The idea of digging your roots into a city, a hometown, a state can be of the utmost importance for some of us. It can be a dream, even, to accomplish such a thing. To be still. The generation-Xers or Zs, millennials or whoever, young people, old ones, kids, maybe some of them got it figured out. On the other side of the same coin, in the oncoming lane headed westward or northward or wherever in a camper-truck, there's a guy headed out of town. Gone.
Such is the ambulant, artful life and ever-changing times of American musician and songwriter, Wolf Van Elfmand. A guitarist and singer from Colorado, Van Elfmand today simultaneously carries on and re-invents the mythic-sized proportions of a traveling musician. Van Elfmand is undoubtedly a familiar looking, archetypal tall and dark figure from a version of the west, with musical DNA-patchwork comprised of a 50s/60s folk revival vocal vibrato, round and sturdy fingerstyle guitar picking with hands trying to figure what a Rocky Mountain-raised, less acrobatic Chet Atkins might have sounded like. Van Elfmand is also breathing new life into an American folk-country-blues musical artform that reflects his stories, triumphs, good days, losses, and tales of leaving, heading out. Musical notes and annotations on being, simply, gone.
Like many folks who trade in music, Van Elfmand's tale is not entirely built on themes of a bygone America. His original compositions and life story reflect something tailor-made and of no other time than now. His work is a product of a good sense of humor, a good heart, and his ability to ignore the omnipresent whispers from life asking him to be still.
Van Elfmand keeps moving, figuratively and literally, with feverish bouts of writing, recording, and touring. He's worn out acoustic guitars with divoted frets and faded bodies in Denver, Austin, New York, and just about any other city, town, or dive that you could dream up or find on a map. He further developed his electric guitar chops and songwriting prowess with an American roots group and Colorado favorite, Von Stomper, for the better part of three years. Now, Van Elmand has returned to performing primarily as a solo songster, embarking on lone-wolf tours or sharing stages across the U.S. with the likes of Pokey LaFarge, Charlie Parr, Dead Horses and Wayne Hancock, often alongside former bandmate Luke Callen.
Whether in a studio, Denver basement, or Chevrolet, you can find Van Elfmand today crunching the hours on the creation and growth of a variety of music-driven projects, including the preparation for his latest and unique release, Music For Minors: Ages 3 to 300. Set to release on January 1, 2020, Music for Minors is a collection of Van Elfmand-penned children's songs, along with a couple of old favorites, that challenges the young, young at heart, and anyone with a set of bored ears looking for a good turn of phrase, or a cowboy song about yoga or ice cream thieves.