Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes
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Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Folk Indie




"Welcoming the Flood Rebukes the Stereotypes"

Often in the effort to put artists into a convenient box -- be it folk, Americana, roots rock or what have you -- we overlook the subtleties and nuances that make them unique. So while it might be tempting to typecast Scott Wolfson and his band Other Heroes one way or another, under some kind of blanket umbrella, it serves no purpose other than to deny them credit for a varied and versatile approach. Having etched a solid reputation in their native New Jersey and made themselves a name as an indie folk/rock hybrid, they turn their sophomore set into a bold synthesis of several styles, none of which offers a blanket definition of their specific sound or substance. Opening track “Never Going Back Again” suggests the verve and savvy of Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers, but that notion is quickly dispelled by the brass-infused rhythm of “And the Band Plays On,” a study in choral harmonies that meld together in a joyous convergence. The same can be said of the collective chorus that drives “We Will All Die Together,” one that culminates with a massed theatrical-like conclusion. Wolfson also proves himself to be an accomplished balladeer, particularly on songs such as “Unloved Daughter,” “Johnny Gray” and “We Can’t Go Home Again,” where the arrangements are muted to emphasize some solitary accompaniment and Wolfson’s unassuming yet emotive vocals. Ultimately then, Wolfson’s greatest achievement is his ability to follow his whims wherever they take him, asserting himself without regard to any preconceived considerations. That gives us every reason to expect that Wolfson will not only defy the norm, but all expectations as well. - Lee Zimmerman, No Depression


Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes (from the album Welcoming the Flood) - Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes board Welcoming the Flood with the same ship of Indie Folk that has carried them into album number two of their musical career. The New Jersey-based band weaves the theme of a voyager into the songs on Welcoming the Flood. The Other Heroes begin with a guitar crunch that clears the way for the band to keep to the ever-lasting highway vowing “Never Going Back Again” as the album questions “Johnny Gray” about his exit, puts the pedal down on a runaway beat barreling through “On Avalon”, watches dappled notes sparkle like starlight washing down on “Me on Other Planets”, and closes on the community chorus of “We Will All Die Together”.

A debut album is a function of a single mind or idea, built by a band looking at the form of the structure. A second album (ideally) showcases artists comfortable with their roles and with a clearer understanding of how to best work as a team, a unit, a band. Sonically, the Roots of Welcoming the Flood fulfills sophomore expectations as it skitters scross the songs as Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes let the rhythms jitter like the pills inside the lead character of ”Wears Me Out”, shuffle the beat to a lonely beach seeking to repopulate the human race in “Life and a Day”, and steer the course with a banjo beat heading out on a restless sea buoyed by Tex Mex horns and maritime accordions in “And the Band Played On”. - The Alternate Root Magazine, New Releases -- What's Trending

"NJ Band Takes Expressive Route with Lively Alternative Dance Hall Inspired Folk-Rock"

This band doesn’t hesitate to ignite like a match on their fiery second collection “Welcoming The Flood.”

Scott Wolfson and his cohorts sew together a tight, fast musical tapestry with their dancehall-oriented opener: “Never Going Back Again,” and if you listen carefully and can get through the spider web of guitars – there’s a honky-tonk piano that swims under the surface that’s hot and spicy. Wolfson sings fast, serious and energetic and if this doesn’t rope and tie your ears into wanting more...then nothing will.

The second excursion is a little Spanish horn inspired and Wolfson’s vocals are warm. What’s truly remarkable is that he basically sounds like few singers today. There is a little country Robert Ellis Orrall style phrasing and tone to Wolfson's voice. Orrall had some wonderful hits recorded by others, but in the late 80’s he had an album called“Special Pain,” which featured great tunes like “Tell Me If It Hurts,” and Robert's duet with Carlene Carter on “I Couldn’t Say No.” This is where my ears hooked into when I heard Wolfson’s impressive vocals on “And the Band Plays On.” The song has a potency that helps to lock in immediate interest. Clever little percussion punctuates the tune and after two tracks I was intrigued. I looked forward to the next one and I wasn’t disappointed.

The piano driven “Unloved Daughter,” is the strongest melody on this collection. Wolfson sings with confidence, maturity and even though it solely depends of the piano of Skyler Bode -- Wolfson’s vocal is song and effective with lots of spirit. Three songs in and the album displays diversity that is exceptional. This is a band with polish on their presentation and unlike some albums that depend solely on thrilling instrumentation to carry it this album is song driven and vocal highlighted.

Scott Wolfson plays acoustic guitar and vocals throughout the album and on “Johnny Gray,” he intones with a little more restrained voice. But the tale of “Johnny Gray,” is first class folk-rock. The highs and lows are all paced wonderfully, and the back-ground singers are the wonderful Ira Scott Levin and Julia Bordenaro of The Levins who are effective with their gentle, breathy, ghostly and hauntingly intriguing vocals on this track. Scott puts his vocal to the accelerator and the song lifts off. There’s some nice Matt Laurita and Mya Byrne guitars – and Matt and Mya (lap steel) play so many different guitars and stringed instruments they are no doubt playing a key role on these tunes. This was a beautiful song…well worth multiple plays.

For effect I guess, the fifth track opens with that annoyance of scratchy old records. But“Invisible Man,” doesn’t take long to pick up its pace and the acoustic guitars chime in nicely. If nothing else, the musicians on the tracks are proficient and provide sufficient flavor. Usually back-ground singers are just that, back-ground. But so far on several tracks where they have been used these singers have been exceptional. The acoustic guitar solo here by Matt is gripping and it balances the drive in the melody. Wolfson never stays too long to bore a listener. He’s in and out and you are left…wanting more. And these tracks do just that.

Again, with a voice very much like the rock version Robert Ellis Orrall, the songs “On Avalon,” and ”We Can’t Go Home Again,” -- Scott scours his musical gifts to highly polished melodies. This is a bouncy hit inspired track: “On Avalon” -- is only 2:13 long.“We Can’t Go Home Again,” and its poignant and spacious with Chris Kelly's sharp, snapping snare shots with precise hi-hat taps that elevate this song nicely. This is one of my favorites and it has distinctive acoustic guitar picking. The album continues to unload as I'd suspected -- packed with effective songs, all stand-alone efforts and with wide musical breadth.

“Wears Me Out,” chugs along with instruments sewn together tightly and pushed along by an insistent Skyler Bode accordion. What guarantees that these songs all present themselves with healthy doses of grooves are the varied instruments integrated into zealous arrangements. Wolfson’s vocals are just strong enough without being overbearing or always center of attention. He leaves plenty of room for his musicians to shine. He may be the sky in this band but, the stars all shine on their own and brilliantly.

A duet song with Honor Finnegan is similar in spirit to the duet that Robert Ellis Orrall did with Carlene Carter and “Life and a Day,”is genuinely exciting. Accompanied by a pulsing acoustic guitar and drum shuffle the song is fun and shouldn’t music be fun?

“Me On Other Planets,” begins with strsind of mandolin and Wolfson displays again his broad sweeping style. On this track Wolfson reminds me of another singer who has multiple albums out but is probably more well-known in the UK: Martin Stephenson and the Daintees. Stephenson mines the same vein of melody and lyric with equal quality. Matter of fact, anyone who enjoys Martin’s music and recordings would embrace New Jersey’s Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes. I have played both artists back to back and they are together seamless. Each has their own strengths – but, they complement one another very well. There’s a nice old world calliope style to the music as it plays – and Wolfson’s vocal is, as always, charged with expressive vocalizing and tone.

The closing track is a sing-a-long with power. “We Will All Die Together,” -- a driving melody and Wolfson uses his wide range to really coax a reluctant ear. The overall sound is a bit inspired by England’s Stackridge who have performed this type of music for decades and are also multi-instrumentalists. (They were once produced by The Beatles’ own George Martin. I would go as far as to suggest that George Martin would have entertained the possibility of producing someone like Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes as well had fate given him more time. They sound like a band Sir George would have appreciated).

The banjos and other acoustic instruments on this tune never sound relegated as backup instruments. They are engaged and play with sparks. The songs are all impeccably recorded…in Brooklyn, NY by basically, a New Jersey band! Ha…. how incredible is that? I would have thought Nashville or Austin had given birth to this baby but I would’ve been wrong. This final song is dramatic and the end is a charm.

Forty minutes of music that takes an expressive route into your ears. It all has traction and it’s a pleasurable ride I will take again. Many side musicians added to the success of this music – too numerous to mention. But a respectable hat tip to all – I had to sit through it all with a sharpened pen poised to criticize but found nothing to discourage anyone. Even the CD package which reflects the music contained is very well conceived. The art was designed by Scott Wolfson who did a fine job. Kirk Siee assisted with the old timey logo for the band.

There are too many instruments to list – but the main band and their main contributions consists of: Scott Wolfson (Vocals, Guitar), Skyler Bode (Keys, Accordion), Matt Laurita (Guitars, Banjo), Kirk Siee (Bass, Ukulele), Chris Kelly (Drums) and Mya Byrne (mandolin, Guitar).

The album was produced by Scott Wolfson and Chris Kelly.

I am proud of this band for another reason – I am originally from a town just north of Jersey City and it thrills me to know they have musicians like this performing today. And the educational system doesn’t want to teach musical instrumentals in schools? Listen to these dudes…these people are magicians…wizards…above all, musicians from Hudson County, NJ. Whoa…toss some cold water on me. - John Apice, No Depression

"Acoustic Live: Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes — Welcoming the Flood"

"The Other Heroes don’t waste any time letting the listener know they’ve kicked it up another notch on this latest album, scheduled for a 2016 release. Track one, “Never Going Back Again,” employs ripping electric guitar power chords as the band summons a vision of the world’s coming storms. The band continues to mature and even the quieter songs carry a bit more drama. As the songs continue to spill out of Scott Wolfson’s fertile imagination, they keep getting more infectious and intriguing." - Richard Cuccarro

"WFUV Sunday Supper"

"Scott Wolfson & Other Heroes is a talent-laden band. They're equally comfortable going electric or acoustic, and Welcoming the Flood is full of well-crafted songs that reveal new insights with repeated listening." - John Platt

"Ron Olesko's Folk Music Notebook"

“...Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes, a remarkable band from the folk Mecca of Jersey City. Their inspiring set, the last of the afternoon, had everyone on their feet singing and dancing in a spontaneous celebration that summed up what the one day conference was all about. Music that reaches people. Music that is shared. A community that raises their voice as one.” - Sing Out!

"Welcoming the Flood"

A few years ago we featured Bears of Legend as an epic, orchestral folk band. I had never heard anything like them before and really since, until now. There are so many majestic sounds on this album. If you’re a fan of St. Paul de Vence, the great folk band out of Seattle, then you’ll find a lot to like with Scott Wolfson and the Other Heroes. I like both “And the Band Plays On” and “Invisible Man” for two distinctly different styles (hence the phrase eclectic Americana) that show not only the versatility but also the expert execution of the band. - Ear to the Ground Music


Welcoming the Flood (2016)
Life on Fire (2014)
Born Broken EP (2013)



Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes are celebrating their fifth year as New Jersey’s indie folk powerhouse.  From beginnings in 2011, they have launched into success both on the air and on the ground.  2016’s Welcoming the Flood gathered rave reviews and top-charting airplay, and the band continues to expand its touring range.  Dubbed “wizards” and “musical scamps”, they deftly adapt their big, catchy, complex sound from festival stages to listening rooms.  

The band loves to swap songs with fellow players, and it shows. Lucky audiences have caught them hatching musical mischief on stage with their friends including The Kennedys, The Levins, Bobtown, and fellow 2016 Falcon Ridge “Most Wanted” artists Gina Forsyth and Annika Bennett.  

With their infectious love of music, lyrical imagery, and Scott’s unconquerable voice soaring above the rich counterpoint laid down by Kirk, Matt, Chris, Mike, and Skyler, Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes set toes tapping and imaginations humming everywhere they go.

  • Official Formal Showcase – NERFA, November 2016
  • Most Wanted Artists - Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, August 2016
  • #30 Top Artist, Folk DJ March 2016
  • Welcoming the Flood - #23 Top Album, Folk DJ March 2016
  • Welcoming the Flood - #9, Roots Music Report Alternative Folk Albums, March 2016
  • "Unloved Daughter" - #6 Alt Folk, #20 Folk Songs, Roots Music Report, March 2016
  • Welcoming the Flood - #3, Roots Music Report for New Jersey, March 2016 
  • Welcoming the Flood - #161, Americana Music Association (AMA) ranking, March 2016
  • Played 54th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, August 2015
  • Grassy Hill Emerging Artist Showcase – Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, August 2015
    (voted "Most Wanted" to return to Falcon Ridge in 2016!)
  • Life on Fire - #55, Roots Music Report most played Folk albums of 2014.
  • Life on Fire - #162, Folk DJ-List most played Folk albums of 2014.
  • Official Quad Showcase – NERFA 2014
  • Life on Fire debuted at # 60 on The Alternate Root’s "Roots 66" Intl Airplay Chart
  • Official Showcase – NJ One-Day NERFA – April 5, 2014
  • Life on Fire debuted at #28 on the FolkDJ Chart – March 2014
  • Life on Fire #8, Roots Music Report Folk Albums – March 28, 2014
  • Life on Fire #2, Roots Music Report for New Jersey – March 28, 2014
  • "The Backseat and Me" #2, Roots Music Folk Song Report – March 28, 2014
  • "Nothing to It" #17, Roots Music Folk Song Report – April 11, 2014
  • "Brooklyn Mermaids" #9, Roots Music Americana Country Song Report – April 7, 2014
  • "Nothing to It" – 2nd Place, Song of the Year, Radio Nowhere WMSC 90.3, Montclair, NJ – 2013
  • "Apocalypse Café" – Honorable Mention, Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, Open – 2012
  • "Apocalypse Café" – Finalist, Song of the Year, Radio Nowhere WMSC 90.3, Montclair, NJ – 2012

Band Members