Picture the scene. In the foreground a man in braces and trilby hat (with a guitar held low at his side) stands at best hesitant at worst petrified, behind a tree. Stalking him in the background, amongst the shadowy pines is a werewolf silhouetted against the moon. This is the front cover of Chris Wolf’s latest album (since his previous release in 2006), The Wolfman. Is this going to be a comedy record? It could be a genius masterwork. It could be entirely the opposite.
As one can imagine from the front cover, Chris Wolf, has a healthy perspective on life and one imagines, does not take things too seriously. The Wolfman, is a mixture of Hicksville country Bluegrass (for example Wolf’s ode to his awful car, ‘She’s a Beater with a Heater’) to Waitsian mumble rants about drug deals and shoot outs. Add to this a good measure of Django Rhienhart licks and you have The Wolfman.
Stretching to seventeen tracks, one imagines this second outing for Chris Wolf is essentially a catalogue of his songs since his last. The album is, on the whole, sparsely arranged although it boasts a vast array of collaborators and musicians, including many family members and maybe because of this, there is a warmth and certain charm to this record. The album is endearing and incredibly cookie. Are you ready for the Wolfman?
RE: "The Wolfman" CD by Chris Wolf
"What a delightful little record. I'm serious man. I love Invisible Dog, the title song, it's just a delightful little record. And you are a hard rhyming mother- f**ker. I'm really just thrilled, I really am. That's nice work and congratulations. I'm glad you did this. It's just wonderful and I'm proud of you. Good on ya. Good job."
Award Winning Nashville Songwriter
Author of "The Everything
Songwriting Book: All You
Need to Create and Market Hit Songs"
Chris Wolf style of music is not only unique, but he makes it extremely fun.
A natural story teller, who knows how to pick a guitar...the Jim Stafford or Ray Stevens of Indianapolis? Eh, possibly on this album, The Wolfman. Backed up by some of Indy's top musicians...The Wolfman is a very fun CD.
Brother Brother Beercast
-Cary Allen Fields
Host of "Redbud Radio" & "Fields of Bluegrass"
WICR 88.7FM Indianapolis
Bloomington (IN) Songwriters Showcase
"There has been no shortage of solo talent in this year’s contest. Some
have made their mark with a distinct voice. Some have done it with a
“jaw-dropping guitar solo” (‘eat your heart out, Eddie Van Halen’).
Some did it with memorable hooks. Others with a sense of humor.
Then there’s Chris Wolf, an artist who has done it with all four of the
above listed criteria, and then some. When I last saw this guy, he
amazed and left the entire building in stitches with his songs about
invisible dogs, critters, and a crossroads to nowhere.
This time around? It’s no different.
Though later admitting he was nervous before taking the stage, he looked
nothing like it underneath the blazing hot lights of an already toasty
building. Sure he may not have a fancy effects board, a backing band or
a drum machine, but who needs it? What Chris lacks in fancy toys, he
makes up for in sheer, raw talent. Besides, you don’t need all of those
anyway to get a room full of people clappin"
- Josh Lauritsen, Indy Concerts.com (May 13, 2011)
- Danielle Look, Nuvo news weekly Nuvo.net (Apr 01, 2011)
"Chris demonstrates his mastery of thumb-picking guitar on this collection of mostly original numbers. His songwriting flair also shows. Chris has a boundless imagination and seems to move effortlessly from writing about falling in love (The Doo-Doo Song) to writing about murder for hire (Tell Me When). The instrumentation is sparse on Better Be Scared. It's Chris's vocal and guitar throughout, which gives the CD the feel of a live performance. At times I find myself wanting to throw in a lead fill or vocal harmony. Although it might fill out the sound, it would take away from the live feel of the record. Buy this CD, and you'll experience Chris's wry sense of humor, his masterful guitar playing and his poetic exploration of life's many corners, all as if he's there in the room with you."
author: Dean Phelps (award winning guitar picker, songwriter, preacher
and friend. I don't know if his associating with Chris Wolf is good for
Chris or bad for the preacher!)
Additional thanks to Dean for his contribution to my bio page!
See Dean's site here