The following is the text of an article about me in the April 18, 2015 issue of The Jackson Sun:
"Art Wheeler always tries to find an interesting perspective for the songs he writes. A member of Grace United Methodist Church, he writes, performs and records both religious and non-religious songs.
"As far as religious music ... I try to take familiar stories from the Bible and do a little different perspective on some of those stories," Wheeler said.
He said he often takes the perspective of a member of the crowd who just happened to be there. His song "Water to Wine" tells the story of someone following Jesus around and witnessing miracles. His song about the book of Job tells the story from the perspective of the devil.
"I always played around with writing and playing verses, things like that," Wheeler said. "But I never had taken writing music very seriously until I started working on some lyrics to a religious song called the Belly of the Whale."
Wheeler said he worked on the song off and on for about two years and then started writing more. He said as he continued writing, he began to think the songs might be good enough to record, and he got a portable studio. Some of his songs take awhile to write, and some come to him overnight, Wheeler said.
"I would wake up with some idea of how I wanted to put it together, and before the day was over, I was actually recording the song," he said.
Wheeler uses his small portable studio to record and edit his music.
"I play all the music on all of my tracks on all the songs I've recorded," he said.
Wheeler said his mother was a piano teacher, and he always played music, primarily by ear. He had guitars and other instruments to experiment with while growing up.
He said he has lost count of how many instruments he can play, but they include piano, guitar, bass, harmonica, keyboards, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and alto saxophone. He plays each of the instruments for a recording and layers them on top of each other to create the finished product.
In addition to instruments, Wheeler also records harmonies on most of his tracks. His song "The Promised Land: Part 2" includes a 12-part harmony as well as the instruments. He said some songs have more layers than others, depending on what fits the song.
Wheeler said as he began recording songs, he also began performing them. He would play regularly at an open mic night at the Music Highway Crossroads at Casey Jones Village. He said one night, the musicians were challenged to write a song about a 4H Chicken Shack, a staple of the West Tennessee State Fair. When his song was completed, he decided to record it.
Wheeler has recorded other non-religious songs, such as his song "Arkansas," which gives humorous reasons never to visit Arkansas. His Christmas song called "Electric Jesus" talks about an outdoor nativity scene.
"I get a lot of requests for those songs when I'm out playing," Wheeler said.
Wheeler said he tries to pull in a lot of humor, even in his religious songs.
"I like to have the humorous aspect of it, but I also make sure I'm faithful to the stories that are in the Scripture," Wheeler said.
He said many of his songs are based on very specific passages of the Bible, and some pull their lyrics directly from Scripture. On others, he tells more of a story.
"There are those where I'm coming from the perspective of a character in the story," Wheeler said. "On those, I think my own voice comes through."
Wheeler said his religious and secular songs are intertwined to a large extent. Though he has two religious CDs and one secular, he writes them all as the same person. His latest CD release, "Six Minutes After Seven," finally includes the first song he wrote, "The Belly of the Whale."
Wheeler is a quality engineer at Delta Faucet. He has a wife, Andrea, and three children. He said he loves doing music, but it will always be a hobby for him. He plays bass guitar in the praise and worship band at Grace United Methodist Church.
"I don't have any aspirations of becoming a big star," he said. "I'm satisfied with the way that it is right now."
Wheeler said his style is inspired by the music he listens to, but it does not fit into one genre. Some of his songs have a country or folk feeling, and others are more rock 'n' roll, he said, depending on what style fits the story.
Wheeler's music is available through his website, www.artwheelermusic.com, as well as on iTunes and Amazon. Wheeler also keeps a blog on his website and releases digital singles."
The Article, entitled "Bible Stories Set to Music", was written by Nathan Handley.
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller