July 1, 2018


Every music show is unique and I enjoy them all, some more than others. If I am not sure about the person who is playing or have never heard them; I research and try to familiarize myself with the music before I go.


Friday night I did not have to research the musician. He is a long-time friend. Wes Loper is one of the most talented musicians I have the pleasure of knowing. He is a country music singer who has an exceptional talent for lyrics that will tell a story. Most of his songs are about love or past love or lost love. A common thread is love (because he is very much in love with his beautiful wife Renee). Also nearly all of his songs include a reference to water. You can tell this man grew up around rivers, oceans and beaches. The water runs deep in his veins and it dwells in his heart as he writes; then it comes front and center as he sings his wonderful music.


Wes is easy to listen to, he is easy to watch as he plays and he eases his audience into his world as he tells his story and sings his song. Sometimes he will start talking to us like we are sitting in his living room, right in the middle of a song. How refreshing it is to be entertained by such a man.


He is one of those musicians that would rather sing than almost anything else in the world and it shows in his face.


I feel so lucky to have known him for many years. He is a longtime friend of my son, Eric Erdman who is a musician also. There was a time when Wes kept his catamaran at our house and sailed out from there. His love for the water is deeply embedded in his soul.


Surprised, I was not, when I saw the people pouring in to The Listening Room. The place filled up and all seats were occupied (poor Wes had no stool to rest on as he played). Many people were standing and Jim said “we are at capacity”.


I enjoy all of Wes’ songs and even one that he covers that was written by another long-time friend of ours, Les Hall. It is a light-hearted, wonderful song called “She Cranks My Tractor”. This song brings a smile on every face in the audience.


“One Big Ocean” is a song that lifts your spirits and “I Wish That I Had You” always lifts me up. He started the show with a familiar original “Keep On Growin”….”just like the highway its gonna keep on going, just like the river, its gonna keep on flowing, just like the wind is gonna keep on blowing, just like the sun, its gonna keep on glowing, like our love its gonna keep on growing”…its one of my favorites by Wes.


As the evening progressed, he sang new songs as well as his songs that we remember and love.


For the first time ever, The Listening Room was noisy. Wes said, “my fans are rowdy”.


The place was filled to capacity with people who love Wes and his music. We were excited he was there. Like a child on Christmas morning, we could not contain our excitement!  Many of the songs were familiar so a lot of singing-along took place. Clapping and singing and occasional shouts out-loud were the order of the day.


This “noise” was excitement and respect for a talented person we were happy to celebrate. That kind of “noise” is acceptable…the whole point of The Listening Room is to honor and respect the musician and we did that!


This full-house crowd was there for all the right reasons….to hear Wes play and to watch him perform with so much grace as we have become accustomed. He did not disappoint. I actually felt he hated to stop, he did not want it to end. The Listening Room will do that to a musician. 


Wes is a master, he knows how to handle an audience. He knew he was in a place that was designed to honor him and his music. He said to us that his crowd is pretty rowdy and he was right but, as odd as this may sound, they were rowdy in a good way. They were rowdy in love with him and his tremendous talent….that kind of rowdy is welcome.


It was a Full house of eager music lovers, specifically WES LOPER lovers and everyone left smiling….how can you beat that?


Juanita Smith

Music Mom



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