10 Questions with ... James Wesley
April 21, 2013
1) James, you have a new single out called "Thank A Farmer." What kind of reactions have you been getting from Country fans and Country radio on this latest song?
The reaction from "Thank A Farmer" has been great. The fans have been telling me how much this song means to them, even the ones who don't farm. My farming friends and fans tell me how much they love the song. It is very exciting! My twitter account has been overflowing with great comments, pictures of farms, tractors and people just wanting to "THANK A FARMER." My Country Radio friends have been telling me they have been getting great reactions from their listeners.
2) "Thank A Farmer" seems to relate to quite a few Country fans, and as a former FFA member and the first celebrity face of Farm Boy Clothing, I assume the lyrics hit home with you as well. What kind of connection do you have with this song and its overall message?
I have a huge connection with this song because it is how I grew up. I was raised in a small town of 200 people. It was a small farming community filled with hardworking people. I learned at an early age that nothing comes free and only hard work pays off. I saw how hard these farmers worked to make a living first hand for all of us.
3) To my understanding, you are a big believer in tradition. How does this belief shape your style of Country music?
I am a big believer in tradition because Country music is tradition. This belief shapes my style of music because I sing about what is real and true, but I also sing songs that are about having a good time and cuttin' up, not always so serious.
4) You grew up listening to vinyl records at your grandmother's house. Which artists could we have found you playing over and over on the record player? Were they your greatest musical influences?
I listened to a lot of music at my grandmother's house. You could have found me playing Merle Haggard, George Jones, Alan Jackson, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. They were big influences on me and my music and vocal style for sure.
5) You began singing in church, per your mother's request. Looking back, what role do you think that played in shaping your career?
Singing in Church played a big role. It helped me deal with performing in front of a crowd and how to talk to a crowd. Believe me, it is definitely harder when you know everyone you are singing in front of.
6) I understand that you grew up in a small town in Kansas. Can you tell us a little bit about what that was like and how that lifestyle shaped your work ethic that has led you to where you are today?
I did grow up in a small town, and it was a great place to grow up. I had plenty of countryside to roam around on and a creek a half a mile behind my house. I learned a lot from riding dirt bikes, hunting, fishing, working on old cars and trucks, raising animals to planting big gardens. I learned the value of a dollar the honest way and that was hard work. The knowledge that I gained from the hard work growing up there made me who I am today, and it has helped me persevere through the hard times. There's no doubt about it.
7) In your late teens, you began playing local nightclubs and thinking about making music your career choice. What are the similarities of playing those local nightclubs and playing the large venues you get to perform in today?
The only thing that hasn't changed are that the fans. They are the same and still enjoy the music and have a great time at the shows. One thing that is definitely different is the production of the show.
8) You, along with your wife Mindee, decided to move from the bar scene in Eureka Springs, KS to pursue a career in Nashville, TN. At that time, you didn't have a record deal, and you took a construction job to make ends meet. Most people would call that crazy! How did you get the courage to make the big move and pursue your dreams?
Leaving Eureka Springs, AR was definitely a leap of faith and maybe a little crazy. Ha! Something told me to take a chance and that is just what I did, we did. I knew that if I didn't take a chance I would have regrets the rest of my life wondering "what if." I'm so glad my wife was willing and believed in me enough to let me chase my dream.
9) James, you opened shows for Taylor Swift's "Speak Now Tour" in major markets like Philadelphia, Boston, Louisville, Greensboro, Knoxville and Dallas. Could you tell us a little bit about that experience?
It was an experience that I had never experienced before. The crowds were amazing and huge! The first show was in Foxboro, MA, and the crowd was almost 60,000. Taylor sold it out two nights in a row. It was a great experience and something I will never forget. Taylor was so gracious and I can't thank her enough for inviting me to be a part of her tour.
10) You have recently released your single "Thank A Farmer." What can we expect from you as an artist, your music and Broken Bow Records in 2013?
As an artist I recently signed with William Morris Endeavor, which I am very excited about, and we are making plans for big things to come with the new single. As far as my music goes, we are working on a new album and I am enjoying being in the studio. With Broken Bow Records you can expect continued success from a great group of artists and a hardworking group of people.
1. One of your hobbies is restoring classic trucks. Do you have a certain model you seek out when you are hunting your next project?
I do love to work on old cars and trucks. My favorite ones to seek out are the ones that are all original that haven't had a lot of work done to them as far as body work goes.
2. Want kind of junk food can we find out on the road with you?
My kind of junk food is Twizzlers, Reese's and popcorn.
3. What are some are your favorite songs?
Some of my favorite songs are "YOU WERE ALWAYS ON MY MIND" by Willie Nelson, "FOLSOM PRISON" by Jonny Cash, "THAT'S ALRIGHT MAMA" by Elvis Presley, "DONT WORRY BOUT ME" by Marty Robbins, "FUGITIVE" by Merle Haggard, "YOUR GONNA MISS THIS" by Trace Adkins, and "SOMEONE LIKE YOU" by Adele. The list goes on and on.