WES YOAKAM

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

wes largeWes began his professional music career in the fertile music ground of Athens, GA. He was the founder of “Catfish Jenkins” a rock/pop group that released their first cd “Normaltown”, (produced by Athens legend John Keane) through Birmingham, AL-based Kudzu Records.

The band sold out the local 1000 seat Georgia Theatre consistently and toured the country from Georgia to New York to Colorado to Michigan and back again. The band was included on the AWARE II compilation along with Hootie and the Blowfish, Edwin McCain, the Verve Pipe, and Vertical Horizon which garnered them national attention. Lead track “The Wishing Time”, received college and AAA airplay, and the band toured and performed with The Verve Pipe, Hootie and the Blowfish, Vertical Horizon, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Samples, Blues Traveler, Cowboy Mouth, The Freddy Jones Band, Jupiter Coyote and many others at clubs, theatres, and big festivals like Atlanta’s Music Midtown, and Birmingham’s City Stages.

In 2003, Wes released his second album, “Four Star Explosion”, with his group “Big Atomic” to rave reviews and much critical acclaim. Track three “Breathe”, placed 5th out of 10,000 entries in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, while other tracks “A Postcard” and “Evaporate” were selected by Smithereens frontman and B.E.A.M. chairman Pat DiNizio to earn a B.E.A.M. grant for emerging artists.

Three songs from the album were also featured in director Ben Taylor’s feature film, “In the Flesh” that was accepted into film festivals in the U.S. and Germany and earned a national distribution deal. Even MTV recognized the band: power rocker “When Sparks Fly” was featured in the “Making of the Video” program for Brittany Spears’ “Stronger”. The most recent release album release “Wrestling the Dragon and the Rat” has sold almost 4000 copies and is set for its second pressing.

Wes is also a guest performer with the Southeastern Festival of Song (SEFoS) and Singers Beyond Borders, two world class groups of classically trained musicians and opera singers that, from show to show, will perform anything from Mozart to Bruce Springsteen! Wes has appeared in the SEFoS performances of “The Great Escape” at Emory (Atlanta), “Secrets of the Sky and Sea” in the Berkshires(MA) last summer, and was with them in Bar Harbor, Maine as part of the annual Bar Harbor music festival last summer.In Spring 2010, Wes joined some of his SEFoS friends for the Singers Beyond Borders tour of Hawaii, China, and Singapore. It was an incredible VIP tour of some amazing parts of the world, and the money raised went to help children in need.

Wes is currently working as the General Manager for Radio Center (a 3 station radio group in Alabama), but is still performing about 12 weeks a year in Vail, CO, and does occasional shows and guest appearances in Atlanta and Alabama. He will be joining his classical music friends in February of 2012 for a concert sponsored by the Dallas Symphony to coincide with the Jean Paul Gautier exhibit currently on worldwide tour.

 

 

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