Skip to main content

'Mohawk Stomp' by Jimmy Wolf

ROME, N.Y. - Guitar string suppliers have to smile when they hear that a new Jimmy Wolf album is in the works. The poignant blues rocker must go through plenty of string when he wrenches a new tune out of his guitars.

Wolf's latest album, "Mohawk Stomp" is certainly no exception. The Turtle Clan Mohawk tortures his Gretch, Silver Jet and Gibson SG into providing both lead and bass lines simultaneously. Wolf also plays drums, harmonica and sings his own songs. He wrote 10 of the 13 tracks on "Mohawk Stomp" and got help on "Indian Hawk" from his young daughter Hannah.

"Mohawk Stomp" was recorded with Wolf on guitar and Doug Murray on drums with a single microphone. The CD has a raw, unpolished quality to it. "I wanted to get a live room sound," said Wolf in a Feb. 9 interview with Indian Country Today. "I want to do a new recording with the band. I look at "Mohawk Stomp" as a demo recording."

Wolf seems to be somewhat of a loner. He doesn't have a set group of musicians that he uses all of the time. "The band" in this case would be Todd Minerd on drums and Rikk Masters on bass.

Jimmy Wolf isn't the type of guy you picture when you think of blues greats. B.B. King once said "You don't have to grow up picking cotton to play the blues, but it sure helps."

The mild-mannered Mohawk comes across as a soft-spoken family-man but his blues style comes directly from masters like Johnnie Taylor, Sam Cooke and Magic Sam. The feedback fuzzed guitar and the throat-ripping vocals reveal pure heart and emotion.

Wolf was asked how he could switch from such a laid-back guy to a high intensity rocker. A man of few words, Wolf responded, "I just hear the sound and I go!"

Scroll to Continue

Read More

He has released three albums since 1999 through Red Reverend Records, his own label.

Wolf knows how to do it all for himself after eking out a living in the music business for more than two decades. He performs frequent small gigs on a local level and has also appeared at major venues throughout the northeast. He was invited to play at B.B. King's Bluestock in 1998 in Memphis, Tenn., Woodstock in Rome, N.Y. in 1999 and at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, N.Y. last June.

Wolf was a featured performer at - and creative force behind - the 2001 First Native Blues Festival at the Tribeca Blues Club in New York. The event was sponsored by the Native American Music Awards which have graced Jimmy Wolf with two nominations for Best Blues Recording.

Wolf has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in blues and R&B. He holds his own with artists such as Albert Collins, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy.

Wolf is aware that he could further his career significantly if he could catch the eye of the major Native music labels. He could make his music more appealing to the Native record companies by throwing in more Indian references and political issues.

"I wouldn't make something up just for the sake of having a political song that a record company would want. The only way I do it [write music] is by feeling really strongly about something." Wolf continued, "If I write something Indian themed it would be more of a spiritual song - more personal. I don't want to write a song just to appeal to a record company."

The spotlight will be smoking when Jimmy Wolf takes the stage Feb. 22. at the Oneida Nation-hosted GRAMMY Fest event at Times Square Studios. Wolf is scheduled for a 45 minute set where he will perform some of his own songs, a couple of covers and a jam session with the gifted young rocker Derek Miller.

To learn more about Jimmy Wolf write to Red Reverend Records at 1903 Roser Terace, Rome, N.Y. 13440, visit www.jimmywolf.com, or e-mail jimmywolf23@hotmail.com.