Peter Wolf's new album also features appearances from Shelby Lynne, Merle Haggard and Neko Case.
Peter Wolf's new album also features appearances from Shelby Lynne, Merle Haggard and Neko Case. Tracy Berglund
In the 1970s, the J. Geils Band carved out a reputation as one of the wildest party bands out there.
Its lead singer, Peter Wolf, worked the crowd like a maestro. At a time when disco was the only dance in town, the J. Geils Band revived an R&B-influenced brand of rock.
But by 1981, the band was going in a different, poppier direction. Its single "Centerfold" stayed atop the charts for six weeks, and it shifted the band's focus away from roots music for good.
Wolf didn't last much longer; he was out of the band two years later.
Now well into his solo career, he's recently released a new album. Wolf spoke to guest host Linda Wertheimer about Midnight Souvenirs, which reflects considerable country music influences.
"Growing up in the era that I did, when the first generation of rock 'n' rollers were coming out ... there was a fusion of rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll that was very profound," he says. "And I think that the R&B and blues artists always listened to the Grand Ole Opry. And the Grand Ole Opry artists always listened to Sonny Boy Williamson on the King Biscuit [Flower] Hour. And I think it was real, blue-collar music — and I don't really see the difference between a juke joint and a honky-tonk."