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Lawn Chair Environmentalism

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Micah Wolf

Beyond The Shores

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It's easy to compare Maui singer/songwriter Micah Wolf to the likes of Ben Harper and fellow Hawaiian Jack Johnson, but in terms of social awareness, Wolf has branched out on a path uniquely his own with his latest CD. This surf-rock acoustic artist also happens to call Bend his second home (look for shout-outs to Reed Thomas Lawrence and the Rage people in his liner notes).


Wolf, who released his debut self-titled release independently in 2006, is back in action with his November release of Beyond The Shores. While his latest album is in no way a departure from his first sound-wise, it's definitely bringing environmental issues to the forefront. The first track on the album, "One By One" is about the harmful effects of plastics on the world's oceans. Wolf teamed up with marine pollution experts at The Algalita Marine Research Foundation to create a video for the song.

The rest of Wolf's album is a continuation of the style he's known for - creative storytelling lyrics coupled with mellow acoustic rhythms that provide that sensation of planting yourself in a folding lounge chair, hanging out with friends on a sun-soaked beach ...or something along those lines, anyway. With songs about love, friendship, faith and loneliness, Wolf connects with his listeners by sticking with themes that everyone can relate to. His melodies are catchy enough to draw listeners in, soothing enough to relax to and simple enough that the lyrics shine through. While mostly comprised of guitar and snare drum, you'll also catch hints of ukulele, dobro and steel guitar, harmonica and mandolin sprinkled throughout the album. Overall, Wolf's music is positive, but not the overly sugary (Daniel Powter, take note) kind that ends up just making listeners want to puke. So don't go writing off Wolf as just another Jack Johnson wannabe just yet -he's yet to write a soundtrack for an animated film about a monkey.

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