Blues Underground Network

Back To Homepage

The Todd Wolfe Band "Live"
When it comes to Todd Wolfe's music, one thing is for sure, you ain't going to see the Devil hanging around for long, because Wolfe quite simply, plays the hell out of his guitar, something you become aware of just after a few moments of listening to his sizzling new release "Live".
Born and raised in Forest Hills, Queens, Todd Wolfe first starting to play guitar at the early age of 13, wanting to learn how to emulate many of the greats from that era such as, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Mike Bloomfield, and Johnny Winter, to name a few. That fierce desire paid off quickly for Todd, when in the early 80's he formed a band called Troy & The Tornadoes which promptly opened for many of the best artists going at the time including, Gregg Allman, Johnny Winter, The Neville Brothers, and more. later on in his career he was invited to play lead guitar as part of Sheryl Crows touring band, a gig he was proud to do for 5 years, and one in which Sheryl was quoted as saying, "Todd Wolfe is one of the best guitarist I've ever played with". "Live" marks Todd's 7th Album since branching out on his own in the late 90's, of which critical acclaim has continued to grow with each successive release.
"Live" consists of 10 simply amazing guitartastic tracks, with Todd Wolfe either writing or co-writing all but one, which was written by M. Lee (Crowded In My Soul). Todd's co-writers included R.S. Bryan (Tracks 4, 5, 7 , 8, and 10), and K Hunter (Track 8). The Todd Wolfe Band's lineup for "Live" consists of Todd Wolfe (Guitar/Vocals), Suavek Zaniesienko (Bass/Backing Vocals), and Roger Voss (Drums/Backing Vocals). "Live" was recorded at McCoole's Arts Place, Quakertown, Pa., and also has a DVD version containing an additional 9 songs, of which the last 4 were filmed at Fehmarn Open Air Festival, Fehmarn, Germany.
"Live" could also be considered a best of Album as it only contains previous material, but done in a live setting sure gives you a great idea as to why this band is so popular and of course you get more of a great Jam feel, with all the added improvisation that goes along when music is done live. Lets not also forget the more bang for your buck principle when generally dealing with live albums, this one in particular, clocking in at around 70 minutes with most tracks over 6 minutes and one track, the last one, hitting us for over 14 minutes, called "Shame".
The Todd Wolfe Band's music, for those whom are not aware, comes from the great Blues/Rock era of the late 60's and 70's and although you will certainly draw familiarity with great bands from that era such as Cream, Led Zepellin, and Gov't Mule, you will also draw the uniqueness that Todd Wolfe and his band continue to infuse into it. This makes for a very refreshing take and a very modern take on that era's style and sound and in doing so makes it feel new and exciting all over again.
I was first introduced to Todd Wolfe via his previous release "Stripped Down At The Bang Palace" and was thoroughly amazed with talent at that time, as I quote, " For any lover of the 60's and a little of the 70's style Blues/Rock, this Album is for you. Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyable. "Stripped Down At The Bang Palace" grabbed me a few notes into the first song and didn't let go until the last notes of the last song were over." "Live" continues to offer me the same feeling but now with the added bonus of getting to hear him play some of his music from previous releases.
For a live album, "Live", is done pretty well to perfection, sound wise, and gives us all the feeling that we are right there in the audience, with everyone else. From it's strong deep clear beat of the Drums, thru the Bass and out the speakers connected to Todd's guitar, every note and the space in between comes at you with a take no prisoners approach, a power trio as good anyone could expect to hear nowadays and a reminiscent, for me, of Grand Funk Railroad, especially when the Bass is hopping. Speaking also of being reminiscent, I was really impressed when the band stuck in a few bars near the end of a few of the tracks which distinctly sounded like an old band or musician from the past. I'm thinking they did that as their special way of paying homage to some of the greats that paved the way for their music.
"Live" continues to show us that Todd Wolfe has no intention of resting on his laurels when it comes to his music. Each new Album that he puts out comes at you with all he has got, with full intention on making it his best, thus far.
"Live" was and will continue to be an exceptional treat to listen to. The Todd Wolfe Band continue to shine a very bright light on some of the best Blues/Rock music of the past, and in doing so continue to light it's way into the future.
5***** for sure for this great new release. Going to be a really hard Album for any group to top this year in their particular genre and style.
Review by John H. Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Additional Info


1.Ready For Love
2.Crowded In My Soul
3.Cold Black Night
4.Beg Forgiveness
5.Gates of Heaven
6.Roll Over
7.Black Hearted Woman
8.Silver Blue
9.Change Will Come

Listen To Some Samples Here...

About The Todd Wolfe Band

Todd began playing on the New York scene back in 1979 with his band, Troy & the Tornados performing in rooms such as the Lone Star Cafe, The Ritz, My Father's Place, Lamour's, The Chance, Tramps, Rodeo Bar and probably any hole in the wall in the NYC area that would book the Tornados.

Todd or 'Troy' and company opened for a bevy of acts such as, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, The Neville Bros., Son Seals, Dickey Betts, Omar & the Howlers, Gregg Allman, The Outlaws, Smithereens, Zebra, and his first opener back in 1980 , Albert Collins!

Todd decided to head west in 1990 to write and record a demo with a then unknown backup singer named Sheryl Crow. After having that demo passed on by some major labels and not generating much interest after one show case performance, Todd decided to stay in Los Angeles to record and tour with former Textone, Carla Olson. Todd continued to record and perform with Carla and gig with his own blues trio and kept busy scoring soundtracks for the Playboy Channel. Sheryl in the meantime, had finished her first album, 'Tuesday Night Music Club' and needed a guitarist for her touring band which she put together in June of 1993 so, Todd came on board and remained until February of 1998.

In 1996, Todd relocated back to the NYC area and with Eric Massimino, Mike Lawrence and Crow band mate Scott Bryan founded A & M Record's MOJOSON, a modern blend of psychedelic Rock and Blues. Since the Universal takeover of the Polygram group left new A & M acts like Mojoson in limbo, Todd elected to leave the label and dissolve Mojoson, putting his energies into Wolfe, which was born during the downtime from Sheryl Crow tours. Todd and his band, plays aggressive and daring blues tinged jam-rock reminiscent of the bands of the sixties and seventies. Now, with his newest band Todd Wolfe picks up where he left off 10 years ago with his original Bluesadelic-jamming sounds! "Borrowed Time", Todd's fifth album just released by Blues Leaf Records in North America and soon to be released in Europe by Hypertension Music is mostly comprised of original songs including "California" a song that Todd wrote with Sheryl Crow. Also included on the upcoming release is "Baby I'm Down" a Felix Pappalardi song from the first Leslie West album "Mountain". Todd is joined by Leslie on guitar and vocals for the remaking of this song making it a new classic! Also joining Todd and the band on the new disc is Susan Cowsill and Mary Hawkins. Todd's songs have been covered by a diverse range of artist such as, Deborah Coleman, Larry McCray, Faith Hill & Stevie Nicks.
SUAVEK ZANIESIENKO started studying music at the age of 6. He learned how to play bass guitar when he was 14. In his early twenties, Suavek played in bands which varied in styles from rock, jazz to country music. Between the years of 1979-1985, Suavek studied classical music in Olsztyn Music School in Poland, where he graduated from double bass class. During that time he'd played, periodically in the Olsztyn Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1988, Suavek visited the USA, taking lessons from one of the best bass teachers in NYC, Patrick Pfeiffer. He finally moved permanently to US in 1990 and lived in New York, where he played with variety of bands. Since 2001 he's lived in Eastern PA. Suavek received awards for Best Bass Guitar Player in the Lehigh Valley Music Awards, 2006 and 2008. He joined Wolfe in April 2007. 
ROGER VOSS grew up in Orange County New York where he started developing his hard hitting John Bonham style and power funk groove style of Tony Thompson, along with an accent of the subtleties of Steve Gadd. This combo of qualities in one drummer fuels his accomplished reputation as a 'master of his craft'. A lifelong student of the drums, Roger has studied with world renowned drummers such as Joe Morello(Dave Brubeck) John Riley(Vanguard Jazz Orchestra) and Gary Chaffee. Roger has led regional and local bands over the years and has toured with various rock groups including Jel, Judy Saiya, and Scott Weis Band. Among his many projects Roger has also shared the stage with several known artists including soul legend Ben E. King and Jerry Patterson(Gladys Knight and the Pips). Roger has been a member of Todd Wolfe Band since November 2008. 
MICHAEL FOSSA is a native of Poconos PA. He lived in Austin TX 1976-1980. Started classical lessons at 8, church organ in grades 9 and 10, and his first rock band at 15. Influences include: Nicky Hopkins, Leon Russell, Johnnie Johnson, Jimmy Smith, Otis Spawn, T. Monk, Chick Corea, Dr John, Chuck Levell. Besides working with Wolfe the past couple of years, Michael has also worked with Eric Burdon, G.E. Smith, Robbie Krieger, Double Trouble rhythm section, Lenny Kaye, Jimmy Vivino, Al Kooper, Little Milton, Peter Karp, Debbie Davis, Shemikia Copeland, and Cesar Diaz. His rootsy, bluesy influences lead as much as his B-3 organ and piano stylings to the Bluesadelic Jam sound of Wolfe.

Todd Wolfe Band, Poughkeepsie Live