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of Word Records)
With modern-day, lyrical proverbs dedicated to his 4-year-old
twin boys, new Word Artisan singer/songwriter/guitarist and
now producer, Wes King is back with his first CD release
in nearly four years. What Matters Most takes the listener
on a journey as a father shares with his sons the truth about
life and God.
As you read the notes written in the
CD you see a glimpse of King's heart for this project as
he states, "I had
a conversation with my wife a few years ago about when and
if I would ever make another record just because that is
what I do. I wanted to do something that would help arouse
passion, feeling, and a sure consideration of those things
in this short life that truly matter."
King, the youngest of five children raised in Winder, Georgia,
goes on to speak of the desire to raise his sons, Harrison
and Mitch, with a system of values. King attributes this
to his personal faith, which he discovered at much the same
time as he discovered his talent for music, specifically
the guitar. The summer prior to entering high school, King's
father gave him his first guitar. After only one lesson by
a buddy who had accompanied him as he played Elvis for a
school show, King came home to play the new song he'd just
learned. It was at this point that his King's love for music
grew right along with his natural talent.
A friend of the family heard King playing one day and pushed
him to enter an Atlanta talent competition. After much coaxing,
King finally gave in and now fondly remembers a time when
he and his father drove around in his dad's 1972 candy apple
red pickup truck in order to pick up the radio signal where
he would hear for the first time his contest winning song
played over the air.
Following high school, King went off to Covenant College
where he was actively playing guitar and singing with local
youth groups and was entered in the next level of the same
competition he had won the year before. King didn't win that
second contest, however he did learn a valuable lesson in
humility and realized that ego and fame were not what mattered
most. Through his playing for youth groups in the area, King
met artist Kim Hill who eventually invited him to move to
Nashville and travel and play guitar with her. This was the
beginning of King's introduction to the recording industry
and was ultimately where he was discovered as a strong talent
In 1993, King's career took a huge
leap, as his song, "The
Robe," became a No. 1 radio single and his most requested
performance. King's abilities as a songwriter were awarded
and his national awareness grew, as did the demands on his
time. King continued to write and create hit contemporary
Christian tunes, however, once he and his wife discovered
they were expecting their first child, which would turn out
to be twins, King's priorities began to shift.
"I got to the point where in my mind," King describes, "I
thought giving my record company great songs and being a
talented person was enough and if the right thing came up
I'd do it, but I wasn't going to go and tour all over the
country. Touring helped support the launch of The Robe, but
it became apparent that it was the song itself that truly
took my career to the next level. When it came time with
a new company to go and tour for a new project, I was willing
to try, but with limits. At that point we had twin boys,
my wife still suffers from a heart condition and I just could
not be away like I'd been in the past."
With these newfound priorities on his
career, King took to his writing and session playing. During
this time, co-writing Michael W. Smith's "This Is Your Time," written
regarding the tragedy of Columbine, and working with Max
Lucado on "He Chose The Nails," he built a home
studio where he could write, self-record and continue his
musical pursuit on a level that allowed him to be a dad and
be home for his wife and his boys, and still travel for concerts
Through the process of working on his home studio and the
help of a mutual friend, King was introduced to a Word Records
executive and the concept of the new Word Artisan label.
Thinking the meeting could be just another sales pitch, King
was surprised by what he encountered.
"I finally met with Word," King says, "and
they started explaining to me why Word Artisan was started.
It all revolved around Phil Keaggy and his artistry and faith
and how there wasn't a true category for that at Word Records,
so they created this label so as not to be the ones to go
down in history as 'the dummies who let one of the greatest
living guitar players go.' I was honored to be put in the
category with Phil Keaggy, which I don't think I deserve;
but hey, if they think that, whatever it takes!"
It was then that King contacted producer
Ed Cash to produce five of the cuts on this new project. "I wanted Ed Cash," King
says, "because Ed had sent me Bebo's [Bebo Norman] first
record years ago, and I thought it was unbelievable. I just
thought, 'this guy gets it.' He is a guitar player, a singer
and songwriter, and he is a southern boy like me! We met
and we hit it off."
What Matters Most is King's debut as a producer. He produced
five of the album cuts including the title cut. Wes suggests
that this project will give his fans a taste of the old Wes
King, the newer Wes King, and then even a new version of
the real Wes King, and not only musically, but at the heart
of the lyrics.
When asked what matters most in life,
King replies, "I
think there are three major categories of what matters most
and, to me, under every category there are subcategories.
Obviously God is what matters most, and the next thing is
your family and then your community and church. There are
then the subcategories and that is what each of these songs
are, they are the subcategories.
"These songs were both chosen, and written based on
what I would want my sons to know about value," King
continues. "My dear friend and teacher George Grant
shared a theory with me a few years ago about the book of
Proverbs. His belief is that it is a story of a father telling
his son the truth of life and God. A Proverb is a stealthy,
no nonsense literary structure that is in my interpretation,
what matters most."