or master vocalist on every branch of his family tree. It’s in his hands—after debuting in the 9:45 Worship Band at Christ United Methodist Church, Ken continued his career as the lead vocalist and keyboardist of the praise band Adam’s Apple, which opened for big-name acts LaRue and Mercy Me. It’s in his head—with a degree in vocal performance from Lambuth University, he’s learned everything from Bach to the Beatles. But most importantly, music is in his heart—this is what Ken Weatherford was born to do, and he knows it.

With over five years of experience in youth ministry and a beautiful wife by his side, Ken’s music gracefully bridges the gap between youth and young adults. Every note, every strum, and every beat is filtered through his own walk with Christ, forming a heartfelt compilation of childhood roots and clever insight. And with a sound that mirrors both Chris Tomlin’s worship cries and Billy Joel’s piano stylings, Ken’s acoustic pop-rock is bound to reach every ear—and every heart—in the crowd.

Now, as an independent Christian recording artist, the Memphis native is determined to make a living out of what he loves. Since graduating college, Ken has worked, played, and prayed tirelessly to answer God’s call to music ministry. With the help of dedicated musicians and up-and-coming producer Josh Vegors, he recorded his debut album Chalk (2005) at The Bennett House in Franklin, Tennessee. Since the album’s release, Ken has shared the stage with Lost & Found, Olivia the Band, and Christopher Ames. Just last fall, Ken worked with Skidd Mills of 747 Studios, who has produced albums for Third Day and Jennifer Knapp. He has also signed on as an Artist Associate for the Christian relief organization World Vision, providing his audience a personal way to help poverty-stricken children all over the world. Meanwhile, Ken can be found each Sunday morning at Memphis’s Galloway United Methodist Church, where he serves as worship leader for the new Open Door Worship service.

Ken may masquerade as a performer, but at heart, he’s simply a lead worshiper. Whether strumming casually in a coffeehouse or rocking a youth rally with his band, Ken turns the spotlight from the musician to the Maker, from the stage to the Spirit.

And the best part? It’s not just his career—it’s his passion.