Actual Wolf is the project of Minnesota native and current Oakland resident Eric Pollard, who has had a brief stint in Nashville since leaving Minnesota and winding up in the Bay permanently in 2015. Pollard’s brand of music evokes country artists ranging from Vince Gill to Willie Nelson to Steve Earle without being beholden to any one sound or influence. What impresses me most, however, is how he can make a song that hits you in the gut while his deliveries and rhythms are so subtle and laid-back. Actual Wolf has a new LP on the way, but first take a listen to his most recent release, Itasca – it’s wonderful:

As for the new stuff, Pollard tells me he hopes to have his next LP, Faded Days out digitally this summer and on vinyl in the fall. For now, you can give the first single, “Baby Please” a spin over on The Current, or catch Pollard and his band at the Eagle Thursday night. His band’s a good one – featuring veteran San Francisco country musicians Misisipi Mike Wolf on guitar and Ian Taylor Sutton on pedal steel.

essence, Actual Wolf, Val Esway + El Mirage
SF Eagle
April 20, 2017
9:30pm, $8 (21+)

Big Jugs, Actual Wolf, Rancho Deluxe, Mike Hellman
Thee Parkside
April 22, 2017
9pm, $10 (21+)