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Jim Wolf - Seeking New York Stories
Saturday, August 11, 2012

Jim Wolf is sitting at a table outside the Acoustic Cafe in his former hometown of Bridgeport, CT. It’s a typical muggy summer night, the mosquitoes are biting, and the citronella candle on the table just went out. There’s no chance, however, of anyone extinguishing Wolf’s excitement for the evening. Come September he’ll be embarking on a 30 day, 25 city US tour, a tour he says will consist of “me, my guitar, and a rental (van),” and on this night he’s only a few short hours away from performing at the album release party for his latest EP, strange, weird, and romantic part I.

The decision to have his album release party in Connecticut was one that was made for him by his fans. “I did a Kickstarter that’s supporting the tour initially,” Wolf explains, “and a lot of people from home were big supporters, so I thought I’d do the first CD release here.”

While Wolf has enjoyed the support of his hometown fans for many years, back in 2008 he was getting restless in Connecticut, which is why he packed up his bags and moved to Brooklyn, NY. After three years in Brooklyn he bounced to Greenwich Village, and eventually landed on the other side of the city in the East Village. His reason for relocating from Connecticut was simple - he longed for the New York musician’s experience. “To really be a singer/songwriter I felt like I had to live in the places where Bob Dylan lived,” he explains, adding “they’re actually shooting a movie about his life on the street I’m on the corner of.”

After his initial move Wolf started playing in and around the city, sometimes finding himself on legendary stages, such as the one at The Bitter End. As time went by he found he’d begun collecting his own New York stories. One such story occurred at a show at The National Underground. “After my show there’s a guy in the shadows,” Wolf remembers, “and he was like ‘great job, man. You did a great show.’ I said ‘I really appreciate it, man. Thanks.’ I couldn’t really tell (who it was) through the lighting. After, he was like ‘I’m Gavin, nice to meet you.’ It was Gavin DeGraw. He goes ‘let me buy you a couple rounds and hang out.’”

The story is one of many that Wolf has been amassing since his move, and the idea of collecting stories is represented in the album artwork for strange, weird, and romantic part I. The collage piece, which was done by Tim Soper as an homage to Ezra Jack Keats, not only illustrates the life Wolf’s been living, but is a representation of his music, as well. “I think that’s the thing about life,” Wolf muses, “you kind of pick through the pieces and you choose what’s yours.” He adds that he has another theory about life that goes hand in hand with that. “You take a shot, you take a risk, and you go for it.”

Wolf took a risk moving to New York, and it’s paid off. Releasing an EP, instead of a full length album, however, is something he doesn’t consider a risk at all. “We live in a singles world,” Wolf explains, “and because listeners want music so often, rather than spend time and getting stuck recording as the industry’s constantly changing every six months, it’s just better to put it out as you make it, so I’m doing three EPs. I can push each one as its own record, and maybe get more buzz than just doing one release. In the end I’ll put out a full length album of all of them.”

That’s at the end, but today is another beginning. It’s the beginning of another tour, the beginning of another journey, and the beginning of another New York story for Jim Wolf.

Story originally ran on 101Distribution.com.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 9:05 AM  
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