John Wesley has built a long and varied career as a songwriter, “sideman” guitarist, and recording artist.
His music has been called lyrically sensitive and musically dynamic. His songwriting style incorporates emotionally-charged vocals that evoke the honesty and intimacy of Roger Waters and Patty Griffin coupled with a melodic yet intricate guitar style reminiscent of David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson, Jeff Beck, and Warren Haynes.
Wesley’s guitar-driven acoustic and electric songs represent the cultivation of many inspirations — alternative, progressive, art, and classic rock genres intertwined with poignant lyrics drawn from the poetry of the common man. What really appeals to Wesley’s fans worldwide is a spark of sincerity and sensitivity so oft absent in today’s mainstream music.
Most recently, John Wesley has performed as sideman, guitarist/vocalist for Vertical Horizon.
John Wesley’s professional music career began in the early 1980’s in the Tampa, Florida area where he founded 1991 Southwestern Music Conference’s showcase act Autodrive. The following year Wesley embarked on a solo career and became the premier opening act for British progressive rockers Marillion on seven consecutive tour legs around the world — especially North and South America, the UK and Europe — where he played for hundreds of thousands of fans. In 1998, Wesley embarked with White Lion frontman Mike Tramp on an extensive tour as premier opening act for the prestigious Peter Frampton/Lynryd Skynyrd tour. Following this was several world tours as lead guitarist for Scottish neo-prog legend Fish. In 2001, John Wesley was the primary co-writer of Fish’s Fellini Days album.
In 2002 he began touring as guitarist and backing vocalist for Porcupine Tree, during the In Absentia world tour and continued his role with the band through Deadwing, Fear of a Blank Planet, and The Incident world tours. He performed in the band for nearly a decade and over 450 shows, culminating in 2010 with sold out performances at Radio City Music Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2011 he performed guitar during Steven Wilson’s North American Grace for Drowning tour. Throughout 2013, Wesley toured as lead guitarist with Simon Collin’s Sound of Contact to support the Dimensionaut album. In 2014, Wesley toured as guest lead guitarist with Big Elf.
Wesley has also toured the U.S. and Europe extensively to support his independent releases – performing as opening act for Marillion, Fish, Porcupine Tree, Sister Hazel, Steven Wilson, Flying Colors, The Winery Dogs, and Blackfield.
In 2005, Wes produced and recorded his fifth studio release, Shiver, co-produced by Mark Prator, and mixed by Steven Wilson of Porcupine tree. In 2011, Wesley partnered with UK native Dean Tidey (Feeder, Muddy Apes), to produce his EP, the lilypad suite. Wesley’s long awaited sixth full-length studio album, Disconnect, was released by Inside Out Music on April 1, 2014 and the follow-up album, a way you’ll never be… was released in late 2016.