Tim Wolf writes, sings, and plays soulful Americana-Alternative music.
The theme of being “bound to the land” has had a vice grip hold on Americana Alternative singer-songwriter and guitarist Tim Wolf that transcends physical geography. Growing up on his family’s South Dakota farm, he spent decades vying for the real estate of his life.
No matter where Wolf moved—across the United States and across the world—he was always, in a sense, landlocked. That would all change one fateful day when a friend stormed into his office and harshly demanded Wolf stake out his own turf and pursue his lifelong dream of being a musician. Today, the Nashville-based artist will be claiming his territory harnessing his business savvy in service of a career as an independent musician.
“My friend metaphorically hit me on the head with a two by four. He said: ‘shut this down and pursue your dreams,’” recalls Wolf. “Within 24 hours of his harsh talk, I listed some real estate for sale which would allow me to restructure. After it was sold, I was completely free to pursue my musical dreams full time.”
Tim Wolf’s elegantly rustic aesthetic is inspired by such classic and current artists as Ed Sheeran, Sting, Lenny Kravitz, David Bowie, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton, among others. His song craft blurs the line between smoldering blues and infectious pop-rock. Hallmarks of his signature style include flights of fleet-fingered bluesy leads, gritty riffage, pastoral folkie touches, and a deeply dimensional sense of ethereal dynamics. His lyrics favor a universal resonance in exploring topics of relationships and life aspirations.
Tim Wolf’s own life aspirations have been complexly enmeshed in his family’s South Dakota farm. Despite excelling at the work, he made the bold decision to go to college and experience life beyond his family’s slice of land and culture. His adventures would see him earning a BS Mechanical Engineering and an MBA; working in sales and marketing; launching a number of entrepreneurial ventures; driving a Porsche 911 and wearing a gold Rolex; and living in chic and exotic locales like Manhattan and Japan.
In time, the pull of the land would bring him back to South Dakota working for his father. Everything back home was just as he left it, only he wasn’t the same man who toiled the land as a boy. Upon his return, he was still living and breathing his entrepreneurial endeavors with a variety of exports and innovative products. However, the wheels were coming off the wagon as the businesses began to wind down and the farm continued to be a millstone around his neck.
Paralleling Wolf’s journey as a man on his own terms and as a business person, is his path in music. He started taking guitar lessons in grade school, and throughout his childhood and young adult life, Wolf would practice diligently and perform in a variety of contexts. However, as an adult business professional, music would be an on/off again pursuit, depending on the demands of his career. While in Japan, however, free time permitted him to dust off his guitar. Returning to South Dakota offered even more opportunities to hone his chops, and to get back out as a performing musician. In fact, Wolf took up saxophone during this time. Soon he was actively gigging. When his main squeeze—a cover band—imploded, however, that’s when he decided to focus on original music and step out as a front man. The final push to be a full-time musician came via his buddy’s jarring pleading. It was time to cast off from the land and sail the seas of consequence.
“I struggled with my destiny for years. There is a mantra in the farming business that says ‘never sell land,’ but when my friend came in, it felt like he had a mission from God. I decided to make the change,” Wolf recalls.
Currently, Tim Wolf is writing upwards of 40 songs to be considered for his debut album. The collection will center around his aptitude on the guitar, his sharp song craft, his sweetly soulful vocals, and his focused lyrical perspective. “Almost all of my songs are about one or two topics. One is the relationship theme. First, two people meet, second, they fall in love, third, things go great, fourth, things aren’t going so great, and, fifth, they break up and they’re heartbroken. My songs are about 1,2, and 5,” he explains laughing. “I also write motivational songs.”
Standouts in Wolf’s current body of work which are strong contenders for the album include "Dose Is The Poison", “Earthquake in A Bottle”, "New York City" and “Playin’ For Keeps.” The swaggering blues rock of “Earthquake in A Bottle” brims with hooks and is an entertaining relationship song with a narrative about a woman so alluring she’s bound to break the protagonist’s heart. The gritty and impassioned “Playin’ For Keeps” could be an anthem about Tim Wolf’s own life in terms of coming back to music to go for that brass ring. The song oozes swagger and boasts searing lead guitar playing showcasing Wolf’s six-string prowess. Another side of Tim Wolf is his emotional singer-songwriter side. The piano ballad “New York City” reveals raw heart-felt emotions about unrequited love.
Now, Wolf is moving forward writing songs, vetting producers for his album, and performing live. One of the most meaningful moments in this “go for the brass ring era” occurred at a gig when three audience members came up and confessed that his set moved them to tears. He says: “When you have people tell you that, you realize you were meant to do this. You just have to be emotionally honest and put in the hard work.”
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