A&E » Music

No rush for stardom

Local musician takes guitar playing one string at a time



By Nicole Fitzgerald

What: Cero World Wide Friends

When: Tuesday, March 27, 8 p.m.

Where: Buffalo Bill’s

Tickets: $7/$10

Acoustic rambler Wes Makepeace considers himself a rookie in Whistler’s live music scene. The ex-pro snowboarder underestimates himself after strumming along Whistler’s music scene for the past five years.

But fans know his worth. One pirated a myspace.com site for the local artist, posting Makepeace’s War is Hell track for music revelers to check out.

Despite funding offers for a Makepeace album and recording time at a studio that has turned out the likes of Swollen Members, the only way listeners can tap into one of Makepeace’s 30 originals is by visiting the pirated site or joining the local boy at a live concert.

The coming weeks afford three chances to log into his music outside of cyberspace, including a performance at the Cero World Wide Friends party on Tuesday, March 27 at Buffalo Bill’s, every Wednesday at BBK’s in the Upper Village, and every second Friday (March 30) at Tapley’s Pub.

“I get lots of shows through my friends,” Makepeace said.

Friends are always keeping the Whistlerite company, with the talents of Jay Greenway and Stephanie Stephens joining the Cero party as well as the open jam sets every Wednesday at BBK’s.

Singer/songwriters will score everything from originals to covers at the Cero party. DJs Peacefrog, Rob Banks, J-Rawks and UK Little Dave as well as MCs Animal Nation and Gigalo will also be joining the fun with break dancing from B-Boy Abase.

Like many other pro-athletes, it took an injury to slow down the guitar man, who had ample time to experiment with strings after blowing his knee not once but twice.

For three years, Makepeace let his snowboard gather dust while he put his guitar to good use at party after party.

In 2002, he finally took his Whiskey-rasped vocals to a stage, thanks to the encouragement and accompaniment of his friend and longtime songwriter Steph Sullivan.

“Having him on stage made it a lot smoother than it would have went,” Makepeace said of his first show at Maxx Fish.

The single gig led to regular shows at the then Crab Shack, despite Makepeace only knowing 10 to 15 songs.

“It was very stressful not knowing what I was doing and I’ve been faking it ever since,” he said, laughing.

Amping up his skill sets are one of the reasons he waits out studio time — along with snowboarding six days a week, many of those days as a Whistler-Blackcomb trainer for snowboard instructors. But he still always finds time for his music.

“Playing the guitar gives me balance,” he said. “You are never bored at home when you have a guitar around… I spend most of my time worrying about how to play the guitar. I’ve always just faked it. I am not trying to get famous. That’s the biggest problem. I have way too many connections. But I want to just focus on letting me try to write some good songs. If the songs are good, then you are always ready to do it.”

So for now, Makepeace chills out writing more music and playing with friends, with fans trying to get their hands on a few demo albums floating around. They can make the local favourite a website, but they’ll have to leave the music making to him.

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