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46 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 10, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With Sleepless, Peter Wolf strips away any pretense to fashion and warmly embraces the R&B, soul, and country blues that inspired his legend in the first place. Not that Wolf has strayed very far from those roots, either when fronting the J. Geils Band or in his rewarding, if often fitful, solo career, but Sleepless presents the singer's ethos at its most naked and warmly Dylanesque. Whether revisiting Otis Rush's "Homework," seasoning William Bell's Stax track "Never Like This Before" with a dash of Muscle Shoals, palling around with the Glimmer Twins (Jagger on "Nothing but the Wheel"; Richards, along with Geils's Magic Dick, on Sonny Boy Williamson's feisty "Too Close Together"), or matching Steve Earle twang-for-twang on "Some Things You Don't Want to Know," it's an album filled with a spirit of warm remembrance and generosity. But more than mere love letters to his roots and heroes past, Wolf's performances on collaborations with Will Jennings and other writers have a timeless, bittersweet edge that undercut his previous instinct for blues caricature to great effect. Traditions die hard. This is a compelling testament why--and one of Wolf's most outstanding solo efforts. --Jerry McCulley

1. Growin' Pain
2. Nothing But The Wheel
3. A Lot Of Good Ones Gone
4. Never Like This Before
5. Run Silent, Run Deep
6. Homework
7. Five O'Clock Angel
8. Hey Jordan
9. Too Close Together
10. Some Things You Don't Want To Know
11. Oh Marianne
12. Sleepless

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 10, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Indieblu Music
  • ASIN: B00006H6AB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,008 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Earley on October 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Peter Wolf said that when he traveled to Nashville to visit with the legendary songwriter Harlan Howard (the man who wrote "I Fall To Pieces" and "Busted") he got a great little piece of advice. "Keep it simple, and tell the truth". Words that inspired Wolf to write the opening song "Growin Pain", and pretty much the theme for the rest of the album. A nice collection of simple country blues and r&b, and a great soulful voice by Wolf that's as good if not better than ever. Although I'm still hungry at times for that hard r&b, rock & roll jive talkin' singer I grew up with from the J. Geils band, I'm starting to get used to his more adult contemporary style approach that reminds me alot of the music that artists like Graham Parker and especially Van Morrison are making today. Wolf's songwriting has never been better. The beautiful "Five O'Clock Angel", his duet with Mick Jagger on the country blues tune "Nothin' But The Wheel", and the album closer "Sleepless" were standouts for me here. He also does another country blues song trading lines with Steve Earle on "Some Things You Don't Want To Know". And he even gets his old bandmate Magic Dick back on harp for Sonny Boy Williamson's "Too Close Together". On Otis Rush's "Homework", a reworking of an old J.Geils Band favorite, Wolf does a kind of gravel voiced spoken word ala Tom Waits version that is very different from the original. I'm still trying to get used to this one. But other than this song, Wolf has never sounded better. I think it's his best album since his wonderful "Long Line" record. The only sad thing about Peter Wolf's music is that so much of it is out of print. What's the deal with these record companies? C'mon, rerelease this stuff, and give us some some bonus tracks while your at it. This guy is too good not to be heard. Meanwhile get this while you can. If your a lover of well done r&b music like I am, you'll eat this stuff up.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Spratt on September 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Well another surprise from the Woofah Goofah. Over thirty years later this guy is still pulling rabbits out of the hat. This is probably a shade better than the marvellous Fool's Parade. A collection of diverse gems, ballads like "Five O'Clock Angel"(my favourite)and "Alot of Good Ones Gone" are absolutely stunning. Rockers like "Never Like This Before" and "Too Close Together"(Keith Richards comes in handy) show that Wolf is still a hard driving man with heaps of energy. The album reaches the point of fascination on "Oh Marianne" where Peter blends rich Drifters doowop vocal arrangements with a driving Latin rock beat set against a sad story line. There are many highlights throughout this imaginative set. Share this album with people you know.If radio don't play it make it an underground smash. I've already played to two people who had never heard of Peter and they were genuinely impressed. Kudos to Wolf, co-producer Kenny White, Will Jennings and all of the musicians who worked on Peter's team. Hope the man tours.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Larry White on November 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Like its predecessor "Fool's Parade", "Sleepless" is a marvelous compendium of `roots' music, cut from the same vintage cloth as that of the great R&B, R&R, and C&W legends to whom Wolf has always paid homage whether as fan, friend, valet, disc jockey, music archivist/historian, songwriter, singer, or performer. On these 2 most recent albums, the former lead singer of the J.Geils Band, with his most sympatico producer and band, has created works which, from our humbly slanted perspective, are as soulful and masterful as those of his role models. Each cut on "Sleepless" gleams from the very first listen and adds dimension with each successive one. The highlights are a laundry list: The impeccable ensemble playing by such stalwarts as Dylan band members Larry Campbell and Tony Garnier, drummer-extraordinaire Shawn Pelton and keyboard player (and the album's co-producer) Kenny White, et al.; Mick Jagger singing his bony [butt] off and letting it bleed all over what could be a lost Stones' track; Keith Richards' insouciant jamming with Wolf, White, and Wolf's former bandmate Magic Dick on an old Sonny Boy Williamson tune--the smiles on the player's faces palpable; Steve Earle providing an extra measure of authenticity to a lovely country waltz; the Spanish Harlem vibe of `Oh Marianne'; Wolf's lecherously waggish take on the Geils' nugget `Homework'; the haunting and ominous mood cast on `Run Silent, Run Deep'; and on and on and on. Wolf continues to broaden his vocal palette as he matures, moving easily from passionate to vulnerable to hopeful to cocky to playful to world-weary to poignant, as the situation calls for.Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By 34-year old wallflower on December 9, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Peter Wolf is, in my opinion, one of the most unrespected vocalists in rock history. He was in a band that wasn't named after him (The J. Geils Band), but to me, he always symbolized the band's spirit & verve. They say white men don't have soul, but Peter has always been one of the few that truly do & even after leaving his band to go solo, he may not have saw a lot of commercial acclaim, yet artistically he hasn't done any wrong. Well into his 50s, Peter shows his unflagging vitality with his newest album SLEEPLESS.
It's a proven fact that J. Geils wasn't the same without Peter & when he left, it's no surprise they disbanded shortly after. The reunion concerts of a few years ago showed the chemistry was still there, but I imagine a studio reunion is either not in the cards or postponed for the time being because Peter is back doing his solo thing. While his early solo stuff was distinctly '80s, his most recent music has been more rootsy & closer to the raw blues & soul he grew up loving. SLEEPLESS is right up there with his best J. Geils work & is good to have until a full-fledged reunion does come to pass.
In the liner notes, Peter says he was inspired by a meeting with legendary country songwriter Harlan Howard in coming up with some of the material on SLEEPLESS. He sure took one bit of Howard's sage advice to heart: "Keep it simple". He sure does with songs like "A Lot Of Good Ones Gone", "Run Silent, Run Deep", "Hey Jordan" & the title track with lyrics that are straight & to the point, like the best soul music of yore. The legendary sound of Stax & the grittier Motown songs were undoubtedly on Peter's mind while he wrote these.
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