Resetting the gears for Minnesota music

I’m 30,000 feet up in the sky, fleeing New Orleans at top speed in a Boeing 737. I need to reset my gears; shake off the sounds from last week’s bender of jazz horns and blues music. It’s time to get back into Duluth mode.


I spent a good amount of this flight listening to the new Actual Wolf album that was released last Tuesday, Oct. 22 on Chaperone Records. The self-titled album marks the third release by Mr. Wolf, who also goes by his other name, Eric Pollard. Actual Wolf has been making noise in Minnesota music for a few short years now. While still playing drums for Retribution Gospel Choir, Pollard started making music on his own after a run-in with The Law had him facing down serious charges for selling grass in 2011. For more on his story, read this article about him on City Pages.


This album was the perfect thing to listen to on a flight back to Minnesota. It has this North Country dust sound to it that gives me the comfortable feeling of home. Pollard seems to pull from a variety of influences; Dylan and Neil Young being some of the easy ones that come to mind. It’s blue-collar folk-rock that welders and poets can both enjoy over a cold beer,  or a hot coffee.

While I’m currently listening to it on Spotify, this thing obviously belongs on a turntable.

The album is available on indie record store shelves right now.

Having the Minnesota folk overtake the sentimental feelings of the New Orleans jazz, I figure I should keep up with this Chaperone theme. I decide it would be in my best interest to throw on some of the gospel-folk stylings of Duluth’s own, Southwire. Being high in the sky, closer to the Nous, the spiritual nature of Southwire feels like it should be an appropriate soundtrack for the rest of the flight.


But wait, I’m not about to get lulled into a state of total zen. We are, after all, heading back to Duluth, and I just remembered that The Horror and Wolf Blood are playing at Redstar Lounge this weekend. These are two bands that absolutely need to be witnessed.

The show is on Saturday, Nov., 3, at 10 p.m. It’s free. No excuses, just go.

Here's a music video from The Horror - "Planet Anders"

As far as I can tell, there is no video footage of Wolf Blood online. They're just mysterious like that.  Here's a link to their recent KUMD radio appearance.

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