The first time I saw Dallas Wesley was in January of 2010 at an audition for the Live Arts production, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”. Dallas had never acted in a theatrical production before, but he had a presence that was magnetic. As he started to sing, the room was transformed, and everybody there that cold, icy night felt the warmth, and knew the play had found its Hank. Watching Dallas take on the enormous challenge of learning all the songs plus all the lines it took to be carry the lead role in this musical biography was truly inspiring. The play was a massive success, and the somewhat unlikely combination of musicians that formed the Drifting Cowboys had a special chemistry that created joy in all who became their audiences. At the age of 29, Dallas became Hank Williams at the very same age Hank spent his last year of his too short life. But make no mistake, Dallas Wesley is his own man. That was a play, and this is real life, and the songs that come from his heart are the ticket that will let his dream unfold. If you press them, you can probably get a reprise now and then, just because they are that kind of friendly folk. But this is the Dallas Wesley Band. You’d be much more rewarded to sit back and listen up to what they have to say as themselves. Please join me for this set of original tunes and conversation with the Dallas Wesley Band. ~Aer Stephen
The Dallas Wesley Band is original roots country sound with 21st century soul. Pedal steel cries, fiddle saws, electric guitar runs, upright bass lines, and Dallas Wesley’s one of a kind voice resonate with fans of many genres and can satisfy both a dance floor and a listening room. They first performed together in a Charolottesville, Virginia production of “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” in 2010. Their natural chemistry and mutual respect for each other led them to reconnect months later as The Dallas Wesley Band, playing original songs written by vocalist Dallas Wesley, bassist Thomas Gunn, pedal steel player Bahlmann Abbott, and lead electric guitarist Dan Sebring.
Dallas Wesley (vocals, rhythm guitar) is originally from South Carolina, but has lived in Lynchburg, Virginia since 2004. He began his music career five years ago with the release of his first solo album before headlining The Dallas Wesley Band. Wesley writes most of the songs in the band’s set list.
Thomas Gunn (upright bass) has been a staple in the central Virginia music scene for years. While his skills with the lead guitar are impressively adept, Gunn’s focus in The Dallas Wesley Band is the upright bass, as well as harmonies, which he adds to most songs in the set. Thomas Gunn is also a well-respected songwriter, and has released two solo albums.
Bahlmann Abbott (pedal steel) is a man of many talents in the Charlottesville area, as he not only owns an architectural firm in town, but also plays the guitar, bass, and pedal steel, which is his main instrument in The Dallas Wesley Band. Abbott also writes songs, records, and has released a solo album.
Dan Sebring’s (lead guitar) name is known in musician circles in the central Virginia area as well. A professional guitar player for over forty years, Sebring has seen and done quite a lot in the music business. Before joining The Dallas Wesley Band, he toured with Modest Mouse, and now balances his role as lead guitarist in the band with teaching guitar for a private school in Charlottesville.
In the short year that the band has been together, they have had many opportunities to connect with thousands of fans, including opening for country performers Travis Tritt and, more recently, Trace Adkins, both in Richmond. Most of their concerts take place in or around the central Virginia area. Saturday, September 17, at 8 PM, you can catch them right here in Charlottesville at C’ville Coffee on the Stage Café, at 1301 Harris Street.
|Photo by Susan Saandholland|
Submitted by Aer Stephen, WTJU Folk