Eric Pollard is a glass-half-full kind of guy. When he claims that almost going to prison was actually "an entirely positive experience for me," you're inclined to believe him.The 33-year-old Grand Rapids native admits his outlook wasn't always so sunny, though. He was creatively and personally adrift before getting busted by the Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force in 2011 for selling pot. It took a penniless post-bust move back to his childhood bedroom and facing down five felony counts to get him to clean up his act and start writing music as Actual Wolf.After pleading guilty to lesser charges that kept him out of prison, he's written over 70 songs. With his band he's recorded two EPs and his self-titled full-length debut, out last month. Actual Wolf finds Pollard and his talented band — guitarist Jake Hanson, drummer Jeremy Hanson, and bassist Steve Garrington — echoing a range of rock influences, from Neil Young to Elton John, and beyond. You can hear the chugging classic-rock sounds of Creedence Clearwater Revival on "Victims & Things" and Roy Orbison's dapper countrified balladry via "Do You Still Want Me To?" Tonight is a dual vinyl release show, also featuring Frankie Lee. With Tara Fox, Lydia Hoglund, DJ Jeremy Ylvisaker. (Photo by George Roedler)
Sat., Dec. 7, 8 p.m., 2013
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