Wes grew up in a loving and musical atmosphere that featured many Sunday afternoons of music at his Grandparents house. Wes still fondly remembers at a young age going to the big family reunions and watching “Papa”, “Uncle Doc” Watson, “Uncle Earg” Hillhouse, his father, uncle and cousins all playing together for hours. At a very young age Wes began spending most of every summer at his grandfathers house in Lamkin. It was here, between the hunting and fishing trips, that Wes’ granddad; H.D. Westmoreland Sr. began teaching him to play at age nine. The tunes that Wes had heard in his granddad’s kitchen all of his young life came easy to him, and he can still hear his Papa say “Wes, if you don’t put fire in it, it ain’t worth playing.” It was also at this time that he discovered his grandpa’s collection of “Texas Shorty” 45’s, and opened his eyes to an entire new world of fiddling.
Through these records and his grandfathers stories Wes’s musical heroes grew to include Benny Thomason, Major and Louis Franklin, Vernon and Norman Solomon, Orville Burns, Terry and Dale Morris, and the list goes on and on. About this time Wes began to compete in contests all over the state of Texas. Wes was lucky in that his grandfather not only taught him contest tunes but also exposed him to dance music and twin fiddling. However, playing Texas Style breakdowns was always his first love and he spent endless hours listening to tunes trying to figure out how they achieved that sound and drive.
At the age of 18, Wes traveled to Weiser, Idaho and won the National Junior Championship Fiddle Contest- his first major contest. He made many new fiddlin’ friends in the northwest who remain good friends to this day. After Wes graduated from Tarleton University with a chemistry degree, he decided to put that degree in his pocket and pursue his love for music by accepting a job in Branson, Missouri with Boxcar Willie. The following year, Wes received a job offer from Mel Tillis for whom he worked for ten years. This was by far the largest band (17 pieces, including at times, 4 fiddle players) he had ever performed with and his previous experiences with bands and harmonies paid off. Wes performed with Mel Tillis on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, on television broadcasts such as Nashville Now, Crook and Chase, Austin City Limits and various show places and casinos across the United States and abroad.
After playing professionally for 14 years, Wes decided to return to school rather than continue playing on the road in order to be closer to his children. He applied and was accepted to the University of Houston College of Pharmacy program in 1999 and returned to Texas. He also returned to breakdown fiddling and competing in contests after a 10-year hiatus. Wes received his Doctorate of Pharmacy in 2003 and after a one-year residency at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas, he accepted a position within the hospital as a Patient Care Pharmacist.
Wes’ dedication to music has paid off though the years. To date his awards in include: National Junior Champ 1980, Texas State Champion at Hallettsville Tx – 9 times, World Champion Crockett Tx – 7 times, TOTFA State Champion – 4 times, and numerous other contests and competitions.