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15 April 2011 @ 10:18 pm
Bp's Song of the Week #112: John Wesley "Firelight"  
Years ago when I was in college I was placing an order from a fan club in the U.K. and also picked up a John Wesley CD out of obligation. I am a collector, not as intense as I once was, but a band member of one of my favorite groups produced an album by a songwriter from Tampa, FL and I was obligated to buy it since it was released on this bands label and produced by the keyboardist. The guitarist even played a couple solos and the drummer appeared on Wes’ album as well. I saw Wes open up for this favorite band a year or so earlier and wasn’t really impressed (because I was too excited to finally see the headliner). I spent the $20, but wasn't expecting anything. When the first song came out of my speakers I was captivated in the first few seconds, it soon became a staple of my radio shows in college and by the time I saw him perform again I was utterly taken in.
Wes is one brilliant musician, a genuinely great guy, and that magic still lives whenever I hear him. At his core he is a singer/songwriter creating honest, real life lyrics and melodies that are presented within a rock arena. While the musical styles differ slightly, in my mind he reminds me of Springsteen in his ability to reach deep to present songs that are deeply personal (either about his life directly or those around him) and yet universal. The relationships he writes about and the struggles within are unique, but absolutely relatable on many different levels.


While writing for his new full length album, John Wesley (touring guitarist for Porcupine Tree) realized that there was a suite of songs that was developing around a similar theme. He shifted gears slightly, following his muse, and recorded The Lilypad Suite EP, which he released a few weeks ago. The full-length is due later this year.

In Wes’ own words:
the lilypad suite is a collection of songs inspired by the struggle of a young girl to come to terms with the absence of her father. The character of “lilypad” is an amalgam of several people who, through the years, have shared with me the stories of their journeys from loss into understanding.

It’s that ability to drawn the listener in, to make Lilypad’s story relatable to the listener. I’m not a young girl coming to terms with the absence of her father, but I feel the myriad of emotions that are delivered through the songs or relate them to other aspects of my life. I’m not going to dissect this song too much, there’s a link below to much more of his work as well as a full stream of The Lilypad Suite – spend some time and you’ll be very pleasantly surprised at how deeply you and his music can connect.

Follow along with the lyrics below and at 2:30 as the instrumental section starts, the backing wall of voices and then the ensuing crescendo, such an emotional release. Close your eyes, let it sweep you away on its wave…..let Wes’ guitar transport you…

it is the same old ruin,
it is the same old wrong
there's no forgiveness in empathy
a wrong is still a wrong

if we were hand in hand
would we both understand
you see i'm growing up in innocence
in apathy
you do the best you can

would you believe, do you believe in me
would you believe, don't you be leaving me

the truth it came to me
we know not what we do
we were lost in the firelight
oh this insanity
well i was never lost to you
we were lost in firelight
well i was never lost to you

More John Wesley:
The Lilypad Suite
A Glittery Nothing
Still Waiting
The King of 17
The Last Light
Into the Night
Waiting for the Sun
His previous releases are available to download free at: www.john-wesley.com