Wes Mackey
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Made in Canada” music celebrated in Provence France

Provence News
July 12, 2008
Le Blues de joyeux de Lamanon
On July 9, a mysterious, large, white limousine and the presence of several photographers and cameraman aroused the curiosity of the public and airport staff in Marseilles in southern France.(Picture 1)

Was it Brad Pitt, Madonna or the emir of some oil rich nation who had come to partake in the joys of Provence?

After waiting almost three hours all eyes turn to watch the unknown celebrity as he walk through the gates. The diminutive figure carrying a large guitar passes puzzled autograph seekers as he approaches the awaiting dignitaries. From under a black pork pie hat Vancouver Blueman, Wes Mackey flashes a warm smile.

Mr. Mackey was greeted by Mr. Roland Darrouzes Mayor of Lamanon and President of the regional union that represents 119 Mayors in Provence. The reason for this triumphal reception?

Wes Mackey gets Honourary Citizenship in Provence France

The humbled Wes Mackey was there to attend a distinctive presentation at the town’s Festival des Alpilles where he received the “Citizen of Honor” medal from the Mayor for his song Full Moon in Lamanon

The mayor was actually a part of the inspiration for the song which Mackey wrote in homage to the small village after a series of misadventures while in town to perform as a last minute replacement for ailing blues icon Sam Taylor.

After establishing a bond with the affable Bluesman, Festival organizer Vincent Bertomeu produced a limited edition “Collector”album of the same name and then a promotional video depicting the funny story which starred the fun loving citizens with a mysterious fondness for dark shades.

The video clip can be viewed online at www.festivaldesalpilles.com

The passion the blues song has inspired was evident at the show where Mackey also received honours from the world renowned Valley of the Baux olive oil producers and notably Castelas Millwhich received first place in the world at the Fancy Food Show of New York.This year’s headliners Harmonica Shah and Dr. David Evans put on a great show and then jammed with Mackey who wrapped up the night with a brilliant performance to a clearly smitten audience.

Wes Mackey originally from
Big Estate, South Carolina was
already overwhelmed by the terrific
response and when acclaimed artist
Jean-François Gérold proposed the
creation of a new version using the
classical instruments of Provence he
was clearly moved.

After a stint in Germany and a concert in Luxembourg, the amazingly talented Mackey will return to Canada where he is very busy but remains fairly undiscovered in North America. He will tour Europe
again in November in support of his new release Beyond Words and will do a special concert in Paris on December 6. (to find out more about Wes visit his website at www.wesmackey.com)

As for Lamanon, it appears its love affair with all things Canadian will continue as it launches a new event next week at the Festival des Alpilles celebrating the four hundredth birthday of the foundation of the town of Quebec. Fittingly billed as “Quebec, Belle Province in Belle Provence” it will feature Québécois artist Simon Genest and Provence artist Jean Plantevin (www.festivaldesalpilles.com).