Wes walks in many worlds...
As an author, he has written for various trade publications, local entertainment papers, blogs, business journals and has published ebooks in text and multi-media format, in addition to his recent hard copy release of White Man Red Road. He has a new Book called named Modern Medicine that will be released in 2019.
As an entrepreneur, he has co- founded two tech startups, and in his role as a Senior Executive he helped grow a Colorado Risk Management firm from inception to a peak of over 100 employees with Fortune 100 clientele.
As a teacher, Wes has traveled the world and been privileged to teach at numerous yoga and spiritual retreats over the past 20 years, sharing the path he has traveled with those who, like him, are always looking into the mystery....
and as for Music......
Wes has a long music career of solo work in addition to recording with his wife, Victoria. They began their musical sojourn in San Antonio, Texas. Their first music business mentor was Augie Meyers, keyboardist and songwriter for the legendary band The Sir Douglas Quintet. Their initial lessons were conducted over piping hot bowls of caldo and Augie's homemade grilled cheese sandwiches where Augie explained the basics of gigging and shared stories of his exploits in the music business, including teaching John Lennon about the accordion and Vox organ and recording with Bob Dylan.
Putting Augie's guidance to work the duo started gigging in the San Antonio and South Texas area in a variety of their own bands, including a folk act named Little Smoke and a rock/punk act called Puffin. During this time Wes started writing original material and the duo dropped the majority of the cover material they once performed. Looking to expand the audience for their original work, they relocated up the road to Austin, Texas.
While in Austin, Wes and Victoria performed with a number of regional and national acts. They appeared on stage with Lucinda Williams, BW Stevenson, Townes Van Zandt, The Sir Douglas Quintet, Donavon, Eric Anderson, Steve Fromholtz , Jesse Dayton and numerous others. Wes and Victoria also opened a recording studio near the University of Texas called the Track Shack, where they produced local and regional acts. During this time the duo recorded and released an acoustic LP entitled "Not For Prophet" which garnered airplay in various US folk markets and as far away as France.
When their studio lease expired Wes and Victoria headed west to Los Angeles.
The City of Angels proved to be the next step in their musical evolution as Victoria started getting session work, recording with Robert Altman, the famed movie director, Oscar winner Hans Zimmer, a CBS movie of the week TV score where she appeared on the soundtrack with Johnny Cash and she had the privilege of recording on Roy Rodgers last recording, adding her soulful harmonica tracks to all these projects.
In the meantime Wes continued to expand his composition and songwriting skills, scoring numerous small budget television and film projects and writing songs with Oscar winning composer Paul Williams. He scored the Los Angeles Area Emmy awards for 3 consecutive years as well as the ACE awards honoring Martin Scorsese. Wes and Victoria also performed acoustic shows throughout the LA area, appearing at the venerable venues of the Troubadour and Whiskey A Go Go along with gigs at various coffee houses and listening rooms across the city.
A series of illnesses derailed the couple, and they moved to Denver, Colorado to pursue new business opportunities. Wes continued to write; composing many of the songs that would appear one day appear on the "Ballad of Billy Saigon" CD, including the title track. Shortly after moving to Colorado Victoria was hit head on in a near fatal high speed car accident, which ultimately led to open joint jaw surgery and put a 3 year hold on her harmonica playing.
During this time Wes completed the songs for the Billy Saigon CD and began recording over a series of trips to Los Angeles. The record features performances by Albert Lee and Stephen Bruton, along with Tony Sales, David Palmer, Justin Z Walden, Nathalie Archangel and Dana Walden. As Victoria slowly regained her ability to play, she recorded her tracks and the duo began to perform acoustic shows in the Denver area as well as Wes working solo shows.
Once again, tragedy struck with a debilitating illness sidelining Victoria and requiring multiple hospitalizations. After three more years of recuperation she began to periodically appear with Wes in his acoustic shows.
The duo released "The Ballad Of Billy Saigon CD in 2009. The CD received wide airplay and strong positive reviews resulting in a small European tour and an Artist of the Year award in the Netherlands. The title track was picked up by Hamburg based Bear Family Records and was put in the compilation project "Next Stop Is Vietnam" alongside tracks by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and John Lennon. Wes's writing and Victoria's harmonica playing were especially noted in the reviews.
Also in 2009 came "White Man Red Road", a Native American infused project recorded as a soundtrack for an ebook of the same name. The CD received accolades from internationally syndicated radio show The Colorado Wave as Record of the Year, and also got positive reviews. The ebook, available on Amazon and iBooks, chronicles Wes's journey from apprentice to Sundancer and was released in 2011. The books is available in from all major e-retailers and in print from Barnes and Noble.
After dealing with ongoing health challenges for Victoria, Wes returned with the 2012 release of the "EVOLUTION REVOLUTION" EP. The EP features three versions of the title track. There is an acoustic coffeehouse version, a layered "Phil Spector Wall of Sound 60's" version, and a dub step electronic remix track by Scarecrow Adams. The spiritually infused lyrics touch on the process of a world in change yet relate to the personal journey as well. Wes and Victoria enlisted the help of NYC session guitarist Eddie Weiss and LA Session Veteran Justin Z Walden for the project as well. The release is available on iTunes, Google Music and other major e-retailers. The song immediately received international airplay and on-air interviews for Wes.
2012 also saw the release on iTunes and other e-retailers of the single "Katrina Calling". The tune is a reflective song about a 911 operator who is on call when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and is inspired by time Wes spent in New Orleans post Katrina.
In 2013 Wes released the intimate acoustic project "Broken Angels". A version of the title track is featured in the Sony Pictures release "Abel's Field" starring Kevin Sorbo. The new release went live 3/1/13 on iTunes and various other online sellers and is a warm, inviting acoustic set that conjures up a living room atmosphere and features 10 exceptional songs complimented by Victoria's amazing harmonica playing.
In 2015 Wes released some solo acoustic versions of the Broken Angels release under the release title "Solo- Never Alone". The compilation featured a previously unreleased tune. It is available here through SoundCloud on this site.
In 2018 Wes cowrote several songs with Jazz artist Mark Fox which were recorded late 2018 for a 2020 release. The tunes are topical, spiritual and heavily jazz inflected.
Wes has cowritten several songs with Gary Bolen and Alan Montesrratt from the Austin Based Band Gypsee E yes. The Richard Bolen produced project will be recorded at the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis n late 2019. Wes will be participating in the ongoing project and perform as well.
Wes is also working on a new solo project of his original spiritually inflected Americana songs blended with a Bill Evans influenced jazz piano sound. He is working with Denver based Pianist/Arranger Wil Snyder with production set to begin in 2020.
Wes has also explored the marriage between his teaching and spiritual work and his music by developing some spoken word affirmations voiced over original music he also composed and performed. These compositions can be heard HERE and HERE on the weshamil.com website and found on various download sites or CD for purchase.
Wes creates music of perseverance and redemption, hard won from commitment of service to others and the discipline of remaining present regardless of Life's challenges.
The Wes Hamil performance of his song "The Ballad of Billy Saigon is on disc 11 of this compilation next to the Bruce Springsteen and "Galveston Bay" Other artists in the this compilation include Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, The Doors, Pete Seeger, Old Crow Medicine Show, Big and Rich, and many more....