If you really do judge a man by the company he keeps, you have to take Wes McGhee very seriously indeed. Ask around in Austin, Texas and they’ll tell you he’s the real thing - a great songwriter, musician and entertainer whose talents are undisputed, whether as band leader, guest musician or solo artist. Given that they know a bit about music in Texas, that marks Wes McGhee as special.
A Wes McGhee show is likely to include pretty well every major branch of “roots” music you can name - from blues, Tex-Mex, rock ‘n’ roll and pure honkytonk to powerful, evocative and lyrical songs in the best singer-songwriter tradition - all seamlessly meshed together by a great band, some of whom have been with Wes for over twenty years.
Since the late 70’s, Wes has spent much of his time commuting between his English home and Texas, recording a string of beautifully crafted eclectic albums, producing both himself and friends on both sides of the Atlantic and achieving an almost legendary status among connoisseurs of such music styles around the world.
For those of you who do not know, some background information might be useful:
Wes McGhee was born in Leicestershire, England, began playing guitar with a local band when he was only 13 years old, graduated to playing in German rock clubs by the age of 18 and secured his first major record deal - with a division of Pye Records - three years later. His determination to marry psychedelic rock with country music did not endear him to the company, however, and he spent seven frustrating years locked into a contract while no records were being released.
During this time Wes put together the first version of what became his long-time backing band and recorded his first album (Long Nights and Banjo Music) once he was free from his old deal. Having developed an aversion to big record companies, he formed his own Terrapin Records label and subsequently released four other albums during the next six years.