FreeWheelin' Music Safari

Mid-week Blues Mix – The Reverend and Todd Wolfe

So my search for new blues began on Wednesday at the Blues Chart of the Roots Music Report. I picked out several names I hadn’t seen before and gave them a quick listen. Three albums stood out at number 14 – Shake Your Boogie by Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, at number 29,  The Todd Wolfe Band – The Todd Wolfe Band – Live and at 34 Devon Allman’s Honeytribe – Space Age Blues . I went to Rhapsody and they  had the Reverend and Devon’s Honeytribe so I downloaded those albums on to the player. They didn’t have Todd Wolfe’s new album but the did have an album from 1999 Live from Manny’s Car Wash. I also threw Shannon Curfman’s album What Your Gettin’ In To. into the mix and it’s been a great two days of listening to the blues!

The first album the Reverend and those Altar Boys’ Shake Your Boogie . The Reverend grew up on the south side of Chicago and him  and the boys play some mean straight up Chicago Blues. While I really like the Reverend’s vocals and guitar playing what really set this album apart for many blues albums was the saxophone of Big Al Groth! Anyway the album is not only on the Roots Music Report but is #7 on the Living Blues Magazine Chart and last year the band won the Wisconsin Music Industry (WAMI) award for best blues band for the sixth time since 1999!

Here’s the Reverend and the Boys doing “Slow Burn” the title track from his first album.

Next up was Todd Wolfe’s Live from Manny’s Car Wash. This was Wolfe’s debut CD and is composed of 7 covers and 2 originals but I really liked the CD Wolfe’s guitar playing is really good but what I really like when I listened to it yesterday was the keyboard playing of  Mike Latrell. All in all it was a good listen and it will get some more plays. Based upon listening to Live from Manny’s Car Wash I went to Rhapsody and checked again only this time under just Todd Wofle and found two more albums his 2001 release titled simply Wolfe and his 2008 release Borrowed Time. Tracks on both of the albums and  Wolfe’s guitar playing is excellent but I missed the interplay with the keyboards that was present in the first album. But the album will get more listens. Here’s what some others have to say about The Todd Wolfe Band:

Blues Revue said of The Todd Wolfe Band, “Their sound recalls bands like Gov’t Mule and Cream.” And Hittin’ the Note magazine described the band thusly: “Imagine some power trio mixed into a Texas blues foundation and overlaid with trippy psychedelia – that’s the essence of Wolfe’s music.”

Wolfe a native of Forest Hills, NY began playing at the age of 13, Starting in 1979 Wolfe and his band Troy and the Tomados played the New York scene and according to his website:

Todd or ‘Troy’ and company opened for a bevy of acts such as, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, The Neville Bros., Son Seals, Dickey Betts, Omar & the Howlers, Gregg Allman, The Outlaws, Smithereens, Zebra, and his first opener back in 1980 , Albert Collins!

From 1993 to 1998 he was the guitarist in Sheryl Crow’s band. From 1999 when Live at Manny’s Garage was released until the new Live album Todd has released a total of seven albums. So I have four more to listen to! Anyway check him out!

Here’s Wolfe with a cover of “Oh, Well” and I only got to write about two of the four albums that I’ve listened to this week “Oh,Well” that just gives me more time to listen to Shannon Curfman and Devon Allman before I tell you about them!