With tinges of 'Blues Traveler' harmonica, Texas blues guitar from Todd
Wolfe, Benois King (Smokin Joe Kubik) style vocals, and some driveing
rhythms, this CD is full of good music. It's not all throttle to the
floor as the styles range from slow grinding blues to country tinged
blues to hot rod rock and roll. The CD has 12 songs, most of which were
written by various members of the band. These guys hail from the north
east but play like they come out of the Texas/Louisiania area.
The CD opens with 'Stranger Blues', a rocker which opens with Hendrix
style wah wah guitar, staying with the 12 bar blues progression
throughout. Hot rod guitar and harmonica leads are abundant here. Think
of this song as a high octane version of that old song 'One Way Out'.
'No Returns, No Exchanges' beings the Benois King style vocals to the
forefront. The vocals are relaxed and fit well with the slightly heavy
guitar work. This song grows on you as the more you hear it, the better
it gets. 'See What Love Can Do' is a change of pace with acoustic
resonator guitar bringing in a country tinge to the music. The vocal
reminds me of Eric Clapton in his acoustic blues mode. Again the vocals
are not forced and very natural. "Tumblin Down' has a rolling stones
feel to it, only with better vocals. This song combines choppy Keith
Richards rhythm with an early 60's song style, but with much better
production. 'One Lost Love' returns to the Eric Clapton style of singing
with a slow blues. Claptonesque guitar work and slow pace add to the
feel that this song could have come off Clapton's "Reptile" CD. 'Things
Get Better' gets back to the rockin vein with a chuck berry rhythm and
traditional 12 bar rock structure. 'Black Hearted Woman' has a swampy
guitar opening, drenched in wah wah effects. Heavy drum rhythms and
minor chord feel add to the effect. This is a seven and a half minute
mix of swampy guitar and Santana rhythms. I think it's very cool and
should be excellent in a live setting. 'Beg Forgiveness' dips into the
Hendrix bag instrumentally and returns to the Benois King style vocals.
'Love Gone Bad' reminds me a bit of Jimmy Thackery in vocal and
instrumental style. This is a straght ahead blues song without any
pretentions. 'Wolfe Jam' is a live seven minute cut which reinds me of
the Allman Brothers more than anything else. If you like that style of
music, these guys do it very well.
Bottom Line: Good mix of music with a wide range of styles. Enough
guitar pryrotechnics to keep guitar geeks happy and a variety of vocal
styles. If you like Smokin Joe Kubik, Texas/Louisiania style guitar, and
Eric Clapton style vocals, then you should like this release. I have a
tendancy to rate CD's as to "will they stay in my collection" and this
one is a keeper. Solid vocals, solid musicianship, good production,
professional packaging, I give it thee out of four stars.
Todd Wolfe - guitars and vocals
Chuck Hearne - bass
David Hollingsworth - drums
John Cree - percussion
Karl Frick - piano & organ
Barb Walker - backing vocals
Web sites: www.toddwolfe.com
Visit my Web Page "http://bellsouthpwp.net/m/u/murf01/
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