PETER WOLF IS STILL A FAN … and so am I
My biggest surprise this year and the record that continues to be fresh and leading the pack is Midnight Souvenirs by Peter Wolf which was released this past April. If you grew up in Northeast Ohio some thirty-five years ago, you should remember Wolf as the former energetic singer of The J. Geils Band. Songs blaring on FM radio included “Give It To Me,” “Must Of Got Lost,” “(Ain’t Nothin’ But A) House Party” and later with the birth of MTV hit singles “Centerfold,” “Freeze Frame,” and “Love Stinks.”
Born in New York City to a musician father and teacher mother, Peter Blankfield aka Peter Wolf made his way to Boston by enrolling into the Museum School of Fine Arts. His life changed one night at a loft party when some band’s singer was so drunk that he forgot the words to “There’s A Man Down There.” Wolf recalls: “I was just drunk enough to jump on stage and finish the song. It was such a powerful moment. I’ve been chasing that feeling you get from performing ever since.” In 1967, Wolf met J. Geils and they formed The J. Geils Band. Wolf was the band’s lead singer until 1982 when the band decided to go more mainstream.
Eight years since his critically acclaimed release Sleepless, Wolf brought back musician/producer Kenny White along with his musical collaborator Will Jennings to record Midnight Souvenirs, an album loaded with 14 great songs covering all spectrums of his musical background. Radio singles “I Don’t Wanna Know”, “Don’t Try To Change Her”, and “The Night Comes Down” are blended with a soft soul ballad “Overnight Lows”, a funky R&B number called “Everything I Do”, and a country toe tapper “Always Asking For You”. The record also has a couple of sweet duets featuring Neko Case on “The Green Fields of Summer” and “Tragedy” with the lovely Shelby Lynne.
“This may sound strange,” admits Wolf, “but ultimately I don’t consider myself a musician; I consider myself a fan. Music is what I do but more importantly it’s what I love.” Amen brother.