Genre-smashing southern troubadour Afton Wolfe has announced a 16-city East coast trek in support of his recently released EP, ‘Twenty-Three,’ the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed debut LP, Kings for Sale, (Grandiflora Records) which The Rocking Magpie declared “The real deal in a very shallow world.”
Glide Magazine summed Wolfe up best, "Afton's a singer-songwriter for the people in the most genuine way possible. With a deep bravado that is reminiscent of Nick Cave sharing a mic with Johnny Cash, there is plenty to rest your ears upon when hearing Wolfe deliver a tune. With introspective lyrics and valiant delivery, Wolfe has always made the song and its color presentation a work of singer-songwriter art.”
Twenty-Three is more than an allusion to its calendar date and the year of the nascent millennium. The number 23 has a revered history steeped in mystical properties. In its purest sense, the number 23 is magic personified.
The new collection opens with the soul-baring ballad “Cry,” which open-heartedly navigates the weight of grief and grieving. It packs an emotional wallop with a dash of gospel doo-wop courtesy of vocalists Melanie Dewey and Regina McCrary, of the McCrary Sisters, daughters of Baptist preacher, Reverend Samuel H. McCrary, a founding member of The Fairfield Four.
Wolfe was thrilled the pair was able to add additional weight to the gravity of the sentiment, “Cry is a song that came about while I was trying to find the words to console a friend who had just suffered an unimaginable tragedy, losing his wife and the mother of his three daughters. After trying for days to compose a sentence or two to text him, this song was completely written in a matter of minutes. It's the most emotional song I've ever written.”
Born in McComb, and growing up in Meridian, Hattiesburg, and Greenville, Mississippi, the roots of American music are in his DNA. Mississippi is the birthplace of at least three American art forms: country music, blues music, and rock and roll. Meridian is the birthplace of Jimmie Rodgers, while the Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of the blues, and the first rock n’ roll notes ever played according to intelligent music historians, came from Hattiesburg. Spending his musically formative years in and around New Orleans, where the humidity of the Mississippi combined with the Cajun seasonings, the jazz, zydeco, creole, and gospel music, his Mississippi roots coalesce to add resonance and depth to his blues/country/rock influences.
To promote the release of Twenty-Three, which reunited him with musician extraordinaire Seth Fox and producer Brett Ryan Stewart (of Wirebird Productions), Wolfe is embarking on a 10-state pilgrimage throughout the Eastern U.S. for sixteen shows and several radio appearances. In addition to the aforementioned multi-instrumentalist Fox, on everything from guitar to flute to sax and clarinet, the Wolfe pack also features drummer Madison George and bassist Eric Mendez.
As a special preamble, Wolfe and his cohorts are hosting an evening at Nashville’s hottest new club, The Eighth Room on 8th Avenue (in the old Douglas Corner location). Sitting in with the band is fast rising teen phenom Grace Bowers (guitar), who was the talk of the town at Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion during SXSW, and an opening set by Mark Bryan of Hootie & the Blowfish acclaim. Tix available via Someday.FM.
Afton Wolfe Tour Dates
3/30 - Nashville, TN - Eighth Room (w/ Grace Bowers) + Mark Bryan
4/11 - Knoxville, TN - Blue Plate Special (WDVX) [12pm]
4/13 - Knoxville, TN - Preservation Pub
4/14 - Axton, VA - Mountain Valley Brewing
4/15 - Baltimore, MD - Edith May's
4/16 - Jersey City, NJ - 902 Brewing
4/17 - New York, NY - Cowgirl (opening for Emily Duff)
4/18 - Woodstock, NY - Radio Woodstock
4/19 - Buffalo, NY - Jack Rabbit
4/20 - Hoosick Falls, NY - Unihog
4/21 - Portsmouth, NH - Button Factory Stage (WSCA)
4/22 - Norwood, MA - Fallout Shelter
4/23 - Keene, NH - Brewbakers Café
4/25 - Charlottesville, VA - WTJU (6-7pm)
4/27 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle (Patio)
4/28 - Silver Spring, MD - Silver Strings
4/29 - Charleston, SC - The Dinghy
4/30 - Columbia, SC - Steel Hands Brewing