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Asher Wolf

I am a music journalist, guitar and mandolin player, and jazz obsessor.

About Me

In the beginning there was darkness. Then came 5 years of literally nothing but Beatles. In middle school the levee broke, and in rushed Zeppelin (as well Jefferson Airplane, the Stones, Hendrix, Neil Young, etc...). Finally, in early high school, I shoved open the rusty hinges of my mind and started listening to music made after 1970, reluctantly entering into the cultural discourse of my own generation. At this point music subtly yet definitively took over my life, and my friends dwindled to those willing to listen to me blab about it constantly. As a lifelong guitarist and proud owner of a gorgeous, warm, full-mahogany Martin flattop (000-15M), I was always inclined toward acoustic music. Thus, from the womb of the '60s folk revival (inseminated by contemporary Indie-Folk and a ranch- house in the redwood forest of Sonoma) came Bluegrass, my first bona fide obsession. Chris Thile, the greatest musician alive, broke bluegrass for me by being hopelessly better than anyone else in the idiom. However, his virtuosity, creativity, and soloing prowess turned me on to both mandolin and jazz. From the opposite side of the acoustic-electric spectrum, Snarky Puppy also pique my interest. Finally one fateful evening, after cleverly Googling "best jazz albums", I heard a track from Blue Train and found myself bouncing and quivering in the middle of my school library. With hardly a moment's notice, the saxophonist had obliterated all my previous soloist idols (other than Chris Thile, the greatest musician alive), and set a new standard for what human beings are musically capable of. I decided to investigate further into this enigmatic "Trane" figure, and his record with Monk set me spiraling into the depths of jazz, first toward the classics, then headlong into contemporary stuff, which I now find much more exciting. I've been a junkie ever since, and each day I grow even more hooked.

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