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Time Has Finally Come: Wolf Jett Enjoys Mountain Revival

By Julie Horner

Celebrating the release of their second album, Time Will Finally Come, Santa Cruz Mountains based electric folk rock quintet Wolf Jett is raging this year with sold out shows across California, including a packed double bill with The Sam Chase at Felton Music Hall this spring and a seam-bursting capacity crowd at the Kuumbwa Jazz center where they performed the new album in its entirety from the title track, which celebrates emerging from darker times, to the final track called After Living, which is a major shout out to everyone in the San Lorenzo Valley for roughing it through recent storms and adversity to rise above as a collective mountain tribe. Lead singer Chris Jones said, “I felt drunk on love to pack the house like that, to perform the record and do it right. Looking out at the people who have supported the band for so long and who lived through the same things together. I just kind of breathed and said, ‘I’m speechless for the first time in my life.’”

That’s what Wolf Jett is about, helping each other heal. Co-founder, drummer, and fellow mountain resident Jon Payne said, “We are very proud of our new record and feel like it really shows our growth and trajectory as a band. And we are very grateful to the Santa Cruz community who have supported us.”

House on a Hill

Back in 2020 Jon wrote, “On the evening of August 15 and into August 16 we watched nature display its power and beauty in rare form for the Santa Cruz Mountains. Little did I know at the time that this projected lightning storm would change my life.” Jon had just put the finishing touches on a professional quality recording studio in his home he named “House on a Hill” near Big Basin Redwoods State Park. A voice shouted from a helicopter and he realized that this was it; the CZU fire was the real one we had all known could be a reality one day. “I then ran downstairs to my newly built recording studio where just 30 minutes earlier my landmate/bandmate Chris and I were preparing to push Record on a new track we were working on. I informed him of the situation and we jumped into go mode.”

Jon and many of his neighbors lost their homes in the CZU fire; in all, more than 900 homes were destroyed in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Time Will Finally Come tells the story of the frustration and struggles, rebuilding from loss, and finding a way to relate to the new landscape.


Wolf Jett performs at Redwood Mountain Faire on Sunday, June 2

Chris said over the last few years the band has been touring California “working as hard as we can to find joy again in a world that’s changed.” This year, he said, “We’re in a good place, there’s so much positive stuff.” He and Jon have rebuilt the studio in Boulder Creek and said, “we’re coming back to our own home town, paying more attention to the valley, being part of the valley scene, rejoining the fold.” Original members Felton resident Will Fourt, who plays lap steel and electric guitar, and songwriter and recording artist Laura T Lewis are joined by Aptos based bass player and sound man Duncan Shipton, the newest member of the band. Jon said, “I’m very excited about this coming year and all the shows we have booked throughout the West Coast and the South next fall. We have already started working on a new record which we can hopefully release in 2025.”

Firmly rooted on local ground, Wolf Jett performs at the Redwood Mountain Faire at Roaring Camp in Felton on Sunday evening, June 2nd. wolfjett.com

wolf jett boulder creek san lorenzo valley

Julie Horner writes about music, art, and cultural scenes of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Photos contributed


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