+ Wesley Stace’s John Wesley HardingTickets starting at $34.50 Buy Tickets
The Jayhawks and their rootsy sound were definitely swimming against the tide when they emerged from a crowded Minnesota music scene in 1985. Over the course of two decades, 9 albums, countless memorable live shows and enough personal drama to fill a couple of Behind the Music episodes, this beloved band soared to heights few ever achieve while winning the hearts and minds of numerous critics, fans and peers in the process. After releasing two Indie albums in the 80s The Jayhawks signed with American Recordings in 1991 and over the next decade released 5 challenging, at times groundbreaking, albums, toured the world to widespread acclaim and even survived the departure of founding member Mark Olson in 1995. After a hiatus in the mid 2000s, the “classic” 1994 lineup reunited for another new studio album in 2011 and 2 years of solid touring, reacquainting audiences old and new with the band’s timeless musical vision. 2014 saw a late 90s version of the band led by Gary Louris hitting the road to support the reissues of the 3 Jayhawks albums released from 1997-2003. This lineup released the band’s 9th studio album in 2016, recorded in Portland, OR with producers Peter Buck and Tucker Martine. The band’s new studio album, Back Roads And Abandoned Motels, was released in the summer of 2018, featuring Jayhawks versions of songs Gary Louris had previously written with other artists plus 2 new compositions.
Wesley Stace was born in Hastings, Sussex, in 1965, and educated at the King’s School, Canterbury, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He released 17 albums under the name John Wesley Harding. His most recent album, Self-Titled, for which he returned to his given name, was released by Yep Roc in 2013. He has also published four novels.
Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders, his variety show based at City Winery in NYC, continues to sell out. Since the Cabinet’s inception in 2009, the show has become a virtual who’s who of contemporary performers, writers, and comedians. It’s “one of the finest nights of entertainment this city has to offer” (New Yorker), “a brilliant evening of laid-back fun” (Village Voice), and “one of the most whip-smart variety shows on the market” (Portland Tribune). The show is ongoing and currently booking for 2016.
Stace has been joined onstage by Lou Reed, Rosanne Cash, Iggy Pop, John Prine, and Bruce Springsteen (with whom he recorded a duet on his album Awake), among many others. He appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His songs have featured in films (including High Fidelity) and TV (Transparent) and been covered by many other artists. and covered by other artists.
His first novel, the international bestseller Misfortune, was published to great acclaim in 2004. It was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, listed as one of the books of the year in the Washington Post and the Boston Phoenix, and was one of Amazon’s Top Ten Novels of the Year. His second, By George, (2007) was one of the New York Public Library’s Books To Remember of 2007, and Booklist Editor’s Choice for books of the year. His third, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer, (2010) was called “the most confident musical fiction I have read in years” (New Statesman), and an “Inventive black comedy unfolding with Nabokovian precision” (Financial Times): Isaac Mizrahi has recently bought the film rights. His fourth novel, Wonderkid,is being optioned by NBC/Universal to be developed as a sitcom.
Stace currently teaches a course at Swarthmore College called “Novel Beginnings/Beginnings Novel.” He has twice taught a songwriting course (“How To Write a Song”) at Princeton University with poet Paul Muldoon. He has also taught creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Stace’s work has itself been the subject of a university course, “The Allusive John Wesley Harding/Wesley Stace,” at Central Connecticut State University. He has reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
He has lived in America since 1991, and resides in Philadelphia with his wife Abbey, daughter Tilda, and son Wyn.