James Wolff was unintentionally well-positioned for our current crisis. “I had a house in Lawrenceville, but I had to get out,” he says. “The city, I feel like it was taking years off my life, so I got a little cabin outside of the city.”
Soft spoken and thoughtful, it’s not all that surprising that Wolff’s personality drew him away from Lawrenceville and out to a cabin in the woods with his girlfriend and their rabbit. It allows him to focus on simpler things, and when inspiration strikes, he doesn’t have to wait to record a song.
Wolff has been working on the songs on his new Nite Vision EP for a few years now. Although he’s a Pittsburgh native, there’s something that sounds distinctly southern about the EP.
And in fact, some of the songs were penned in Tennessee — Wolff describes writing bluesy slow burner “My Blue” in an unusual circumstance, because that just happened to be when the song came to him: “I wrote it in the backseat of my car — a Hyundai Sonata — on the border of Tennessee and Georgia. It was like two in the morning. It was so hot, but I had to keep the windows up because I didn’t want anyone to call the cops on me.”
You do what you gotta do. Hopefully Wolff’s time outside the city will provide more like his excellent new EP.
Liz Felix is 91.3FM WYEP's evening mix host.