The Local 913: James Wolff

 
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James Wolff is the type of artist who believes in a higher power. "Some songs feel like they’re given to you," he says, "Kind of like you’re channeling something, per say." Wolff remains ever vigilant, waiting for the moment when the muse decides to bless him with a song. "Sometimes it feels like you get struck by lightning and it comes faster than you can write them down," he sys, "That’s why I feel I’m given songs rather than writing them. 10 or 15 minutes and the song is written rather than a song that will take days to work out. The ones that come in those circumstances pretty much write themselves." That’s not to say, however, that Wolff doesn’t work hard at his craft. "I always knew I wanted to play music," he says, "But there’s a craft you have to learn. So I spent a lot of time traveling around different parts of the country trying to learn how to do it like a child learning how to talk or something."

At one point, Wolff found himself down south with a batch of grooves just begging to be put on tape. "I traveled around a lot," he says,  "I lived down in Tennessee. I met my girlfriend in Georgia and she’s like, ‘You got all these songs, you need to make a record,’ so I came back up to Pittsburgh because I had a little tiny network here. I ended up making a record." The title track to Wolff’s forthcoming album, Nite Vision, is a soulful, swampy, soaring acknowledgement of the muse who gave it to him, he says. "Night Vision is acknowledging, a plea to underlying forces at work. Kind of like Homer would start out his epic poems invoking the muse, acknowledging that aspect of creativity."