Abstract Series 131 - Session Americana with Peter Wolf
Abstract Series 131 - Session Americana with Peter Wolf playing at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA.

Life and career

Wolf was born in the Bronx, New York. He planned a career as an artist, but he got a job in the late 1960s as a disc jockey on then-cutting edge Boston FM radio station WBCN and began exploring his interest in blues and rhythm and blues music, giving himself the nickname "the Wolfa Goofa", sometimes expanded to "the Wolfa Goofa with the Green Teeth" (as mentioned in the intro to "Must of Got Lost" on the Blow Your Face Out album). Later as solo artist he called himself Woofa Goofa Mama Toofa. He formed a group called the Hallucinations who performed with The Velvet Underground, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, John Lee Hooker, and Sun Ra. He then saw the J. Geils Blues Band in concert and quickly joined. He was the vocalist and frontman, and often acted as a sort of manager. Wolf was known for his charismatic stage antics of fast-talking quips and "pole-vaulting" with the microphone stand. He and keyboard player Seth Justman were responsible for most of the songwriting. Creative differences followed their Freeze-Frame album, causing the J. Geils Band and Peter Wolf to part ways in 1983.

Peter Wolf with the J. Geils Band in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California Photo: Catharine Anderson
Wolf became a solo artist for the next 15 years, but in 1999 the J. Geils Band reunited for several appearances, with Wolf resuming his duties as lead vocalist. They separated again, and Wolf began touring once more, as a solo act.
Wolf's first solo record, Lights Out (1984) was produced by Michael Jonzun of the Jonzun Crew, features Adrian Belew, and has a somewhat funky, electro sound. The eponymous single became a hit single the same year, peaking at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. He recorded many duets with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Little Milton, John Lee Hooker, Don Covay, and Wilson Pickett to name just a few.
Long Line was co-produced with two musician friends, Johnny A. and a Bob Dylan backup band member, Stu Kimball. Tim Archibald (Bass) and Brian Maes (keys and backing vocals) who are both members of "Ernie And The Automatics", played on the record and Toured in support of "Long Line." His next two solo albums, Fool's Parade and Sleepless (the latter featuring guest appearances from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards), were both highly praised by Jann Wenner in Rolling Stone, receiving four-and-a-half and five stars, respectively. Sleepless (2002) was noted as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time in Rolling Stone issue 937. He has performed on stage with such diverse people as Bruce Springsteen and Phil Lesh.
Wolf toured in 2008 with Kid Rock and Rev. Run on The Rock N Roll Revival Tour. He performed "Love Stinks" solo with Kid Rock's band. Then he joined Kid Rock for "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", "Musta Got Lost", "Centerfold" (from the J. Geils album Freeze Frame) and "For What It's Worth".
The J. Geils Band re-united for a series of shows in 2009, including opening night at the Boston House of Blues.
Wolf's 2010 album Midnight Souvenirs won Album of the Year at the Boston Music Awards.[2][3]


Session Americana - www.sessionamericana.com

This ad hoc acoustic supergroup started around a table at a small pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Ry Cavanaugh, Billy Conway, Sean Staples, Dinty Child, Jim Fitting and other friends gathered to swap songs and stories. Their lively performances and inspired versions of tunes from the dusty backroads of America's past were such a hit with fans that they decided to take their musical conversation into the studio. The two-CD debut Tabletop People ups the ante with stellar appearances by folksinger Rose Polenzani, Twinemen's Laurie Sargent, Dennis Brennan, Asa Brebner, Merrie Amsterburg, Dan Kellar, Presidents of the United States' Chris Ballew, Jabe Beyer, Tim Gearon and other luminaries. And the 18 gritty, funny, soulful performances included span a gamut of emotions and tastes that should please both adult and younger listeners.

"Genius ... Jaw-dropping vocals ... Session Americana is blessed in this regard:...musicianship that sets the standard for the genre in Boston
and vocals that do the same"
— Performer Magazine

Session Americana sit tightly around a small cafe table, ambient mics tuned to catch the whole sound of the voices and instruments. A suit-case drum kit, an old electric bass, a bunch of acoustic instruments, a field organ: This format feels very theatrical and though the musicians face each other, the audience feels drawn into the circle by the warmth, joy and camaraderie that emanate outwards by the all star cast of characters seated around the table. What keeps you coming back show after show is the same thing that any audience member longs for, great songs performed by a great band. The six core members of the band have brought enviable careers worth of experience to the “table”, featuring (current and former) members of Treat Her Right, Patty Griffin, Lori McKenna, The The, Dennis Brennan, Kris Delmhorst. The group has grown from a rag tag jam at a local pub to a regional institution, playing gigs from church coee houses to urban nightclubs to regional festival tents to large halls.

Band: Ry Cavanaugh, Billy Beard, Dinty Child, Jim Fitting, Sean Staples and Jon Bistline.

*Winner “2005 Best Folk Act” - The Boston Music Awards
*Winner “Best Roots Act 2006” - Improper Bostonian “Best of Boston” Issue
*Winner “Best CD” 2007 - Improper Bostonian
*Nominated “Best Roots Act” 2007 - WFNX/Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll
*Nominated Best Live Act 2007 - The Boston Music Awards
*Nominated Best Americana Act 2008 - The Boston Music Awards

“Genius ... Jaw-dropping vocals ... Session Americana is blessed in this regard: ...musicianship that sets the standard for the genre in Boston and vocals that do the same”
— NE Performer Magazine

“No egos, no big production, just some great songs stripped down to their bare essentials and performed with a real genuineness of spirit and emotional authenticity... it’s beautiful.” (Brian Mosher)
— The Noise

“An eclectic, swinging tour de force” — The Boston Globe

“[This] local country-folk megagroup’s double CD is one of the most loose, spontaneous, warm, and homespun acts of community and decency since the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

— The Boston Phoenix
“the cream of the Somerville/Cambridge community" - No Depression (read less)
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