New Music Review: “Hooked Up” by James Wesley
James Wesley is back, and he’s back in a big way!
The last time many of you heard from Wesley, he was hitting the airwaves with “Thank a Farmer”, a heartfelt ballad which tells the story of how much hard work it takes to be a farmer in Middle America. And it doesn’t come much more Middle America than Wesley’s music.
First, a little background. Wesley grew up in Mound Valley, a community of only 200 people in Southeastern Kansas. He first discovered country music via his grandmother’s record collection, which included heaping helpings of classic crooners such as Marty Robbins, George Jones and Ray Price. His mother was the first to notice Wesley’s own talent for singing when she overheard him belting out his favorite songs behind his bedroom door. By his late teens he was singing in local nightclubs and beginning to think about making music his life.
I can certainly say that i’m glad he made this decision.
Wesley signed with Broken Bow Records back in 2009 and quickly exploded onto the country music scene with his debut breakout single “Jackson Hole.” To date he has had two Top 25 singles, including one of my personal favorites “Real”, making his voice a staple on country radio. If you’ve ever seen Wesley in concert, then you know that he sings directly to real people about real things that profoundly affect real lives. From his small-town upbringing to his blue-collar work ethic, Wesley has a deep understanding of what country listeners want to hear.
Now, on to the song. “Hooked Up” was co-written by Harry Smith and Todd Morris, and tells the story of a blue marlin that is being pursued by fisherman at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. Announced backed in April, Wesley formed a partnership with Calcutta to shoot the “Hooked Up” music video and promote the song to the sport fishing communities.
The accompanying music video for “Hooked Up” takes fans along with him for the journey of a lifetime. The video was shot during a concert, performed by Wesley, which took place at the new Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament weigh station on the Morehead City, North Carolina waterfront. Additional footage was shot during the tournament between June 6–13.
OK, before I tell you why I love this song, go ahead and check out the video for yourself.
Now you’ve seen the video and heard the song for yourself. Admit it, there’s so much to love about “Hooked Up”. It’s so easy to get hooked by the chorus. It’s upbeat. It’s toe tapping. I’ve listened to the song a good 70-75 times now, and each time I get to the chorus, I find myself belting out the lyrics at the top of my lungs. Sadly, the kids keep telling me to leave the singing to the artist. They’re probably right!
But isn’t that what country music is all about? Isn’t it supposed to make you feel passion? Shouldn’t it make you want to sing along at the top of your lungs? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: country radio NEEDS more James Wesley. Is “Hooked Up” the song that takes him back to the top of the charts? I certainly hope so. I think it certainly has a chance!
I’ll admit, I have a personal connection to the song. It doesn’t make me biased. Anyone who knows me knows that I shoot from the hip in all of my reviews. This review is no different.
My step father, who passed away this past March, was a fisherman his entire life. He used to tell all those fish stories that you always hear about. Catching the “big one” and “the one that got away”. He told them all. He participated in tournaments around the country. He spent years in Alaska. He even owned his own charter in Bodega Bay/Tomales Bay, California. Bald Eagle Fishing. I’ll never forget it.
The first time I heard the song was only a few short weeks after he passed. At the time I was devastated (after losing my birth father only 6 months earlier). That first time brought tears streaming down my face. Just listening to the lyrics reminded me of all of the good times. The fishing stories. Knowing that he would have absolutely LOVED this song. Hearing “Hooked Up” for the first time brought a smile back to my face for the first time in weeks.
That’s the mark of a great song. Bringing pure emotion out of me…the listener. That’s what great music is all about, right?
Before I forget, a portion of the proceeds from downloads will go to the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament Charities and the ASA’s Keep America Fishing Foundation, so make sure you download “Hooked Up” today from iTunes or from CalcuttaFishing.com and TheBigRock.com.
Also, can’t forget the guys who don’t always get the credit they deserve. Michael Blakemore, Jesse LaFave, Matt Morgeson and Drew Scheuer. You guys all rock!
Don’t wait. Go get “Hooked Up” now. You won’t regret it!
For more information about Wesley, and to take a listen to the rest of his catalog, visit JamesWesleyMusic.com.
Tags: Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, Big Rock Tournament, Bodega Bay, Calcutta, Calcutta Fishing, Country Music, Country Music Review, Drew Scheuer, George Jones, Harry Smith, Hooked Up, Hooked Up Review, James Wesley, James Wesley Review, Jesse LaFave, Keep America Fishing Foundation, Marty Robbins, Matt Morgeson, Michael Blakemore, Morehead City, Mound Valley, Music Review, North Carolina, Ray Price, Todd Morris, Tomales BayYou can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.