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One more for Wesley


June 02, 2017

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The night of April 1, 2017 was to be a special one at Statesboro Millhouse. The scheduled band was Bragg & Company, a well-loved local band fronted by local music veteran Wesley Bragg. More than that, it was to be a reunion of sorts of one of Statesboro’s best loved bands, Wesley Bragg & the Cut-Throat Cowboys. Fans of the band and the various members had been sharing the event on social media, excited to see the reunion. Tragedy struck on April 1, when 29-year-old frontman and founder Wesley Bragg lost his life as a result of a car accident. The public outpouring of support was immense, and almost immediately an event to honor Wesley was scheduled for the following Saturday.

Word spread quickly that April 8 at Millhouse was to be “One More for Wesley.” Musicians, singers, performers, friends and family gathered for one amazing celebration of life and music. In that one night, Millhouse tripled the revenue of its best night. The bar ran out of Jameson, Bud Light and nearly everything else. The bar was dry – the eyes weren’t. There were plenty of tears shed, and laughs and memories shared. “One More for Wesley” was an event that managed to do what its namesake had hoped to do for over a decade – draw together as much of Statesboro’s music family as possible to support, encourage and help one another.

A few weeks later, I had the privilege of sitting in on a gathering of some of his closest friends. No… they were his brothers. His biological brother, Dylan Bragg, was joined by Myles Willis, Benjii Taylor, Dillon Lanier and others. This band of brothers shared endless stories about Wesley the performer, Wesley the man and Wesley the friend.

“It didn’t matter if there was an audience of five or 5,000,” Dylan said with a smile. “He put the same energy into the show either way.”  

It’s a sentiment echoed by everyone who knew him or saw him perform. His creativity and investment in each show was easy to see. Friend Micahlan Boney recounted his use of props on stage.

“To most of his shows he brought props like a rug, table, lamp, stuffed duck and baby pictures of him and Dylan. He decorated almost every stage this way because he wanted the audience to ‘feel at home.’”

It was this energy and commitment to his craft that let audiences know he was putting everything he had into every song he wrote or sang. He put just as much energy into encouraging other musicians, which is one of the many reasons he became such a beloved figure among area musicians and performers. From inviting young performers to join him on stage and perform to pushing his own bandmates to challenge their own limits, he was always doing what was necessary to bring out the very best in his fellow performers.

When you’re in a band with others, you become closer than family.

“That’s a bond that doesn’t die,” mused Willis. “He was my brother.”

As the one bandmate who shared the most touring and stage time with Wesley, Willis had more stories of shows, after parties and tour memories than could ever be recounted in one article. But the stories were just the examples that showed who Wesley was. The words that seemed to come over and over from so many were “big hearted” and “generous.” Wesley loved life and loved to make sure that others were loving life when they were with him.

As a tribute to his amazing spirit, several of Bragg’s bandmates and friends have begun work on a project that will honor him in the very best way possible. The group is working on bringing together Wesley’s close friends, former band members, and many whose musical careers have been influenced and encouraged by him to produce an album of his original songs. Dylan Bragg, brother and co-founder of Bragg & Company, says the group is taking their time to be sure that the project is a close to perfect as possible. They are working on creating a crowdfunding page for the album to allow friends, family, and fans to be involved as well.

For more information on the project and how to support it, follow the project’s progress on the Bragg & Company Facebook page. 


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