It’s criminal, you know, that the J. Geils Band is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And it matters for one selfish reason: there is a credibility bump that translates to dollars available on the road. Simply put, you get in, your career gets better.
So selfishly – and correctly, I might add – the Boston band needs to get in. They need to earn a spot for one main reason: so they will continue to play live as a band, and more fans (like me) can see Peter Wolf and the band blaze through the rock and blues and soul revue that they do so well.
Wolf, meanwhile, rolls right on along, all 135 pounds of him. The 70 year-old singer, who has reunited with the Geils boys as recently as last year for the opening slot on the Bob Seger tour, has his own band, and they are set to hit the road for a tour. On April 8, Wolf released A Cure For Loneliness, a followup to 2010s Midnight Souvenirs. While the previous album leaned on a rootsy, country-ish Memphis groove, the new record is a soul album, lashed with country, with the always-present Boston R&B. Plus, there is a reworked cover take on the J. Geils hit “Love Stinks”, tipped musically to bluegrass.
A couple links follow, one for the first single “Wastin’ Time”, one of the two or three best songs on the record, The second link is to a brilliant and unseen-outside-of-Boston PSA for the Boston library. It is a bit of subversive video work before it was cool for libraries and NPR to play things a bit more hip. Plus, a nice job of keeping the acting straight from the “Woofa Goofa”.
ADDENDUM: I got into a discussion at a music club one night with a friend, and we ended up trying to rank the top 5 rock and roll frontmen of all time. (Not the singer/songwriter Springsteen/Prince/Sly Stone model – frontmen, you see, can’t be known for playing instruments. They sing. They play some tambourine). I said Peter Wolf belongs on that top 5 list. May have even said he was top 3. We were drinking. I probably mentioned that if you really think about it, Wolf may be the most underrated frontman of all rock and roll time. I think we agreed on Jagger at the top, and then it got murky real quick. Freddie Mercury? Steven Tyler? Eddie Vedder? Roger Daltrey? Paul Rodgers? Jim Morrison? Elvis?