This time, it's personal.

After 26 years as a full-time entertainer, Wayne Willingham walked away.  The years had taken their toll; He was disillusioned, bored, jaded, aimless.  He changed careers - completely shifting gears, and achieved more than he ever thought possible.

While listening to a friend's band in Fort Worth in late 2014, he was inspired enough to pick up his guitar and try to knock off some of the rust.  By his own admission, those first few weeks were pretty rough.  But like in his earliest days as a teen, he fought through it,

 

In April 2015, Wayne performed in front of an audience for the first time in 19 years, and more appearances all the time, not for the money, nor the applause, but for expression and fulfillment.

This time, it's personal.

No longer interested in night clubs and cover songs, Wayne returned to his roots.  Like his singer/songwriter heroes Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, Joni Mitchell  and others, he rediscovered his own creative voice, writing his own songs and telling his own stories.

​He is writing new songs. at the rate of about one a month.  An all-original album "Stayed in Love Too Long" in 2017, "YOYO"in 2018, and now "The Ring", an 11-song opus that's already earning industry kudos. He's finally having the musical career he first intended.

The voice is still there - perhaps clearer and more expressive. The hands are back - ask other guitarists, or just listen for yourself.  The stage presence is that of a seasoned veteran.  And there is that one thing that was missing before his sabbatical: The sheer joy.

© 2019 by Wayne Willingham

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