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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Americana singer/songwriter Ira Wolf returns to a Bentonville for an intimate show hosted by The Bentonville Sessions and Bike Rack Brewing Co.

Only a few short years ago, Ira Wolf was a fresh new artist, getting her start singing in bars like many who came before her. Her songwriting was the result of a big breakup, dropping out of college and the heartbreak and sense of displacement that followed.

"I realized that I write very thematically based on what's happening in my life," Wolf says with a chuckle as she notes how different her life looks now. A wonderful partner, less lonely solo travels and more time at home have brought her to the brink of being forced to write a happy song. We'll see if that happens, she muses.


Ira Wolf

in Concert

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3

WHERE — Bike Rack Brewing Co. in Bentonville

COST — $10; 50 person limit


"Performing, that's my biggest comfort zone," she goes on, "which I think has changed since maybe five years ago when it was a really intimidating place to get up and share these songs that were so personal and intimate in front of people. And now, that's one of my favorite things is to get up and dump my soul out in front of people and see how they connect with it."

The Montana native, by way of Nashville, Tenn., returns to Bentonville on Dec. 3 for an intimate concert in support of her new album "The Closest Thing to Home," released in September. The album, Wolf's third since her start in 2014, was inspired by her time spent touring solo last year, living on the road in her VW van for five months.

"It actually kind of snuck up on me; I wasn't anticipating putting out a third album so quickly, but all of a sudden, I had all these songs ready," she shares.

Wolf also reveals how the laid-back process of recording in a producer friend's home studio in Nashville -- and trusting him enough to contribute to the work -- allowed her to get a more authentic feel for the album.

"When I write, it's always just me and my guitar -- just this solo acoustic vibe. And there's something really special about a stripped down song where you can really focus on the lyrics and the guitar pattern that's happening," she says. "But trusting other creative people to add their own vision has been kind of refreshing for me, because it allows me to take a step back and relax and breathe. And then the end product is something I get even more from because writing a song is this really personal experience, so then to have that experience more than once with the song itself is [like] I get to live the song twice."

NAN What's Up on 11/26/2017

Print Headline: An Easy Intimacy

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