Wes Collins
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Wes Collins

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Americana Folk




"Wes Collins - One Layer Down"

Wes Collins won the 2012 North Carolina Songwriters competition, and while he is a lifelong musician, One Layer Down is his debut album of original songs. At the unusually late age of 53, Wes Collins', has hit the long ball with deep song writing and a tight, tasteful and very musical production. Wes sings and plays acoustic 6 & 12 string guitars, Chris Rosser plays bass, harmonium, banjo, piano, and organ, River Guerguerian, is on drums and percussion, Will Straughan, dobro and lap steel, and Eliot Wadopian on acoustic bass.

I usually confine myself at FHM to featuring CDs of people I know and/or have worked with. But my friend Danny Gotham, who will be playing some live gigs with Wes, raved about him. Danny knows his stuff. I've only listened to this CD once so far, but I am thoroughly impressed. Take a chance, you won't be disappointed. - Fool's Hill Music

"Wes Collins, "One Layer Down," 2013"

n 2000, Wes Collins picked up the Takamine he hadn't played for awhile. A few years later-at forty--he wrote his first song. Last month, at Kerrville, he performed as a finalist in the prestigious contest that introduced Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett. Collins has a lot going for him. His voice is at once unfailingly tuneful and as appealingly rough around the edges as a Texas drawl. On the CD, his six and twelve strings ring and slide through the pop feel of "Rabbit Hole," the rollin' and tumblin' blues of "Poor Little Sausage," and the country gospel of "Cover Me Jesus." With Chris Rosser on the board, the guitar sound is clean and tasty. Collins had the good taste to create an album highlight with "Drive All Night," written by Minor7th's own Jamie Anderson. He's replaced her hard driving, joyful bluegrass arrangement and major key with a slower, minor key melody that also works. It heightens the sensuality of Anderson's sensual lyrics but adds a hint of melancholy. Collins drops great lines throughout. A character recovering from loss in "Waiting," "Sharpened up my tools and took it out on the dirt/I ground myself down and I liked how it hurt." "This is Then" features the twang of Will Ray's B-bender electric and a marital spat. When the wife starts up her litany of complaints, the husband admits, "I tune you out, that's what you say/I miss the rest, but that's okay." Funny, yes, but I had trouble believing his final plea to his "valentine." "Come Around" begins with, "It isn't like I don't remember/Wouldn't kill me to forget" and a repeating figure on the twelve string just as ominous. The imagery suggests a prison or mental hospital as a metaphor for something. It's all lovely and foreboding and inscrutable. But it's as easy to understand the appeal of a rousing song like "Chasing Hallelujah"--about the spiritually fulfilling reality of parenting-as it is to appreciate Collins' appeal. He's a performer with a knack for melody, an array of talents, and the confidence to start up when most other folks are slowing down.
© David Kleiner - Monor 7th


Still working on that hot first release.



Wes Collins

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 hes 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 Im 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 Id 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 Songwriters Co-op Contest, he can imitate the sound of a skipping CD, and he's a recovering record collector.

Band Members