WES WEDDELL: NORTHWEST FOLK SUPERSTAR
I first heard of Wes Weddell in 2001 while listening to NPR (National Public Radio). Wes was being interviewed because he had put together an independent study project through the University of Washington to travel the Northwest and garner local folklore and history and then use the gathered stories as inspiration for writing songs. That's a pretty clever way of working music into your history major! The powers-that-be were also impressed and Wes was awarded a Venture Fellowship from the Mary Gates Foundation. The grant allowed Weddell to travel the whole of Washington state and take the time to get in-depth interviews from locals in the smaller towns. It also enabled him to share the songs that were the fruits of his labors. Wes Weddell's CD My Northwest Home was released to instant folk fanfare and acclaim.
Along with being a dedicated and talented performer and teacher Wes Weddell is a tireless and unselfish supporter of the Seattle Folk and Acoustic Music Scene. He founded the non-profit Puget's Sound Productions in 2003 (still going strong today); presented the Seattle Sounds Showcase in Austin, Texas at the 2006 Folk Alliance Conference (this is were I first heard my very favorite Wes Weddell song performed live: Happiness Fulfilled. How can you go wrong with a song about the Virgin Mary & a Grilled Cheese Sandwich?!) In 2007 Wes released another highly regarded CD Songs To Get You From Here To There which features the tune Carry On -- winner of the 2006 Tumbleweed Songwriting Contest.
Weddell's 2010 CD release By The Side Of The Lake brings eleven mature and finely crafted folk tunes with the same rural & roots feeling as his previous works. Over the years Wes has become an excellent song smith and writes compelling story songs to accompany his fine playing. It's hard to choose one favorite track from all the northwest flavored folk gems but if pressed I would have to choose Not Now for the banjo and full character vocal.
Catch Wes Weddell live at the 2010 Tumbleweed Muusic Festival - Saturday, September 4 @ 3:30 -4:15 pm on the West Stage.
Links: Wes Weddell & Tumbleweed Music Festival
QUESTIONNAIRE WITH WES WEDDELL!
WHAT IS YOUR PERFECT IDEA OF HAPPINESS?
The chance to do it all again tomorrow . . .
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
Losing those closest to me.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST OVERRATED VIRTUE?
ON WHAT OCCASION DO YOU LIE?
To protect others' feelings.
WHO OR WHAT IS THE GREATEST LOVE OF YOUR LIFE?
My community and family.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE WHAT TO COME BACK AS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Tough one: some cats seem to have if awfully good . . .
WHICH TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?
WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE IN OTHERS?
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
Sleeping in . . .
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST REGRET?
Nothing jumps quickly to mind, and for that I'm grateful. Most faintly-lingering misgivings center around relationships with people ( and my behaviors!) . . .
WHICH HISTORICAL FIGURE DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
Despite my history degree, no quick answer here, either: some hybrid of Woody Guthrie and Carl Perkins, perhaps . . .?
WHICH LIVING FIGURE DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION?
Materially, a toss-up between two instruments: an 89-year-old mandolin given to me by a family friend and an electric guitar I built in high school.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My capacity to be satisfied and receive kudos (increase both!).
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
"Roll with it . . ."