People who don’t follow Peter Wolf closely know him as the paint-splattered singer from the J. Geils Band on the “Freeze Frame” album sleeve who struck additional goofy gold with “Angel In The Centerfold” and “Love Stinks.” However, that’s merely a sliver of what actually makes this much more astute singer/songwriter tick, as demonstrated during a packed visit to the intimate City Winery when he and The Midnight Travelers turned in a lengthy set of rock, blues, country and roots-centered material.
Wolf’s jittery stage presence (in the tradition of previous collaborator Mick Jagger) was impossible to ignore, and as he danced, dipped and dove to his knees, it was hard to believe his birth certificate.
Though Wolf recently made the most headlines for the J. Geils Band’s latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, the “Lights Out” singer is also touring behind his superb new album “A Cure For Loneliness.” In fact, much of that stripped down and tastefully raw project was on display, including the pleading “Peace Of Mind” (dedicated to the late Curtis Mayfield), the haunting hush of “Rolling On,” a harmonica-doused take on Moe Brandy’s “It Was Always So Easy (To Find An Unhappy Woman)” and the achingly reflective “Fun For Awhile.”
Throughout it all, Wolf peppered in a few of the more stylistically-fitting favorites from the J. Geils Band (“Cry One More Time,” “The Usual Place” and “Love Stinks” gone bluegrass), while offering several additional covers, including John Lee Hooker’s “It Serves You Right To Suffer” (a “Wolfpack” fan club request from some folks who just logged their 289th show!) Another unique aspect came from Chicago’s own Robbie Fulks sitting in for a couple tunes, which coupled with a few outrageous stories and several band member solos, further contributed to the evening’s impromptu vibe.
For much of the above, Wolf’s jittery stage presence (in the tradition of past collaborator Mick Jagger) was impossible to ignore, and as he danced, dipped and dove to his knees, it was hard to believe his birth certificate. But 70 is obviously just a number to the veteran, who rather than resting on personal laurels, continues to make meaningful music inspired by so many underappreciated greats that’s worthy of redefining his storied career.
Click here for more Peter Wolf photos from City Winery.
For additional information on Peter Wolf, visit PeterWolf.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at City Winery include Blue Rodeo (Nov. 16); Robyn Hitchcock (Nov. 17); Brian McKnight (Nov. 18-19) Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players (Nov. 20); Jonatha Brooke (Nov. 20); Roy Ayers (Nov. 21-22); Ginuwine (Nov. 23); Joseph Arthur (Nov. 25); Sonny Knight & The Lakers (Nov. 26); Big Bad VooDoo Daddy (Nov. 27); O’Connor Band (Nov. 28); Delta Rae (Nov. 29) and Mipso (Nov. 30). For additional details, visit CityWinery.com/Chicago.