Band Concert Review
Jim Wolf: Saturday Night with Jim Wolf
The Acoustic Cafe - Bridgeport, CT - April 22, 2006
By Adam Bernard
Saturday night I was back at the Acoustic Café to see Jim Wolf perform. This wasn't the first time I'd seen Wolf, I'd seen him live at another bar a handful of months ago, but since that performance he'd hooked up with a new band, one that better understands what he's trying to do with his music. The result of finding some musicians who better relate to his goals is a more authentic Jim Wolf performance, which is a very enjoyable time.
Wolf has the unenviable task of living in a shadow that he has nothing to do with. Being an acoustic guitarist and singer / songwriter hailing from Fairfield, CT, Wolf has to deal with the John Mayer comparisons. In all honesty Wolf doesn't mind the comparisons, the two are friends, but the fact of the matter is, despite being tagged with the same acoustic guitarist singer / songwriter label, the two are actually quite different. Wolf never uses Mayer's breathy vocal tone, instead he opts for his own unique "up" vocals that, for Wolf, breathe life into his lyrics. Wolf's songs also, at times, have more of an edge to them. Well, as much of an edge as an acoustic guitar can have.
On Saturday it was Wolf, his bassist and his drummer up on stage at the Acoustic entertaining a packed house. Wolf performed a few of the songs off of his No Sleep What-So-Ever album with numerous new tunes thrown in for good measure. A few songs in Wolf related a story from the night before when he played at the football stadium at Bryant College. Apparently after three songs the lights went out so he and his band had to light candles and perform, essentially, in the dark until they fixed the lights, which they finally did five songs later.
Thankfully there were no technical difficulties at the Acoustic. The only breaks in the action on Saturday night were when Wolf called up one of his friends to dance on stage and when Wolf accepted a shot that one of his fans had bought for him. That's classic Jim Wolf right there. He's an extremely personable performer and his fans love him for it. Actually I think Wolf has the most rabid fans of any acoustic guitarist I've ever seen. The shouts and cheers from the audience were raucous and Wolf seemed to enjoy how into the performance everybody was.
The only gripe I have about Saturday's show was the abrupt way that it ended. Everyone was rockin out and having a great time when all of a sudden it was "thank you and goodnight." It sort of threw everyone in the crowd for a loop, but despite the show being over the night continued on as the after party lasted till the wee hours of the morning.
Sightings: I was there, DJ Halo was there, Andrew Lombardo of Zaziggy.com was there, heck even the Democrat half of the radio show that precedes mine was there, but the sightings didn't stop at the Acoustic, even more came as soon as we left the after party and hit the diner. After we sat down at the diner at 3AM Darian Cunning came in, so we talked with him for a while, and it turned out our waiter and I had friends in common, namely comic Wassan Jackson, who I wrote about a few years ago.
Liks: Nothing changed from two days ago except this time around I was drinking my old standby, Guinness. Guinness, the other dark meat.
Verdict: Jim Wolf is fantastic at what he does and the good news for him is that his music is the kind that most anyone, no matter age, race or creed, can enjoy. During the show I turned to one of the friends I had come with and commented "you know, Jim's really good," and I meant it. Simply put, you can't help but have a good time when you see a Jim Wolf performance.