My early childhood was spent in Kensington, MD and a small town called Arnold, just outside of
Annapolis. I discovered the guitar in my mid teens
and, with my father's support, I decided to study at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music
(now Shenandoah University) in
Winchester, VA. I proved to be a mediocre student over all, but I did graduate with a Bachelor
of Music Education degree with a major in guitar and minor in piano. My interest in playing,
songwriting, and music in general never let up.
After getting married, we moved to Richmond, VA and I worked in retail for
awhile, started teaching at a local music store, and playing solo gigs in any club or bar that
give me a shot.
I played in a bunch of bands, playing a wide variety of music; commercial dance stuff, wedding work, both solo and and in ensemble, duos, trios, acoustic, electric... I was all over the map and not doing a very good job at any of it.
I got a lot of milage out of that hat
Teaching really helped me keep my head above water. Personally, I was struggling a little bit. The short version is I hung in there.
It was a period of time where I played in a bunch of different bands, did a lot of solo gigs, wrote some songs, tried to get a handle on my private life. I think you get the idea. There were a lot of good times, some bad times, mostly just kind of cruising along.
A Few High Points
With the generous support of my second wife, Penny Narron, I bought a recording studio in 1998 and it became Full Moon Studios, which grew into ReaLife Multimedia LLC, offering services in commercial recording, audio/video production, web design, and marketing. At ReaLife, I had a chance to work as talent for voice and on-camera commercial audio and video productions. In 1999, I released an album of original songs entitled Go
Figure. (More about that at jimwestlyn.com/musician.html)
For four years, I served as president of VOCAL
(Virginia Organization of Composers and Lyricists).
In 2013, I was commissioned to
soundtrack to the film Breathing Life into the Chesapeake: Of Oysters, Boats and
documentary was awarded the Platinum Prize at the <.>2014 Worldfest-Houston International
That work grew into Chesapeake, a seven movement
composition for guitar and string quartet that had its premiere during the Second Sunday South of the James Concert Series in January of 2016.
I still maintain a private practice teaching guitar, piano, 5-string banjo, ukulele and electric bass meeting as many as 35-40 students per week.
And I play the occasional solo guitar/vocal gigs at various venues in the Richmond area.
And, currently, I'm one half of the guitar/piano/vocal duo Regan & Westlyn, with Anne Carr Regan.
I don't really think you need to know more than that.