Todd Wolfe review…September 18, 2013…

TODD WOLFE

MILES TO GO

AMERICAN SHOWPLACE MUSIC  ASM 3007

NOTHIN BUT YOU–SUNNYVALE–LOCKET FULL OF DREAMS–FORTY FOUR–DAY TO DAY–I STAND ALONE–STAY WITH ME BABY–AGAINST THE WALL–COME WHAT MAY–THE INNER LIGHT

Perhaps best known for his work as the guitarist in singer  Sheryl Crow’s band earlier in her career, Todd Wolfe steps out on his own and joins the parade of recent releases that highlight great blues guitar playing with “Miles To Go.’  It is ten cuts that combine not only blues, but rock, reggae, and soul with his smooth, varied vocal styles and killer guitar chops.

On this set, Todd is also joined by a stellar cast of backing players.  They include Justine Gardner on bass and Roger Voss on drums, plus a few very special guests.

The set starts with the breezy, jangle-pop ode to summer romance, “Nothin But You,” which could have easily been a part of Crow’s catalog back when they shared the stage.  So, too, does the wistful title cut, whose lyric appears in the tale of life on the road, “I Stand Alone.”  “Come What May” is a fuzztone and wah-wah-heavy instrumental that follows a reggae pattern, and features fine keyboard work from John Ginty.  Todd closes with a brilliant cover of George Harrison’s “The Inner Light,” with echo-effect vocals and guitar lines that recall Middle Eastern ragas.

We had three favorites, too, all on the bluesier side of the fence.  “Sunnyvale” is a love song that churns up straight outta the Delta with some very well-played acoustic slide from Todd, while “Day To Day” is as sweet a slab of vintage Southern rock that we’ve heard in a while.  And, “Forty Four” is done in a slowed-down arrangement, set over a cool, marching beat, with Todd supplying the Wolf-like echoed vocals and Steve Guyger on harp.

Todd Wolfe has come out blazing with a fine set of blues and blues-rock that fits his incredible talents.  “Miles To Go” is a winner all the way!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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