Local Parishes

Shot in the Dark

Farmer and musician Wade Talley, a member of St. James Parish in Wetmore, has released his first CD. Talley is a self-taught musician.

Farmer and musician Wade Talley, a member of St. James Parish in Wetmore, has released his first CD. Talley is a self-taught musician.

Farmer, father of nine, releases CD about faith and family

by Mark and Julie Anderson

WETMORE — Humbling.

That’s the one word Wade Talley, a farmer and father of nine, uses to describe the past year or so of his life.

In November 2013, Talley, a member of St. James Parish in Wetmore, traveled to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and recorded the first two songs on his recently released CD, titled “Shot in the Dark.” With those two songs as samples, Talley launched a successful Kickstarter campaign this past summer, which raised nearly $16,000 in 30 days, all of which went to fund the album.

Founded in 2009, Kickstarter describes itself as “the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects” and allows the general public to choose from and fund a variety of projects in film, music, theater and more. People can choose to back a project by providing financial support in whatever amount they choose.

Only projects that reach their stated goals within a specified amount of time are funded. To Talley’s sheer amazement and almost complete disbelief, the project raised $15,480, nearly double its stated goal of $8,000.

In an interview that appeared in The Topeka Capital-Journal last June 6, Talley was quoted as saying, “It’s been very humbling for me. I want to cry sometimes — the generosity of people around here and what they’ve done to help me with this project. The way I look at things is: who am I that someone would want to give me 1,000 bucks or that someone would want to give me $2,000?”

Produced by David Smith of Icon Music Studio, the CD features a dozen songs, 10 written and/or co-written by Talley. All of the songs focus on lessons he’s learned along the way about being a husband, a father — and a child of God. And even though the actual album work began last year, in reality, the journey began much sooner, nearly eight years ago.

In 2006, Talley and his wife Tammy had been married for a little more than nine years. They were expecting twins, but 20 weeks into the pregnancy, the couple lost their girls, Lexi and Leslie.  Shortly after that, Talley wrote “A Few Minutes of Eternity,” a song based on his feelings at the time and how it refocused his priorities on the things that really matter — being a husband, being a father and being a Christian.

On his website, Talley discusses the experiences in plain and simple language:

“Lexi and Leslie were precious, fully human, and absolutely beautiful as are all of God’s children. I share this with you because it’s at that time this project truly began, although I didn’t know it at the time.

“A few months after their deaths, I was on my way home from school, when I felt a deep desire to play my guitar. This time was different, though, as I felt compelled to keep pen and paper beside me as I played. It was unlike anything I had experienced before, and about 90 minutes later, I had written my first song, ‘A Few Minutes of Eternity.’”

Since the loss of his daughters, Talley has written other songs, all of which he hopes will help others, especially his seven children here on earth, come to experience their true purpose in life — that of seeking God’s will and becoming a person after God’s own heart.

“I was in one of those places six or seven years ago where I didn’t like who I was,” said Talley. “These are my prayers — and, because of some other good Catholic families, these prayers have turned into some pretty good songs.”

With no formal music education, Talley taught himself how to play the guitar using nothing but books and videos. Never in his wildest dreams, he said, did he think he’d record a CD. Yet, he said God has shown him the path to take. It’s a lesson he wants his children to learn — that of obedience to God’s will.

“My goals for this project are simply to share with others what God has given to me and to teach my children to pursue their God-given dreams,” Talley said.

“Who I am has nothing to do with me,” he added, “but everything to do with God and my family.”

For more information about Wade Talley and his music, visit the website at: www.wadetalleymusic.com.

About the author

Marc & Julie Anderson

Freelancers Marc and Julie Anderson are long-time contributors to the Leaven. Married in 1996, for several years the high school sweethearts edited The Crown, the former newspaper of Christ the King Parish in Topeka which Julie has attended since its founding in 1977. In 2000, the Leaven offered the couple their first assignment. Since then, the Andersons’ work has also been featured in a variety of other Catholic and prolife media outlets. The couple has received numerous journalism awards from the Knights of Columbus, National Right to Life and the Catholic Press Association including three for their work on “Think It’s Not Happening Near You? Think Again,” a piece about human trafficking. A lifelong Catholic, Julie graduated from Most Pure Heart of Mary Grade School and Hayden Catholic High School in Topeka. Marc was received into the Catholic Church in 1993 at St. Paul Parish – Newman Center at Wichita State University. The two hold degrees from Washburn University in Topeka. Their only son, William James, was stillborn in 1997.

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