will wesley

Will Wesley, right, performs in an acoustic duo with his bandmate and producer, Phillip Chandler, as well as with the Will Wesley Band.

Will Wesley’s latest song is part one of an ambitious new project.

The local rock and Americana singer-songwriter is writing and producing three music videos featuring a recurring character and continuous storyline.

“Let It All Burn,” the first song in Wesley’s music video trilogy, is available from all digital music outlets. Over the course of this year, Wesley will create music videos for “Let It All Burn” and two as-yet unreleased songs.

“I’ve always dreamed of combining my writing and composing,” Wesley said. “I almost try to make miniature movies.”

On stage, Wesley performs in a three-piece electric format with the Will Wesley Band and an acoustic duo with his bandmate and producer, Phillip Chandler.

“We can sit down and do an intimate performance, or we can put on an energetic rock show,” he said.

Sunday at The Basin Music Hall, Wesley will play acoustic and electric sets during the first installment of the Singer Songwriter Concert Series. WLFT-TV is broadcasting the show live on television and the station’s mobile app. Steve Judice and Rhett Anthony Glindmeyer are also appearing.

Wesley’s fourth album of all-original songs, “Both Sides of the Tracks,” is due for release later this year. Like his electric and acoustic performances, the double album shows the multiple sides of his talents. One disc of “Both Sides of the Tracks” features rock, the other country and Americana music.

“But the album I do after that might be a jazz ensemble project,” Wesley said. “It just depends on where my heart leads me.”

Originally from Baker, Wesley grew up in a musical home filled with many kinds of music.

“My father never wanted me to be limited,” he said. “He’d made sure I listened to everything from jazz by Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis to the Eagles and Doc Watson. I was raised on blues — B.B. King, Albert King, Albert Collins — and I’ve always loved that rootsy Americana music.”

“Let It All Burn” is a prime example of Wesley distilling his influences into his own sound. But the song’s country-rock sound and pop accessibility may especially remind listeners of the classic California band the Eagles.

“I’m a big Eagles fan,” Wesley said. “They influenced me a lot. They can make the simplest song complex. That’s what I’ve always respected about them. And I never really knew if the Eagles were rock ’n’ roll or country or pop. They were innovative. But when it’s all said and done, it’s about how they fit together as a band. That’s what we model ourselves after.”

“Both Sides of the Tracks” is Wesley’s long-time-coming follow-up to his 2016 album, “The Hardest of Hearts.” A Denham Springs-based singer-songwriter, Wesley probably would have released more music in the past few years, but like thousands of Baton Rouge area residents, he lost many of his possessions in the 2016 flood. The losses included four guitars, two amplifiers, computers, furniture and the manuscript he was writing about songwriting.

Spearheaded by the Under-the-Hill Saloon in Natchez, Mississippi, Wesley’s fans in one of the many cities he performs, raised money to replace his musical equipment.

“When you lose everything, you can quit or you can rebuild,” he said. “I started rebuilding day by day. When the people in Natchez helped me get back on my feet, that motivated me. That kind of love from people made me realize that I must be doing something right. And I felt obligated to go there and perform for them.”

Wesley’s many other musical activities include being bandleader for the Grammy-winning Mississippi blues singer and harmonica player Grady Champion.

“I’ve learned a lot from Grady,” he said. “He’s an amazing frontman. He knows how to work a crowd.”

Despite his ongoing, high-profile work with Champion, Wesley, with the help of Chandler, has rededicated himself to his own music.

“I’m trying to be a better songwriter, a better guitarist, a better entertainer,” he said. “I want to not just do that because of my own love of the music. I want to help others, too. I believe music can heal all wounds.”


Singer Songwriter Concert Series: Will Wesley, Steve Judice, Rhett Anthony Glindmeyer

5 p.m. Sunday

The Basin Music Hall, 336 Third St.

facebook.com/thewillwesleybandlive

Email Judy Bergeron at jbergeron@theadvocate.com.