Todd Wolfe Band If the words “power trio” were in the dictionary, it would be accompanied by a picture of The Todd Wolfe Band. With their latest release, Live (American Home Entertainment), Wolfe and bandmates Roger Voss (drums) and Suavek Zaniesienko (bass) show the results of almost constant touring over the past two years with one of the most impressive live performances captured on disc in quite some time (a DVD is also available). Like many blues artists before him, Wolfe was first enthralled by the musicians that were part of the British Invasion of the ’60s, before he moved to the blues artists that inspired his favorite guitarists. He paid his dues for a number of years, plugging away with various bands, opening for acts like Gregg Allman, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, Dickey Betts, and the Neville Brothers, before hooking up with Sheryl Crow and serving as her guitarist for nearly five years. After leaving Crow, Wolfe started over, forming his own group, which he has fronted for ten years. Live is a dazzling set of original tunes, recorded in Quakertown, PA last summer. If you were a fan of the late ’60s blues/rock monsters like Mountain, Cream, or even the Allman Brothers, this is the disc for you. Some of the highlights include the eight-minute-plus slow blues, “Cold Blue Night,” “Beg Forgiveness,” a rocker which opens with a classic Hubert Sumlin “Killin’ Floor” riff, and the other-worldly “Gates of Heaven,” with Wolfe’s shimmering lead guitar. A pair of tunes steers toward the psychedelic days, “Black Hearted Woman” and “Change Will Come,” while the slow rocker “Silver Blue” sizzles. The closer, “Shame,” is 14 minutes of blues/rock heaven….the band doing what it does best, and it’s a perfect send-off to a great disc. Wolfe is dynamite on guitar, while Zaniesienko and Voss are an incredibly tight rhythm section. They also provide excellent background vocals on most of the tracks. Blues rockers will absolutely have to have this one in their collection. The Todd Wolfe Band’s Live is as good a blues/rock disc as you will hear this year. --- Graham Clarke
Todd Wolfe Band American Home Entertainment Wolfe is best known as a sideman for Sheryl Crow, but he has also recorded with Leslie West and Faith Hill, among others. Now, with his own group – a trio – Wolfe delivers a set of nine originals and a live cover that captures the key elements of the band. In the tradition of potent jam bands like Cream or Gov’t Mule, the tunes here are extended for full effect, mixing verse and chorus with extensive soloing. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than the show-closing "Shame," which features guitar work that weaves elements of the Allman Brothers with Hendrix shadings. Tempo and key changes, unusual timekeeping, and interesting phrasing keep the lengthier cuts interesting. Strong vocal work fills the non-jam spaces, and Wolfe flavors each cut with a variety of classic solid and semi-solid axes. Most of all, Wolfe and company grab the vibe and run with it, melding to form a single musical unit that knows how to simmer – and when to turn up the heat. – ECS
http://bluesrevue.com/2011/03/todd-wolfe-band-live-3-4-11/ The Todd Wolfe Band Live American Home Entertainment CD and DVD BluesWax Rating: 8 Blues That Rocks Todd Wolfe toured with Sheryl Crow from 1993 until 1998. This is his seventh solo recording. On his last Bluesleaf Records LP, Stripped Down At The Bang Palace, Wolfe gave us a “live” set of mostly blues covers. His guitar and especially his passionate vocals were impressive. On this new “live” set, Wolfe concentrates on his own songs. Like early Tab Benoit, he is unafraid to rework his compositions, always reinventing them along the way. This is an exciting blues-rock set. The Todd Wolfe Band reminds me of the bands of the 1960s and ’70s. On the opening track, “Ready For Love,” and again on “Crowded in My Soul” reprised from Wolfe’s Delaware Crossing CD, the band produces an infectious sound similar to Cream. “Cold Black Night” is a deep blues, while “Beg Forgiveness” has the band in a delicious groove. The fourteen-minute “Shame” opens with a New Orleans beat and completes their set. This CD and DVD were recorded at McCool’s Art Place in Quakerstown, Pennsylvania. The band includes Wolfe on guitars and lead vocal, bassist Suavek Zaniesienko, and Roger Voss on drums. What’s impressive is the collective energy they create. This is even more evident on the DVD as the visuals add a lot to the presentation. Seven additional songs and footage from a German blues festival are also included on the DVD. Surprisingly, they do not do any covers on this new album, but if you like your blues with rock, this all-original set will not disappoint you. Richard Ludmerer is contributing editor to BluesWax and can be reached by commenting below.
The Todd Wolfe Band The Todd Wolfe Band Live American Home Entertainment When guitarist Todd Wolfe decided to record a live album, the Easton, Pa., resident stayed in his home state. The Todd Wolfe Band Live, recorded at McCoole’s Arts Place in Quakertown, shows the three-piece group clicking on all cylinders. Supported by bassist by Suavek Zaniesienko and drummer Roger Voss, Wolfe runs through a collection of ten songs of blues-based rock that recalls the work of Cream and Govt. Mule. Wolfe includes a bit of the former’s “Sunshine of Your Love” on “Change Will Come.” “Roll Over,” with Wolfe on acoustic guitar, shows a quieter side of the band. Working in the trio format gives Wolfe plenty of room to stretch out and improvise. Eight of the songs exceed six minutes in length. “Cold Black Night” is a plea for deliverance as Wolfe’s guitar conveys a sense of anguish. “Shame,” the CD’s rousing closer, clocks in at nearly a quarter of hour as all three band members get a chance to shine
http://www.americanbluesscene.com/2011/02/the-todd-wolfe-band%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Clive%E2%80%9D-is-solid-blues-rock/ The Todd Wolfe Band’s “Live” is solid blues-rock By Matt Marshall– February 10, 2011 Posted in: Album Reviews Typically, we tend to proceed cautiously when bands advertise sounding similar to big-named acts. Todd Wolfe Band, however, shows a blues-rock band can stand on their own feet and creatively present a powerful and modern mesh of rock and blues. The three piece band is tight and always connected in a way that adds electric to their show, and Todd Wolfe’s vocals are gritty enough to fit perfectly into the band’s blues-singed rock style. “Cold Black Night” gives that contemporary blues-rock feeling reminiscent of Gov’t Mule. ”Beg Forgiveness” provides a modern and original song with a bold splash of the great Howlin’ Wolf. “Roll Over” is a delta-themed, head-bobbing beat that toys with timing while releasing endorphins with it’s stinging and tasty slide guitar riffs. The solos on the album version, (there is a great DVD of this live show as well), can at times edge on the lengthy side. However, the DVD version would almost certainly give the opposite effect of complimenting the rockin’ solos wonderfully. Though occasionally long, no solo ever feels like it’s worn out it’s welcome as some bands have a tendency to do. Overall, this is a great album, and one that certainly captures the energy and magic of the electrifying live show that the Todd Wolfe Band has built a reputation on.
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER – JANUARY 16, 2011 The Todd Wolfe Band The Todd Wolfe Band Live (American Home Ent. ***) Todd Wolfe played guitar in Sheryl Crow's touring band for nearly five years after she hit big with Tuesday Night Music Club. You won't, however, find Crow's brand of light rock on this CD (or the DVD). The Todd Wolfe Band is a power trio whose style is blues-rock. And on this 71-minute set recorded at McCool's Arts Place in Quakertown, Pa., power is operative word as the band hits hard and heavy. An obvious model is Cream - one number, "Change Will Come," even quotes "Sunshine of Your Love." But Wolfe, a native New Yorker now of Easton, Pa., and his rhythm section manage to give it a fresh take. Theirs is a finely honed attack: The numbers stretch out without losing momentum or devolving into meandering jamming, and Wolfe - as singer, writer, and soloist - conveys some real feeling amid all the musical muscle. - Nick Cristiano
CHARLESTON POST & COURIER – JANUARY 27, 2011 Todd Wolfe Band Live (American Home) It's one thing to be a legend in your own mind, but when more established artists start to praise your talents, then perhaps you are on to something. Unless you are a hardcore blues fan, you probably haven't heard of Todd Wolfe. The New York-born musician has been playing guitar since the age of 13, and through the years has gained the respect of some pretty influential peers. Legendary guitarist Leslie West (Mountain) once said of Wolfe's talent, "There are very few guitarists I like better than myself; Todd Wolfe is one of them." John Popper of Blues Traveler said Todd Wolfe, "is like a phantom of rock and roll. He comes out of nowhere and the hex lasts for days." Sheryl Crow calls Wolfe, "one of the best guitarists I've ever played with." Listening to "Live," the new CD from the Todd Wolfe Band, you begin to see why folks are so cuckoo over this guy. Mixing an obvious love of blues artists such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Albert King with the more psychedelic sounds of guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Cream-era Eric Clapton, Wolfe and his band recorded the new live CD last summer under a full moon in Quakertown, Pa. The resulting set is nothing short of incendiary, with Wolfe, unleashing blues licks so complex, it sometimes sounds as if he is playing two guitars at once. "Live" has the potential to become one of those legendary live albums that folks listen to over and over. Even if that doesn't happen, it makes for some great listening right now. Key Tracks: "Ready For Love," "Cold Black Night," "Black Hearted Woman" - Devin Grant
FAME Review: The Todd Wolfe Band - Live Live The Todd Wolfe Band Available from The Todd Wolfe Band's web site. A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by Mark S. Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org). You may or may not have heard of Todd Wolfe, the guy's been cruising the indies for years, but he comes nigh with rather impressive bona fides. The guy's first real group, Nitetrain, when he was only a few years out of high school, opened for such notables as Albert Collins and Dickey Betts. Then, when the 80s rolled around, he met and played with Carla Olson and the then-unknown Sheryl Crow. Carla went on to the Textones and work with Mick Taylor while Crow proceeded, as we very well know, to hit the big time. The Very Big Time. After her platinum Tuesday Night Music Club, the singer needed a lead player with pizzazz for tour gigs and remembered Wolfe. That started a 5-year weekend and saw him, Crow, and the band opening for Dylan, Page & Plant, The Eagles, the Stones, and so on. When the rather wondrous extended trip wound down, Wolfe got his own group together and toured Europe and elsewhere for a decade. I catch a lot of the rockier side of Steve Gibson in the gent, not to mention Rick Derringer, Ronnie Montrose, Rundgren, some Trower, and the blues-rock of Kim Simmonds and Warren Haynes. Thus, when Blues Revue Magazine cites Government Mule and Cream as RIYLs, they ain't kiddin', McGinty. Wolfe loves to let lose, so all the cuts here are long, one clocking in at 14:41, featuring generous solos, many of which crank up and head for the clouds before suddenly crashing back to Earth for more pensively trad licks, everything circa the Brit Invasion and halcyon days when dirty white blues stepped onto the stage after the Windy City's baddest actors inspired 'em. Cold Black Night, the third song in, gives the first really stretched out bucketful, but the trait repeats many times. Leslie West, the imposing figure after whom Mountain was named and one of the quintessential 70s guitarists, digs the hell out of Wolfe, and John Popper has more than a few good words for the gent as blues mags likewise rave the cat from here to Tejas and back. Had this ensemble played the Whiskey back in the day, they would've stirred up a buzz alongside Manna, Trapeze, Randall's Island, Bush (Dom Troiano's outfit, not the latter-day hard rockers), Cactus, and other power trios and quartets whose work never received the status so roundly deserved. Thus, for young'uns wanting to hear what that era really sounded like, and dinosaurs aching to fondly recall cherished lost years, The Todd Wolfe Band Live is a sonic drug, not a CD, and a rocking' one at that. Shame, that 14+ minute song I mentioned earlier, nails the closing of this 80 minute disc to the tiles. Track List: · Ready for Love (Todd Wolfe) · Crowded in my Soul (M. Lee) · Cold Black Night (Todd Wolfe) · Beg Forgiveness (Wolfe / Bryan) · Gates of Heaven (Wolfe / Bryan) · Roll Over (Wolfe / Bryan) · Black Hearted Woman (Wolfe / Bryan) · Silver Blue (Wolfe / Hunter / Bryan) · Change will Come (Todd Wolfe) · Shame (Wolfe / Bryan) Edited by: David N. Pyles (email@example.com)
BLURT – 1/10/2011 Todd Wolfe Band - LIVE (American Home Entertainment) www.Americanhomemeent.com The Todd Wolfe Band is neither your run of the mill bar band nor a true progressive power trio, although at first glance they may profess to be both. A good portion of their back catalog was recorded live in concert, but Wolfe's forte emphasizes precision as much as it does spontaneity. With a resume that dates back 30 years and an early association with Sheryl Crow, he's garnered an experience and expertise that reflects ample opportunity to sharpen his skills. Consequently, the band's latest album should please both purists and those that appreciate unbridled arrangements and a fiery presentation. While there is little attempt to embellish their basic blues regimen, Wolfe and company do pay homage to some notable predecessors. "Roll Over," for example, brings to mind the no-holds barred slide guitar revelry of Led Zeppelin, while the funky "Change Will Come" offers more than a hint of Hendrix, particularly in its rephrasing of "Voodoo Child." That said, the Todd Wolfe Band is a group that's best seen live in order to fully appreciate their prowess. Happily though, this robust set offers more than a hint of Wolfe's impressive roar DOWNLOAD: "Roll Over," "Change Will Come" - LEE ZIMMERMAN
PHOENIX BLUES SOCIETY – BLUESBYTES – FEBRUARY 2011 THE TODD WOLFE BAND – LIVE If the words “power trio” were in the dictionary, it would be accompanied by a picture of The Todd Wolfe Band. With their latest release, Live (American Home Entertainment), Wolfe and bandmates Roger Voss (drums) and Suavek Zaniesienko (bass) show the results of almost constant touring over the past two years with one of the most impressive live performances captured on disc in quite some time (a DVD is also available). Like many blues artists before him, Wolfe was first enthralled by the musicians that were part of the British Invasion of the 60’s, before he moved to the blues artists that inspired his favorite guitarists. He paid his dues for a number of years, plugging away with various bands, opening for acts like Gregg Allman, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, Dickey Betts, and the Neville Brothers, before hooking up with Sheryl Crow and serving as her guitarist for nearly five years. After leaving Crow, Wolfe started over, forming his own group, which he has fronted for ten years. Live is a dazzling set of original tunes, recorded in Quakertown, PA last summer. If you were a fan of the late 60’s blues/rock monsters like Mountain, Cream, or even the Allman Brothers, this is the disc for you. Some of the highlights include the eight-minute-plus slow blues, “Cold Blue Night,” “Beg Forgiveness,” a rocker which opens with a classic Hubert Sumlin “Killin’ Floor” riff, and the other-worldly “Gates of Heaven,” with Wolfe’s shimmering lead guitar. A pair of tunes steers toward the psychedelic days, “Black Hearted Woman” and “Change Will Come,” while the slow rocker “Silver Blue” sizzles. The closer, “Shame,” is fourteen minutes of blues/rock heaven….the band doing what it does best, and it’s a perfect send-off to a great disc. Wolfe is dynamite on guitar, while Zaniesienko and Voss are an incredibly tight rhythm section. They also provide excellent background vocals on most of the tracks. Blues rockers will absolutely have to have this one in their collection. The Todd Wolfe Band’s Live is as good a blues/rock disc as you will hear this year. - Graham Clarke