Thursday, September 10, 2015

American Showplace Music artist: Todd Wolfe Band - Long Road Back - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Long Road Back, from the Todd Wolfe Band and it's quite enjoyable. Opening with Poison, Wolfe picks up where he left off on his 2013 release, Miles To Go with a solid funky rock track and a cool hook. With his own fever pitched guitar work and backed by Roger Voss on drums, excellent key man, John Ginty on Hammond and Justine Gardner on bass this is a cool opener. On Mercy, Wolfe and Ginty blend instrumentally and backing vocals by Gardner and Voss warm up the mix. Blind Joe Reynolds track, Outside Woman Blues, made popular by the Cream during the British invasion makes an appearance on this track with quite a similar arrangement. I actually love this track so having Wolfe do a cover of it pleases me just fine. His vocals and guitar work are clean and the band is tight. Never Walk Alone has a real nice feel with a primary rhythmic theme under the vocal melody as well as hot guitar riffs and warm Hammond backing. Peace Unto You is an acoustic ballad that could easily make cross genre radio play. With nicely blended vocals, rhythmic acoustic guitar, easy acoustic slide and warm Hammond, this track is nice. Fire Me Up is a nicely written pop rocker with some pretty tasty guitar riffs. Straight forward rocker and title track, Long Road Back has a nice swagger and cool vocal duet on the lead vocal. Call and response guitar and vocal paired with bass and Hammond tied together with drums makes for a southern flavored rocker with a pinch of Mountain. Gone has a super swampy feel with Voss on tom tom leading the way. Ginty steps up leading into a more jazzy feel on Hammond and over aggressive bass work of Gardner, Wolfe lays out some of his hottest riffs on the release. Very cool! Gone is one of my favorites on the release with freewheeling slide work from Wolfe. A solid beat by Voss drives the track and Wolfe's vocals and rhythm guitar over Gardner make a cool delivery. One Shot is a power packed rocker with a lot of Hammond drive behind some of the best vocals on the release. Wolfe doesn't venture too far from TDC on this track but that makes for a rock solid rocker. Stephen Stills' Black Queen is full of fire, with a Leslie West attitude. I really like this track and Wolfe sells the track vocally. An adventurous guitar solo from Wolfe and punctuation by Ginty and Voss with a solid driver by Gardner makes this a choice track. Wrapping the release is an instrumental interlude, Hoodoo River, giving Wolfe a nice chance to jam. Gardner lays down some terrific bass lines driving the jam even higher and Ginty fits in to the mix like a glove. One of the quickest 8 plus minutes on tape this year.

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