Peter Wolf is truly an artist with a dual identity--for many casual music fans, he's the singer of the J. Geils Band, responsible for cheerfully light-but-iconic pop hits such as "Centerfold" and "Freeze Frame." For those more in the know, however, he's a multifaceted and tremendously gifted solo artist who handles blues and Americana with ease--as well as collaborated with some of the greatest out there, including Mick Jagger, Aretha Franklin, Carlos Santana, Steve Earle, and Aimee Mann, among others.
Now he can add a few bona fide Country greats to his roster of cool musical friends. For his new solo album, Midnight Souvenirs (his first since 2002's critically acclaimed Sleepless), Wolf tapped the talents of Shelby Lynne, Neko Case, and the great Merle Haggard, who respectively add their vocals to three songs on the record.
All I can say is--you've got to hear these tunes; Wolf chose his collaborators very wisely for this project. The Lynne and Haggard collabs are particularly amazing: "Tragedy," which features Lynne's world-weary vocals, is a remarkable mesh of two singers who sound like they were made to play together. As for Haggard--as you might imagine, Wolf notes that recording with the legend (who sings on the song "It's Too Late For Me") was simply "a dream come true."
The album comes out next week (April 6), but here's two videos in which you can get a sneak preview of the music. Neko Case is featured in the middle of the first video, while Merle Haggard's collaboration is discussed toward the end of the same--"We got so caught up in watching Merle sing, we forgot to turn the camera on," admits Wolf (can't blame him!). However, you can still hear Merle sing his part in "It's Too Late For Me." Shelby Lynne's work is discussed in the second video, and you will get to see her as well as hear her.
Enjoy! And please be sure to let me know what you think.
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