“Daddy was a seeker,” says Mare Wakefield. “Eventually he became a Salvationist minister. Mama was a gypsy, loving nothing more than a long stretch of highway.” Born with wanderlust in her DNA, Mare lived in eight different places before she was ten. “It was a roller-coaster way to grow up, but my brother and I learned to fit in fast,” she says. “We picked up Wisconsin accents in two weeks. Eighteen months later we were drawling like native Texans.”
For Turkish-born Nomad, the journey was equally varied. His musical education began at the exclusive Istanbul Conservatory and continued with a scholarship to Berklee College of Music. Nomad’s gift for musical arrangements includes a full arsenal of classical, folk and jazz chops.
Versatility and travel-scapes are evident in their music. Listeners roam through Arizona deserts, Oklahoma oil fields and Amsterdam canals. Journeys go inward too, exploring hope, heartbreak and barroom brawls. Story and song are woven together by Mare’s intimate delivery and Nomad’s exquisite piano and accordion. Currently based out of Nashville TN, Mare and Nomad were 2016 and 2015 Kerrville NewFolk finalists and 2015 Falcon Ridge Emerging Artists.
I know of three people named Wes Collins: there’s my Dad, there’s the power ranger (we haven’t met), and then there’s me. I’m a husband, a dad and a librarian. I also write songs and play them for people all over the country.
I got a late start to songwriting but I’m all about it now. I took first place in the 2012 North Carolina Songwriter’s Co-op Song Contest, and I made the finals in the 2013 Kerrville TX New Folk Competition. I released my first CD (One Layer Down) in January 2013, and in 2015 I made it back to Kerrville as one of the six winners.
In just the past two years I’ve played Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, The Threadgill Stage in Kerrville, TX, Blue Rock Studio Stage in Wimberley, TX and more. In 2017 the North Carolina Arts Council awarded me a Songwriting Grant so I’m currently hard at work recording my second album, set for release April 2018.