Dr. Blues local/regional CD reviews 2/8/11 Live-The Todd Wolfe Band Psychedelic Blues AmericanHomeent.com 2011 Todd is known worldwide but he comes alive here in Quakertown, PA. The power trio of Todd on axe and lead vocals, Suavek Zanesienko on bass and Roger Voss pounding generates big phat groove, funky rhythm and progressive sounds. They bring Trower, Hendrix and Cream into the present and stir in some down and dirty blues to suit. 9 of 10 cuts are written by Wolfe and some are familiar, but all get it done with power, majesty and intensity. Mixed into these songs are the virtuoso guitar talents of Wolfe and tribute riffs to Jimi, Eric and other familar tidbits you will hear. Pouring out psychedlic, prog, Delta and Texas blues, Todd is unmatched as a guitar player and his vocals shimmer with the deepest impact and blue emotion. The disk opens full bore on "Ready For Love" with a hot TX drive and deep down stanky funk! "Cold Black Night" is dark and menacing and lonely to the core. "Beg Forgiveness" boogies while pleading emotional succor and "Roll Over" throbs with acoustic depth, Delta heat and sexual tension and Todd's "Silver Blue" enters other worlds and inner spaces and the closer New Orleans second lines on wings of slide bayou darkness and Mardi Gras Indian polyrhythmicity. Live is 10 cuts with deep feel, powerful playing and times of 7 minute per,, sounds as hard and deep as a blues knife and a power tio of unique impact. Todd's done a winner.
http://sundaynightbluesproject.blogspot.com/2011/01/todd-wolfe-band-live.html Monday, January 10, 2011 Todd Wolfe Band -- Live! The latest release by The Todd Wolfe Band, "Live!" was recorded live under a full moon one night last summer at McCoole’s Arts Place in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, in front a wildly appreciative audience and showcases The Todd Wolfe Band in all its blues-rockin’ glory, wailing on 10 tracks of original songs that have become fan favorites over the course of six previous albums. Todd Wolfe, on guitar/vocals, Roger Voss, on drums and Suavek Zaniesienko, on bass/backing vocals, make up this power trio. There's no place to hide in a three piece band; every player has to shine at every minute, and this is even more true in a live setting. These guys make an incendiary music which is deeply rooted in the blues, but amped up. Things start off with "Ready For Love" and "Crowded In My Soul" which sound like they could by Delaney & Bonnie, gospel/blues burners. Next up is "Cold Black Night," where all the strengths of the band are front and center--fine song writing, incendiary playing, and really good vocals. "Beg Forgiveness" follows, and it sounds like Robin Trower on a good night. Song after song, these guys are in complete command and bringing it home to a live audience. One of the highlights of the set is the 14 minute closer, "Shame," which really doesn't feel that long. There's no drag anywhere, just a joyous celebration of the art of making and hearing great music. Now, with his own band and releasing his seventh album, Todd Wolfe is front and center, and the critics have been paying attention. Hittin’ the Note magazine says: “Imagine some power trio mixed into a Texas blues foundation and overlaid with trippy psychedelia – that’s the essence of Wolfe’s music.” Check it out, and you can hear and see the pure, unadulterated power of a band in its prime. This cd/dvd will be available January 11, 2011. You can buy this at http://www.toddwolfe.com
BLUES & RHYTHM (UK) TODD WOLFE: Live American Home Entertainment (no number) (71:29) If you like the heavier end of the rock-blues spectrum, then this CD might just be for you. Guitarist/vocalist Wolfe inhabits the same kind of territory as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Healey, and other axemen of that ilk. I enjoyed several of the numbers, the slow blues ‘Cold Black Night’, the funky shuffle ‘Beg Forgiveness’ and the Hendrix-flavoured ‘Black Hearted Woman’. Not an album for the majority of readers of B&R I guess, but if a little blues-rock finds favour then this CD may repay investigation. - Waverley McTavish
http://technorati.com/entertainment/music/article/todd-wolfe-band-live/ When the subject of “power trios” comes up, the names Cream, Jimi HendrixExperience, Grand Funk Railroad, The James Gang, and Blue Cheer quickly come to mind. Then there are also Rush, Motorhead, and The Police. It’s time to add a new name to the list: The Todd Wolfe Band. Actually he’s no newcomer, unless you can say that a dude whose been playing professionally for thirty years is an “overnight sensation.” Wolfe started “Troy and the Tornados” in the early 80’s and they opened for big names such as Duane Allman, Johnny Winter, and The Neville Brothers in New York City for years. Our power guitar man started at age 13 in Queens with a Dakota red Fender Mustang. He names as his major influences such greats as the three Kings (B.B., Albert, and Freddie), Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. After playing in Sheryl Crow’s band for several years, Wolfe decided to form his own band and hit the road. The Todd Wolfe Band Live is their seventh CD and is a follow-up to a DVD of the same gig released in November 2010. The DVD included four tracks from an open air festival in Germany. Wolfe and Rich Frikkers get the credits for production, recording and mixing and they did a top notch job. While not quite up to a studio sound, it’s easy to forget that this is a live recording – until the crowd goes wild. Over ten years and six releases, there has been some turnover in the group and the lineup for this live album has Wolfe out front with Suavek Zaniesienko on bass and Roger Voss on drums. Wolf was a collaborator on composing nine of the ten tracks on the CD which opens with “Ready for Love”, an upbeat blues-rocking number that showcases the group’s individual talents as well as their cohesiveness. “Crowded in My Soul” is next and picks up the pace with an even faster beat before dropping back to a classic blues ballad for track three. “Cold Black Night” evokes memories of Wolfe’s influences from the Kings and Hendrix. Speaking of Hendrix, track four, “Beg Forgiveness” begins with the same drum lead-in as “Gypsy Eyes” (Electric Ladyland) – another tip-of-the-hat to the icon. The remaining six tracks round out the tour de force as the trio continues to explore the depths of their talent as well as their chosen niche. The album ends with “Shame” which features a show-stopping drum solo by Voss. With their ferocious international touring schedule to support their exemplar recordings, expect The Todd Wolfe Band to soon be included in that number when power trios are discussed.
MIDWEST RECORD – CHICAGO, IL – 1/19/11 AMERICAN HOME ENTERTAINMENT TODD WOLFE BAND/Live He’s played with all the jam bands in one way or another across the years and he’s here now simply to bring it for the next generation. A mix of power trio, Texas white boys with the blues and the old jam band ethic, these players know how to play it and they are here with the only mission being to kick out the jams and get the party started. They aren’t trying to be anything they aren’t and they know how to deliver the goods in first class fashion. On the money throughout. – Chris Spector
BluesWax Rating: 8 Reader Rating: 7 Wolfe, Todd Stripped Down At The Bang Palace Blues Leaf Records Hear It! Rate It! Buy It! Passion Drenched Blues Rock, (02/11/10) This is Todd Wolfe's sixth album and second on Blues Leaf. His last album Borrowed Time was a well produced studio recording. I've often stated that whenever I listen to Wolfe I feel as if I'm listening to an old, forgotten and rediscovered rock album. He is an exciting guitarist who does not overplay and, as a seasoned bandleader, he has always surrounded himself with able sidemen to produce a total band sound. The rhythm section consists of bass player Suavek Zaniesienko and Roger Voss on drums. Stripped Down is a huge surprise exceeding my expectations. It is a live recording which captures Wolfe at his most passionate. I have never heard him sing like this. Opening with "Wing of a Dove," Wolfe plays a National Steel on this acoustic version originally written and recorded on Wolf released in 2002. "Roll Over" and "Light of Day" are two more songs reprised from that first album. He also does a fantastic acoustic version of Mountain's "Mississippi Queen." "Stranger Blues" is the Elmore James classic included on Wolfe's 2004 Delaware Crossing. He also covers Muddy Waters' "She's Nineteen Years Old," B.B. King's "Three O'clock Blues," Willie Dixon's "Evil," Eddie Taylor's "Bad Boy," Howlin' Wolf's "Wreck My Life,"and performs a duet with Sarah Ayers on Robert Johnson's "Come in My Kitchen." Wolfe's vocal and slide guitar on Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now" make it another highlight on this very good set of songs. Although these old chestnuts have been recorded many times, Wolfe's passion shines through as he makes them sound fresh again. There are many Blues/rock artists that pale in comparison. Give this a listen. Richard Ludmerer is a contributing editor to BluesWax.Richard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Soundtrack: Todd Wolfe's 'Stripped Down' is how the blues ought to sound http://blogs.mcall.com/lehighvalleymusic/ Special to The Morning Call Stripped Down at the Bang Palace, Todd Wolfe Band, Blues Leaf Records It's not so much that Todd Wolfe is stripped down here -- it's more like he is going back to his roots in the blues. Wolfe works at the Bang Palace studio with his usual band and guests Sarah Ayers on supporting vocals and Rich Frikkers on percussion. Wolfe does not completely give up his hard driving blues rock, but he mixes in many other styles on this CD. On these 13 tracks, mostly covers, Wolfe uses both acoustic and electric guitars, with a good deal of slide on each. There is also a bit of mandola, a lower-pitched mandolin. Wolfe has a convincing blues voice, but it is both the variety and the skill of the guitar work that stand out. Acoustic slide is featured on "Wing of a Dove," and a rocking acoustic version of "Mississippi Queen" still has a cowbell. "Three O' Clock Blues" is a slow electric number with lightning-fast riffs. "It's All Over Now" features cool riffing with a little fuzz. "Come in My Kitchen," with overtracked acoustic and electric guitars, has a more upbeat vibe than most versions, with Ayers taking spirited harmony vocals. Suavek Zanlesienko on bass provides a steady, solid bottom on most numbers, but he echoes Wolfe's leads at points and adds a few flourishes on others. Drummer Roger Voss has a driving, staccato style that fits in with Wolfe's rock orientation. It might be impossible to play completely new blues riffs today. But you will never hear Wolfe play music that sounds overly familiar and recycled like the stuff that appears on far too many blues releases even now. "Stripped Down" is how the blues ought to sound. Bookings: Doug Tackett www.road-dawg.com Todd Wolfe website: www.toddwolfe.com National Distributor: Allegro Distribution www.allegro-music.com Radio: Rick Lusher email@example.com Management & Press: Pam Adams firstname.lastname@example.org Blues Leaf Records website: www.bluesleaf.com
Todd Wolfe Band - Stripped Down at the Bang Palace
Sometimes I am a little na?ve when it comes to record reviews. Todd Wolfe was not in my blues and rock vocabulary, so when I encounter an artist that is new to me I first just pop the CD in and listen without doing any research, let alone reading liner notes or any other promo material that may come with the review CD copy. I listen straight through this and said, “Whoa Nellie!,” in my finest imitation of Keith Jackson calling an Ohio State and Michigan game. This is a serious guitar player with some equally serious talent.
As it turns our, Todd was Sheryl Crow’s lead guitarist from 1992 to 1998. He and Sheryl toured with the Stones, Dylan, the Eagles, Page & Plant and Elton John. Before that and also now after that stint, he plays what he calls “bluesadelic”, a 1960’s styled blend of psychedelic blues rock. The band features Todd on guitars, vocals and Mandola, Suavek Zaniesienko on bass and BG Vox, and Roger Voss on drums and percussion. These guys are tight and hot.
Recorded live with minimal overdubs, Wolfe and company deliver huge performances of some original and some quite interesting covered material. Wolfe begins with original acoustic blues in “Wing of a Dove”. His vocals and paying hear are strong, swamp filled blues. It’s a great song but in no way does it prepare the listener for the mega roller coaster ride of electric guitar work that follows. Elmore James “Stranger Blues” follows, and the guitar gets fully amped up and fuzzed out. He shuffles through Eddie Taylor’s “Bad Boy” in convincing style and with great restraint that gives the cut a very cool blues shuffle sound. He goes back to the Delta with Robert Johnson’s “Come On in My Kitchen” and gives this old standard new life.
Willie Dixon’s “Evil” gets a hot and greasy play from Wolfe as does “Three O’Clock Blues”, played with a full force guitar lead that will impress you. These are songs we all know and love and Wolfe picks and plays through them with reverence. "It's All Over Now" is a sweet rendition of this Bobby Womack number, and In the midst of a big guitar solo he breaks into an homage to the Allman Brothers with the riffs from "One Way Out" blended in before he closes out with a big finish. The CD ends with Howlin’ Wolf’s “Wreck My Life”. When I played it the song reminded me of the Doors doing the Wolf; when I opened the promo stuff that came with the CD it toutes the tracks as “Doors-esque”, so I guess I am on the same page as his publicist!
If I had to have some small criticism it would be with the vocals. While mostly very strong, they do falter a bit at times. Where they least appeal to me is in a very cool National Steel slide guitar (perhaps it's his slide mandola?) cover of Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen”. The guitar is smooth and sweet but the vocals are a little uneven. The other rough spot is in Muddy's "She's Nineteen Years Old". He covers these tracks in hs own style, which is fresh and very cool; it's just that he seems a little uneven on the vocal lines. But this is minor and the huge guitar presence and very tight sound of this band make this a hot CD for the rocking blues lover. One can hear the influences of the Stones, Doors, Cream, Derek and the Dominos along with the older blues masters in Todds guitar style. Wolfe is a great guitar player that folks need to sit up and listen to. This CD, his sixth, showcases a guy who can really make the guitar wail! .
Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.
This is the best disc Todd Wolfe has made, and that is saying quite a lot. Again Todd Wolfe brings the guitar fire and the searing vocals he is known for, although everything here is just a smidgen better than I expected it to be. It's a blues trio disc with Todd Wolfe's regular band--Todd on guitars and vocals, Suavek Zaniesienko on bass and backing vocals, and Roger Voss on drums and percussion. The only guests on this set are Sarah Ayers on vocals, (and she adds a great Bonnie Bramlett-style vibe) and Rich Frikkers on percussion. It was recorded live at The Bang Palace. Things are smooth and powerful and tightly musical throughout. Highlights include a great version of Muddy Waters' "She's Nineteen Years Old" that updates the original, a spooky "Black Night" that would have been perfect for Halloween, a very fine version of Howlin' Wolf's "Evil" that is like the proverbial watched pot--it's a slow boiler, but it gets there. There's a fine cover of BB King's "Three O'Clock Blues," and a soulful Delaney & Bonnie duet style take of "Come In My Kitchen," and a fun cover of the old Mountain chestnut "Mississippi Queen" with Wolfe playing what sounds like an acoustic National steel body slide guitar. There's a powerful cover of "It's All Over Now" that sounds like it could be by Tommy Castro--and shows just how far Todd Wolfe has grown from his days as Sheryl Crow's guitar player. And he throws in these little touches--a bit of the Allman Brothers on "It's all Over Now," a bit of Led Zeppelin on "Roll Over"--that remind me how this music is supposed to be fun.
Todd Wolfe is big time already--he makes great music. This disc is on the Blues Leaf label, and it comes out next Tuesday November 10. Grab this one!
-- Posted By Bruce to The Sunday Night Blues Project at 11/05/2009 08:37:00 AM
Todd Wolfe “Borrowed Time”. Blues Leaf 2008. Electrizante y enйrgico disco con descargas impresionantes de guitarra que penetran en lo mбs profundo de nuestro organismo, como si de vitaminas se tratara. Ya no mбs dosis de vitamina B o tazas de cafй muy cargado, el rock-blues hiriente y sin concesiones de Todd Wolfe os servirб para poneros las pilas a cualquier hora del dнa, en cualquier momento o en cualquier lugar. “Borrowed Time” contiene diez canciones, la mayorнa de factura propia, mбs alguna otra firmada por Fйlix Pappalardi (їos acordais de los Cream, del “Oh Well” de Peter Green o del “Who’s Been Talkin’” de Howlin’ Wolf?). Un бlbum brutal e intenso del que no podreis escaparos fбcilmente. ЎAh! y tambiйn colabora el cantante y guitarrista Leslie West entre otros mъsicos de dilatada carrera. En definitiva, rock-blues tejano de altos vuelos y considerable calidad. MUY BUENO.
Electrifying powerful cd with impressive guitar discharges, that will get right into your body as ii were vitamins. No more B vitamins doses, no more dark coffee cups, the hard cutting Todd Wolfe’s rock blues will wake you up every day, everywhere, any time you listen to his music. “Borrowed Time” includes ten songs, most Todd’s own compositions together with some other ones signed by Felix Pappalardi (do you remember The Cream, Peter Green’s “Oh Well” or Howlin Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talkin’”?). An intense wild album you will not easily get out of it. You will also find singer and guitar player Leslie West and other well known musicians on the cd. In very short words, first class high quality Texas rock blues. GREAT