Posted by: Billy Marsh | October 10, 2007

Life is Precious: A Song With New Meaning For Wes King

A Wes King Tribute

In high school, I signed up for a few differant music clubs where I got like 13 CD’s for the price of 1. The first one I was every a part of, BMG, I picked out a few artists with whom I was not familiar. One of those was Wes King. At first, I didn’t listen to him much. I was too hooked on DcTalk’s Jesus Freak. However, King’s songs always kept coming back to me and eventually he began to grow on me. Ever since then, I’ve been listening to Wes King and have come to cherish his music. He is a Reformed guy and is good buddies with many of the other guys that I would call my “circle of favorites” such as Michael Card and Phil Keaggy. In addition, King is an impressive guitarist. He is not far behind Keaggy; he has some major chops on the acoustic guitar.

One day last year when I was browsing the “new releases” on a Christian music webiste, I found this record, Life is Precious: A Wes King Tribute. I noticed that it was a “tribute” album and immediately was shocked. You don’t really make tribute albums for people that are still in their prime. So, as I researched this project, I came to find out that King had recently been diagnosed with a form of cancer called, ‘Burkitt’s Lymphoma’ and had only been given a month to a year to live. The album was put together with the intention of helping to pay the hostpital and chemo treatment bills for King and his family (Click here to read his interview about his cancer with Christian Music Today).

To the glory of God, King’s cancer has gone into remission and is nowehere to be found in his body at this time. He is now at home, finished with chemo treatments, and is trying to spend more time with his family and in the studio. However, you can still purchase the album, and I would say that it is money well spent. King has some amazing songs and many of the new versions are outstanding.

The tribute project is double-disc. The contributing artists range from well-known individuals such as Derek Webb, Scott Krippayne, and Phil Keaggy to groups under the radar such as Addison Road, The NewFire Trio, and Jacob’s Well. The producer, Craig A. Mason, tried to include a good mixture of popular and independent artists. So, the record has a really free and creative feel about it.

I have placed a fair sampling of some of the songs from both discs in my Box.net media player. Check them out and purchase this album for a good cause and for some good music.

(Also, click here to listen to Michael Card’s radio show from 4/28/07. Wes King was one of the guests that day. He shares candidly about his cancer and healing, plus he plays a few songs live. It is a very intimate interview.) 

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Responses

  1. I picked up a couple of Wes King cds when I was in Chicago. It was 1991 and he had just came out. I think he had two Cds. I remember really liking him. I always wished his albums would be more organic and acoustic instead of as produced as they were. But I could tell he was a masterful guitarist. I think I first saw him because he was hosting one of those late night Christian music video shows. He played a song during the show and I was really impressed.

    One of my favorite songs is actually on a Kim Hill cd. It is called Snake in the Grass. The song was of course over produced. But it still sounded good. I wish they would get back together and do a re-make of it and focus the music on King’s guitar playing instead of the synthesizer.

    That is all.

  2. Carl,
    Yeah, most of King’s earlier work was way over-produced and some of his song writing seemed like he was under pressure to write radio singles. Still, if you listen closely, you can hear him doing some incredible things on the guitar. He also has a few good instrumentals on those records. The CD that is my favorite Wes King album is A Room Full of Stories. It’s much more acoustic and organic, plus he’s got some really great songs (lyrically) on it as well. I’ll have to check out the Kim Hill song, I don’t know that one. Thanks for the heads up!
    Peace, Billy

  3. I lost track of Wes shortly after I saw him perform with Phil Keaggy and Scott Dente. I can’t say that there has ever been 3 better guitar players on stage at the same time. I never heard anything about Wes’ battle with cancer. The last post here is from 2007. I feel like I’m in a time warp.

  4. Yeah, the three of them made a cd together back in the 90s. It was pretty good, but I’m sure it would be incredible to see all three of them on stage performing together. I’m not sure how Wes is doing at this time with his cancer. He hasn’t put out any new projects since before he got really sick.


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