By: Jason C. Mitchell
Hollywood, MD- Wesley Spangler grew up just outside of Waldorf, Md. He started playing guitar at 18 years old when some friends were jamming and he wanted to get involved. “I went over to my best friends house and found out he played drums. I never knew. He told me he wanted to start a band but couldn’t find a guitar player. I told him I knew how to play! Of course I didn’t know a thing about guitar. Thankfully his father played and showed me a couple things.”
He purchased his first guitar from local music legend Gene Quade, currently with Sam Grow.After a while they found themselves playing their first show at Hotel Charles in Hughesville, Md.
Spangler recalls that it was some 12 years ago. He said that it was the first and only time they had ever played there. Although the interest to play there still exists, he says “It’s never quite worked out. I’ll call them, they’ll call us back. It never lines up. We’d like to play there again though.” Since then Spangler says he has been in multiple line ups and then eventually it became the current line up.
“The hardest part of getting going was getting your foot in the door. It’s almost like booking a first gig is a lottery. We called up everyone and anyone hoping someone would give us a shot. There isn’t really anything more to it. Places are hesitant to try new talent. Luckily, we got a call from someone asking if we could fill in that weekend because their act wasn’t going to be able to make it. Actually it happened to be one of my favorite places, Cancun Cantina in Hanover, MD.”
Thanks to his shows still booked in the area, he still gets the opportunity to see many of his friends and family through out the year. This year Wesley had his official EP release party, at what is still one of his favorite venues, Cancun Cantina Nov 23rd. On it is the single, “I Can’t Even” that has been finding play time on 8 different radio stations. The song, while based on a popular catch phrase, is about how you feel you when can’t go on your loved ones keep you moving.
“I think the EP as a whole show cases the range of our sound as a band and my skills as a song writer. I’m very pleased with the result and the reception has been very positive,” says Spangler.
I was fortunate enough to open for Wesley at his release party with Cowboy Crossing, another local Southern Maryland band. The support for his original music, as well as his talents as a cover artist, was impressive. His former guitar player Dave Wolfe also made an appearance. Robby Kidwell and Ricky MacWillaims of Cowboy Crossing both spoke very highly of Wesley. “He is one of the most genuine people we’ve ever met. He was the first person to pay us as an opener. We carry that on by always paying our openers,” Robby said
Fast forward and now Spangler and his band played 170 shows last year up and down the East Coast as well as in the Mid-West. He’s since moved down to Nashville and was married April 23, 2017 to his wonderful wife Angel Spangler.
“I’m lucky that I found someone who can put up with our crazy lifestyle,” says Sp[angler.”You know how it is, you get a call for a last minute show down the street and even if you don’t need the money you take it. It’s because you love to play and show off what you can do. I knew I had to tie her down. She’s so supportive of what I do. It’s a hard thing to find.”
With the push from the single gaining traction, Spangler was signed to R&R Management which is a subsidiary of Universal. The company is helping to fund Spangler’s next studio recording at Nashville recording studio Sound Kitchen. Spangler stated that he felt the latest song will be his best work yet. “I’m so thankful to finally have a team behind me that believes in my music enough to fund my next studio time. I’m excited for what the feature holds.”
If you want to catch the Wesley Spangler Band do what they does best in Southern Maryland he’ll be at The Last Drop Country Bar on February 16th and then at Cancun Cantina February 22nd.