If 2020 was a year for flexibility, then 2021 is the year where everyone will be showing off what they've been up to. Wolf van Elfmand has a head start -- the author of the sweetly earnest tune "Flexible Cowboy Man" has his new album All Blue, to show for his quarantine pains. Van Elfmand is also a new neighbor of mine in NYC, leaving cowboy yoga behind in Denver for whatever path awaits him here in the five boroughs. I talked the album up in last week's podcast episode, but I wanted you all to get another listen to the bluesy "Way Down in Denver."
|Photo: Carolyn Pender|
While most of the album is comprised of sweet folksy blues, All Blue picks up when van Elfmand is giving vent to a little spleen. (And, of course, an example of the grit Wolf is gonna need here.)
"This is the first full-length record that I wrote, produced and mixed. The conception of the album occurred when I started to learn how to sequence drum parts on my recording software. I was listening to artists like JJ Cale who frequently used drum machines and wanted to take a stab at it," van Elfmand writes to Adobe & Teardrops. "At the onset of quarantine I had written a bunch of new songs in April. Without being able to play with other musicians, I wanted to find a project to give them life. This record is truly a product of 2020. While shacked up at a house in Northwest Michigan I spent the month of May recording the majority of the album. The bass parts and pedal steel were done remotely and the backing vocals were then added for a final touch. It's a guitar-heavy album that lends itself more to a vibe than other lyric-centric stuff I've released."
Indeed, the album is best experienced on a foggy day with a nice cup of tea: van Elfmand's hazy sadness truly captures those early days of spring 2020, and the solace we all continue to need.