Sleeping With Strangers
(Jim Wolf Music)


Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Jim Wolf strikes a blow for high quality pop-rock sounds in the 21st century with the 2010 CD release of his debut CD, Sleeping With Strangers. With Wolf singing his own tracks and playing guitar and synth, he gets further backing from a fine band of players including Rob Maresca on electric lead guitars. There’s a fine sonic sheen to Wolf’s tracks which includes his myriad of influences—from mid ‘70s Fleetwood Mac and ELO to Chicago and John Mayer—even though the whole is often more rewarding than just the sum of his parts. Commenting on bringing his big pop sound into the groove of the urban jungle of New York, Wolf adds, ‘Living in Brooklyn has been so incredibly amazing. I live in an artist community and everyone here is an artist. The people in this community have taught me how to be more of a risk taker and that’s really helped me grow as a musician.’ His label people say that Sleeping With Strangers is now set for release on August 17, 2010 so try to track it down as soon as you can. www.JimWolf.com

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Musical Background

I started out with piano in 3rd grade, and had a friend who had taught me chords and a few songs. I was hooked. I took viola in 4th Grade, as any elementary child. I never stuck with it. I switched back to the piano immediately. I was big into Jerry Lee Lewis, this is back when Great Balls Of Fire came out I had been obsessed with it, not as obsessed as I was with The Goonies or Back To The Future but when my friend gave me a tape and I learned every song and saw the movie 20 or so times I wore my hair like Dennis Quaid. Guns N' Roses "November Rain" was beautiful to me. I would play the piano intro to the epic song for hours at a time on a piano my parents had gotten for a a hundred dollars from a tag sale. My attempt of singing Axl's falsetto voice in the verse had become more of a novelty act for me. I would perform it at youth groups and before the teacher would come into class in school. I dabbled throughout early high school until I saw my brothers band, they were kick ass. They were a blues rock/pop band consisting of all Feder Stratocasters and great lyrics. I was 14 they were 17. I was so impressed. They were called Villanova Junction" named after an unreleased Hendrix song, and played Spring Jam Festivals at my high school Fairfield High and other shows. They had the most determination of any band I have seen to this day. They stayed in and wrote together every night, even weekends while I'd be going out to keg parties. For my 16th birthday, the band had taken me to Sam Ash Music in New Haven to pick out a Fender Strat Tex-Mex. It was Sunburst, it's sad to look back and know I don't have that guitar anymore because in later years I had lent it to a friend whom, I was unaware of his heroin addiction, in which the guitar was pawned for money or drugs. I'm still torn up inside about it. When I had gotten into college the fall of my freshman year of college I had a major realization, I wanted to be a singer/songwriter. All I knew after one nightmare of an evening being stuck in the city is that every lyric I'd ever heard had made total sense to me and I had to get home to start writing as soon as possible. That's all I wanted to do, to fill every free second of time writing music that sounded good and meant something. I would stay in and drink wine from big jugs of Carlo Rossi Blush and write the first sincere words on paper. I targeted my first messages at the world and lost loves of course.

New CD

The new record (we'll call it a record for the moment)... I was always corrected in the city studios when I referred to it as album or CD. The release is called Sleeping With Strangers. It was recorded at seven studios across New England and took about 4 years. A majority was recorded in the Cutting Room studio in NYC and Carriage House recording studio in Stamford. Also a good portion was recorded in my bedroom. I seemed to have the most un-rushed comfort in my own space. My old bandmates from Connecticut had really pulled through on scoring and performing a horn section to certain songs I had written, for this I owe them my heart and my time. Any minute I come back home I spend with them if not home for business or to see my mother. I miss my old friends dearly, they are all really talented bunch. I credit Rob Maresca and Brian Borrelli for their involvement, they mean the world to me. When it comes to my performance on or off the album I perform mostly with acoustic guitar and sing. I focus mostly on lyrics and rhythm based parts, but I love strong melodies the most. A good melody is the hardest thing to write. I wrote the lyrics, melodies, and put together the chord structure or better known to me as the skin and bone structures of each song. Then I bring it to the band. They helped me put an outfit, or a skin on it. We approach each song with different orchestration similar to the elements I had in my head. No two songs sound the same on this album and that is what I love the most. Cutting Room producer Anthony "Rocky" Gallo also helped me execute these instrumental sections properly. He really pushed the performers for the right takes.

Favorite Guitars

I play a Martin DC 16E acoustic guitar. But cabin pressure from a plane leaving LAX in 2007 had cracked the top of my guitar so I had not used it much on this record. It was devastating. I usually carry on but LAX wouldn't allow it. I have not fixed the damage and as a result it has major intonation issues. Instead I recorded with Rob's Taylor 614ce with Elixir strings for a majority of the record. Some people refer to as the effeminate Martin. I like Taylors and think they are beautiful guitars. I use D'addario EXP16 strings on my Martin. They became favorite while working at a music store in Fairfield CT. There are strings that are close but I currently have no substitute.

Musical Influences

Let's talk influential albums first and they should show the influences. Two albums had been substantial influences to me: Radiohead’s The Bends album is some of the best writing I had ever heard. To hear rock that is meaningful and not too abrasive about heartbreak was tear jerking to me, Thom York is all heart. I mean this album has effected so many bands that we hear today it is unreal. From the emotion in "Fake Plastic Trees" or "Nice Dream"...even the single released "High and Dry" was a demo they ended up releasing and being a huge hit. Besides The Bends there is another heavy orchestrated album that seeing a talented band live had changed me. If there is one album I said, ‘shit, I need to be on stage doing this’ is Crash by Dave Matthews Band. I know it is every frat boys dream to be the front man in the center stage performing to hundreds of screaming young women, but even if Dave's rustic voice has its quirks, the songs have their dynamics. I had never seen band and orchestra instruments used in a cool pop/rock manner. I know I'm living in Brooklyn and I could never mention Dave as an influence. He's just not accepted here like he is in more folk based or college markets, but he had a great impact on me, and won't be forgotten as an era of my youth. Favorite guitarist... of course I share with many here, I'm a fan of the blues. Hendrix, SRV and John Mayer. Villanova Junction exposed me to the blues I would have not known it existed if it weren't for them. Thank you to my brother for that.

Upcoming Plans

Well we are going to release this record and jump on already forming tours through out the Northeast, Mid-West and South, mostly colleges and clubs... some theaters depending on demand. Although I am always recording I need to focus on getting this one out there and get as many shows as possible.

Web Site


email: jim@jimwolf.com


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