Wkndr, Wes Charlton, Handle


Wes Charlton


Thu, March 15, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Camel

$5.00 - $7.00

Tickets at the Door

Take 4 musicians with backgrounds in folk, classic rock, jazz, and classical music and put 'em together. Enter wkndr, best described as an “alternafolkrock” band, serving up covers and originals along the lines of The Lumineers, The Head and the Heart, and Ryan Adams.

Jim Wright’s soaring lead vocals reflect his deep respect for the music of Neil Young, R.E.M., and Tom Petty, but show the influences of his modern-day heroes like Vance Joy, Glen Hansard, and Chris Martin. He also plays blistering rhythm guitar on a beat up Larrivée, a guitar he's been kicking around for about 20 years now.

Ali Shenk, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, supports Jim with gorgeous harmonies and takes the lead on some of her favorites. Ali is a classically trained flutist who has picked up a number of other instruments along the way, including ukulele, guitar, mandolin, bass guitar, and something called a “strumstick.”

Adam Powell, a long-time Phish and Grateful Dead fan, backs it all up with percussion. Adam has been playing the drums since 6th grade and continued with marching and show band in high school. He briefly studied jazz drumming at VCU School of Music. Adam adds flourishes of percussion in just the right places to add a solid underpinning to wkndr.
Ethan Dunn, an undergrad at VCU, brings energetic, smooth lead guitar playing and supplements with bass guitar. Ethan is the newest member of the band!

Jim and Ali also write original songs that evince their deep joy at being alive and the deep mysteries of being human.
Wes Charlton
Wes Charlton
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 Bittersweet, World 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, which will be released in February 2017.

Here's what some people are saying about Wes Charlton and American Bittersweet:

"He has that sound that pop music has been missing: a sincere, young singer with something to say and haunting melodies to match. His confident sound makes it astounding that he's only 21! He's what smart, hip kids have been waiting for and what adults will definitely appreciate. I know I'm hooked!" -- Anna Goodman-Herrick, Producer, MTV, Los Angeles

"One of the best alt-country records I've heard in a long time. Great songs and an amazing production, which perfectly mixes "modern sounds" and classic Americana to create what should become the road for others to follow." --Kenneth Higney, Vice President, Arc Music Group, NYC

"Great melodies, creative hooks and some very exciting textures and blends. I really had a great time working on this album, and it sounds amazing!" --Fred Kevorkian, Absolute Audio, NYC

"Wes Charlton is a unique and distinctly American voice whose country & folk soul is drunk with addictive pop melodies. American Bittersweet is his exploration into his own soulful songwriting with the landscape of the South to inspire him and the result is a powerful, far-ranging and emotionally commanding debut album." --Leah Manners, Station Mgr WCWM 90.7 FM Williamsburg, VA

"Wes is as good a young songwriter as any I have ever worked with." --Chris Keup, Co-writer/Prod- Johnathan Rice & Jason Mraz, VA

"Wes Charlton is a new singer/songwriter with a depth of maturity and soul rarely heard on a debut record. "Angels & Air" takes a page from the Joe Henry songbook while the CD as a whole is steeped in Americana. If this is the beginning - I look forward to hearing more from Wes in the future." --Jules Herbert, Buyer, Barnes & Noble, NYC

"Good songs - great lyrics!" --Marshall Chess, NYC"

Here's what some people are saying about Wes Charlton and World On Fire:

From Gaesteliste,de, Internet Music Magazine, by Annett Bonkowski:

“Anyone seeking earthy music from the heart…will certainly not be disappointed by this album.”

From Melodic.net, by Par Winberg:

“Take…Ryan Adams…and Tom Waits…add some beautiful Sparklehorse vibes…and some Springsteen…Wes is doing his stuff good….The songwriting is solid. His voice is mighty fine and the third one out, ‘Red Eyes, Blue Lights,’ is just lovely… ‘The Wait’ could have been a track on the ‘Nebraska’ album with Springsteen. High class stuff.”
Handle is a Richmond, VA band performing songs of the jam band variety (or thereabouts). Formed in 2017, the band consists of 2 guitars, keys, bass, drums. Paul Kruis (rhythm guitar, vocals) and Jeff Whetstone (lead guitar, vocals) had overlapping musical projects in Harrisburg, PA before moving to Richmond several months apart in 2016. After 6 months of acoustic music the band went electric with the addition of Adam Powell on drums, Daniel Stein on bass, and Jeremy Weiland on keyboards. Handle takes its influences from, and performs songs by, Phish and Talking Heads. Their repertoire also includes songs by Ween, Joe Strummer, Eric Clapton, Velvet Underground, the Stones and some countryfied Grateful Dead.
Venue Information:
The Camel
1621 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220