Born in Leicestershire, England, Wes McGhee spent the early portion of his youth concentrating on a musical career. At age 13, the musician formed his first band and performed around his hometown. Before long, McGhee had quit school entirely and traveled to Hamburg, Germany, to become an underage guitar player for many German rock bands. After countless performances with various bands, McGhee signed a recording contract. But his musical directions and tastes changed. Upon returning to England, the musician fronted his own band, yet was still bound by the recording contract. Influenced by country-rock and psychedelic rock, the musician was unable to reach agreement with the label on his vision. Eventually, McGhee was released from his contract and opted to go it alone. After a brief stay in Austin, TX, and becoming friends with Roxy Gordon, McGhee released his debut album in 1978.
Recorded in North London with help from Arthur Anderson, Long Nights and Banjo Music became a critical success in both Britain and the United States. Repeated visits to Austin and extended stays resulted in another album, Airmail, released on Terrapin in 1978. In 1982, McGhee entered the studio to work on his third album. Landing Lights was released in 1982. In December 1984, McGhee was honored by the Austin Chronicle with a Songwriter's Recognition Night. The result of this performance was Thanks for the Chickens, a live album that was a forerunner of the roots music explosion of the mid-'80s. In 1986, Zacatexas was released and had McGhee performing with Ponty Bone and R.C. Banks, among others. Having worked with Butch Hancock, Chuck Prophet, Heather Myles, and Billy Swan, among others, McGhee also composed the film scores for film and documentaries such as Big Wheels and Sailor and Voices in Exile. In 2001, McGhee released Tejano Moon. Some of his earlier work was re-released on compact disc, including Heartache Avenue: Classic Recordings 1978-1992 in 1996. In 2002, McGhee released Backbeat. ~ Jason MacNeil