BY SARAH STEPHENS, OWNER/EDITOR
Music lovers in Millbrook will get a special treat for one night only this coming Friday, as Wes Jeans and his band make their way to The Thirsty Turtle on Main Street for a 9 p.m. performance.
Wes was just 16-years-old the first time I heard him perform live at a Mardi Gras bash in Louisiana. Our paths crossed again in Millbrook around 2005 as he was performing at a local venue. He hails from Marshall, Texas, which is just across the state line from my hometown in Louisiana.
Wes is the reason why I often say, “I can party like a Rockstar, but not recover like one.”
If you love the blues, Texas blues in particular, this is a show you don’t want to miss. Think Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, and you will understand the genre. He is traveling with his band which includes Syd Hydro from Shreveport on Bass and Drummer Jack Miller from Texarkana, Texas. They are performing Thursday night in
Wes’ biographic information is extremely impressive. Aside from taking second place in the Jimi Hendrix Competition held in Austin, Texas in 1996, which was a great start after playing for only nine months, he has tacked on multiple awards, magazine articles and a loyal following.
Born in 1981, Wes was part of a musical family, but also a talented athlete. At the age of 15 he got into a little trouble and was sent to his room on restriction. In a closet, the found an old three-string guitar and taught himself the riff of “Sunshine of Your Love.” His father happened down the hallway and heard Wes playing, and first thought it was the radio. Wes was not supposed to be listening to the radio. When he realized it was his son playing, who had never played before, he began encouraging his gift.
In 1999, Wes signed a record contract with Ice House Records of Memphis, Tennessee and began work on his debut album HANDS ON. Wes recruited Al Green’s bass player and drummer, John Williams and Lloyd Anderson, as well as Albert King’s former B-3 player, Gregg Redding, to record at Sam Phillips studio. After being mastered at legendary Ardent Studio, HANDS ON was released in the summer of 2000. It became the highest pre-sale of any Ice House release and reached 26 on the National Blues Sales Chart. Along with Wes’ growing popularity came the demand for new releases. In response, in 2004, Wes and long-time friend and bassist, Syd Hydro, along with drummer Adam Hagerman, recorded a four-song demo at Night Song Studio in Knoxville, TN. The success of the independently-released demo fueled the group to film a live DVD. So, on New Years Day 2005, Wes and his band recorded LIVE AT JUANITAS DVD (pictured below) in Little Rock, Arkansas. This raw footage of Texas style Blues and Jimi Hendrix flare quickly became Wes’ number one seller.
If you get the chance, talk to Wes about some of his stories. He has a bunch of them. He has shared the stage and made friends with the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, Bill Gibbons, Dick Dale, Eric Johnson, Lynryd Skynyrd, Robert Cray, Joe Bonamassa, Idigenous, Lance Lopes, Chris Duarte, Hubert Sumlin and Kenny Wayne Shepherd to name only a few.
After the October 2003 show opening for B.B. King in Shreveport, Louisiana, Wes’ performance received a standing ovation and B.B. asked Wes onto his bus where he told him “Son, you keep your head on straight, you are going places.”
When a poll was done by Guitar Player Magazine in late 2003, readers voted Wes number three among the Young Gun Guitar Players in the nation between Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd (GUITAR PLAYER March 2004).
In June 2006 Wes released his 2nd studio album “Forest Of The Pine” under Texas Music Records. In January of 2007 “Forest Of The Pine” climbed its way up to the 3rd position on the German Blues Charts.
So, Friday night you have the opportunity to meet this young, talented artist in person. I give it my highest recommendation. The Thirsty Turtle is located at 4884 Main St, Millbrook, Alabama 36054.