Eric Pollard is a Grand Rapids, Minnesota, boy better known by the name he shares with his stage persona, band and ethos: Actual Wolf. A few years back, he emerged from behind the drum kit to become a front man and accomplished songwriter. Listening to him was to hear to a wolf trying on sound; a vocal chameleon who could effortlessly channel Roy Orbison, Neil Young, Bob Dylan or a nameless country music singer drifting in on an AM signal. There wasn’t any doubt this guy could sing, write or play — you just didn’t know where it was going to go.
Last year, Pollard left the Minnesota scene where he had just begun to make a mark to go to Nashville. On his way south he told folks he was going to make an album called Itasca, named for the county where he grew up — a land of 1,000 of Minnesota’s “10,000 Lakes,” tall pines, scrub brush and red dirt on the edge of town. Actual Wolf went all the way to the Country Music Capital of the USA to make an album that is required listening for a lonely late night drive up Highway 38 to Bigfork. -Aaron Brown aka MN Brown