Wes Charlton


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July 5, 2018

Wes Charlton to Release Third Full-Length Album, 'Morning Stars'

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A semi-finalist in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition, this singer/songwriter from Virginia integrates his Americana roots with modern themes to create a poetic and at times haunting vision of relationships, the struggle to find yourself, and the pursuit of the “Promised Land”.  Opening for artists like Tim Easton, Stephen Bruton, Michelle Shocked, Pat McGee Band, and Virginia Coalition, Wes plays to enthusiastic audiences everywhere. Past conference showcases include the Midwest Music Summit in Indianapolis and Americana Music Conference in Nashville.  He was featured as the guest artist at NY Film Academy’s summer music video workshop, and was asked to complete a publisher-sanctioned recording project for Arc Music Group of some industry promos for John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson.  With proficiency on a variety of instruments, Wes blends his musicianship with sophisticated lyrics to paint a profound portrait of growing up in rural America, while maintaining a connection to contemporary youth through driving rhythms, electric guitar and the exploration of found-sounds. 

From Lancaster, Virginia, Wes Charlton grew up in a musical family; first singing back-up with his brother while his father played guitar, then learning piano from his mother.  It wasn’t until age 14, when he attended the National Guitar Summer Workshop in Connecticut, that his music broke away from being just a family tradition.  Drawn to the acoustic guitar, he began writing songs on his own often demoing them on a 4-track in his bathroom.  Wes began playing with his own band and opening for groups like regional favorites Carbon Leaf. He soon found himself in the studio cutting his first EP, Pictures and an Empty Glass.  He quickly gained notoriety playing the coffeehouse circuit in Williamsburg.  With his first serious band, OK Fireworks, they became the most popular area band, filling area venues to capacity. After playing together for a few years, some band members started to feel the overwhelming obligations of touring while trying to finish school and the group dissolved.  On his own, Wes refocused his attention to writing new songs and finished the tracks for American Bittersweet. Numerous songs from the album were licensed to television and film: To Be Found was featured The Real World Key West, Worry was featured in the World of Jenks, and Already Gone was featured in the film, The New Twenty.  

After completing American Bittersweet and finishing college, Wes relocated to Nashville, Tennessee where he was quickly embraced by the thriving independent music scene there. Headlining shows in such prestigious venues as the Basement, 3rd & Lindsley, The Bluebird Café, and 12th & Porter, Charlton also found time to record his second full-length album, World On Fire. Expanding on the musical vision he presented in American BittersweetWorld On Fire showcased Charlton’s growing songwriting talents while continuing with his creative/experimental approach to recording and arrangements. Recorded in various houses in Nashville, World On Fire has a distinct edge, both in form and content. The record has been highly praised and was released by End of the Road Records and licensed through Judy Collins’ Wildflower Records. The songs Black Alice and Red Eyes, Blue Lights were featured in the film, The New Twenty, Change Will Come was included in the compilation Got To Get A Message To You, and Red Eyes, Blue Lights enjoyed success and extensive radio play as the lead single.

After enjoying his time in Nashville, Charlton decided to marry his sweetheart, Charlotte, move back to Virginia and start a family. Now a husband and father of three little devils, Wes has continued to amass life experience and channel it into his art, culminating in his new album, Morning Stars. Charlton is pairing with Stewart Myers (Jason Mraz, Rachel Yamagata, Johnathan Rice), the producer from American Bittersweet. Mostly recorded live with top musicians who play with artists such as Ryan Adams, KD Lang, Yo La Tengo and The National, Morning Stars already has significant buz in the music industry.

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Press Clippings

Video Premiere: Wes Charlton’s “Snow Covered Cars” (Cowboys & Indians)

Out of the Box CD of the Week–Wes Charlton–Morning Stars (WHRO)

Track Premiere: Wes Charlton “Snow Covered Cars” (AmericanaUK)