Singled Out: Fred Hostetler's Taming The Wolf

Fred Hostetler

Fred Hostetler recently released his new single "Taming The Wolf" and today he shares the story behind the track. Here is the story:

I loved the blues since listening to the 50,000 watt clear channel giant WLAC- Nashville, Tennessee in the early '50's. WLAC would announce itself as "the nighttime station for half the nation" and woke me up to what was about to happen, the emergence of the Rock n' Roll era. I was a young boy who knew nothing about what 'Silky Straight' meant and was clueless about Royal Crown hairdressing and pomade.

These products sponsored regular blues hours: Randy's Record Mart with "the Hossman" and Ernie's Record Mart with John R. At night after going to bed, I would put my ear up to the old wooden box radio so my parents wouldn't know I was listening to the likes of Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and other 'race music'. It was fascinating stuff that bent my mind. I had never heard such emotion and feeling in the singing and playing. The earthy lyrics were colorful, catchy, and strange; they described a life of which I was totally unaware. According to Wikipedia, radio historians say that although the music was intended for the Deep South, a few white teenagers were also attracted to the music. Though not near my teen years, I was one of them.

When I was about 8 or 9 years old my father took me to Iowa on the train. We stopped over in Chicago and he took me to Maxwell Street. I was like a deer caught in the headlights that day, wide-eyed at the scene I saw. It was the first time I really heard street musicians and 'what was that they were playing'? It was the straight and natural Chicago Blues. I can remember the pawn shop and the man of color right out front riffing on his guitar. I think Dad put some change in his tip jar.

Not long after that I found my father's old Stella guitar in the attic, picked it up, and began to play. I'm still playing and enjoying. Blues is heart and soul. It has powered my musical sojourn. It keeps on giving pleasure and sustenance.

The song 'Taming the Wolf' which I just recorded is biographical in nature. I
wrote it as my personal struggle of self-discovery. It is also about moving from lust to a deeper love. As the #metoo movement has unfolded, it seemed like a good time to step back and reflect on relationships. At the end of the song I sing, "The Wolfman cried for the love of women, I'm crying out for what the soul is giving." Of course I was thinking about the great Howlin' Wolf with his powerful mesmerizing voice. So let there be respect and love not only for women but between all genders, castes, creeds, and human beings. Let us all live, seeking unity in the diversity of the oneness that we are.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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