Todd Wolfe

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Todd Wolfe
Birth nameTodd Stewart Wolfe
Born(1957-01-22) January 22, 1957 (age 57)
Queens, New York, United States
GenresRock, blues, blues-rock, psychedelic rock, Southern rock
OccupationsMusician, bandleader, producer
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1979-present
LabelsA & M, Valley Entertainment, Blues Leaf, Ulftone Music, Hypertension Music, Okra Tone
Associated actsSheryl Crow, Carla Olson, Mojoson, Troy & the Tornados
Websitewww.toddwolfe.com
 
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Todd Wolfe
Birth nameTodd Stewart Wolfe
Born(1957-01-22) January 22, 1957 (age 57)
Queens, New York, United States
GenresRock, blues, blues-rock, psychedelic rock, Southern rock
OccupationsMusician, bandleader, producer
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1979-present
LabelsA & M, Valley Entertainment, Blues Leaf, Ulftone Music, Hypertension Music, Okra Tone
Associated actsSheryl Crow, Carla Olson, Mojoson, Troy & the Tornados
Websitewww.toddwolfe.com
Todd Wolfe live at the Airport-Event in Moenchengladbach, Germany on April, 13th 2013

Todd Stewart Wolfe (born January 22, 1957, Queens, New York) is an American blues-rock guitarist and singer-songwriter.

During a professional career that has spanned three decades, Wolfe has had numerous album releases with his own band in the blues and rock genre. He has also worked as the lead guitarist for Carla Olson from 1991 to 1993 and for Sheryl Crow from 1993 to 1998.

As a writer, Wolfe's songs have been covered by Faith Hill, Stevie Nicks, Deborah Coleman, and others.

Since departing Sheryl Crow's band, Wolfe has been gaining popularity as a solo artist and guitarist in North America and Europe—especially in Germany—where he and his band have toured extensively since 2001.

Early life[edit]

Wolfe was born in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York, an area of New York City renowned for its musicians, with former residents including Burt Bacharach, The Ramones, Leslie West, and Simon & Garfunkel.

Wolfe's parents contributed to his musical tastes. As his father was a native New Yorker and his mother from the small town of Marshall, Texas, Todd heard many types of music as a boy. The different styles of music regularly heard in the Wolfe household encouraged Todd's love music for its own sake. Like many Americans of that era, the appearance of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show accelerated Wolfe's growing appreciation for music. He was particularly inspired by the sounds emanating from the guitars of George Harrison and John Lennon. His appreciation deepened with the arrival in the United States of the British Invasion with bands such as The Animals, The Dave Clark Five, The Yardbirds and The Rolling Stones.

After the arrival of the second "British Invasion" and the play of Eric Clapton and the Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, British guitarists such as Peter Green, Mick Taylor and Jeff Beck, and the emergence of American guitarists such as Johnny Winter, Mike Bloomfield, and Leslie West, Wolfe began to develop his own skills as a guitarist. At thirteen, he purchased his first guitar, a Dakota red Fender Mustang, and began learning the fundamentals of playing a guitar. Two key components to his apprenticeship were attending numerous concerts and listening to records. From these experiences, Wolfe's interests expanded to include the works of American blues guitarists such as B.B. King, Freddy King, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy, and Albert King. Wolfe found similar inspiration in the electric blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf bands. These artists, whose works greatly influenced British musicians, were equally inspirational to Todd Wolfe.

By the time he was sixteen, Wolfe was committed to developing his skills as a guitarist. Concurrently, he began the long path of refining an artistic sensibility that drew fully from the foundations laid by musicians in the United States and Great Britain.[1]

Early career[edit]

In 1979, Wolfe began his career by playing in garage bands. He played at local parties and participated in "battle of the bands" competitions. While still in high school, Wolfe put together his first band. Four years later, he formed his first club band, Nitetrain. The band included Wolfe and fellow Forest Hills residents, drummer Steven Menasche and bassist Emil Samuels. During their first year, the band opened for Albert Collins, Dickey Betts, and Walter "Wolfman" Washington.[2]

Four years later, he formed his first club band, Troy & the Tornados. This band opened for many acts appearing in the metropolitan New York area. These groups included Gregg Allman, The Outlaws, Dickey Betts, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, and The Neville Brothers.

During his time with Troy & the Tornados, Wolfe continued to sharpen his skills as a guitarist. Because he was focused on developing his virtuosity as a musician, he was reluctant to be the front man for his own bands.

During this same interval, Wolfe met two women who would play pivotal role in his growth as a musician: Carla Olson of the Textones and Sheryl Crow. At that time, Crow was honing her skills while working as an in-studio back-up singer. She was introduced to Wolfe by Stephen "Scooter" Weintraub, who would later manage both artists. From this introduction began a creative relationship that shaped the careers of both artists. In short order, Wolfe and Crow went from collaborating in studio sessions in New York City to the two traveling to Los Angeles, forming a band, and working to earn a record deal.

Although this effort did not result in a record contract for Crow, Wolfe used the opportunity to relocate permanently to Los Angeles, and to revamp his band's line up. Troy & the T's played in "holes in the wall" throughout Southern California. During this time, Wolfe also began to score music for the Playboy Channel. In 1991, Wolfe teamed up with Olson, whom he had met while still in New York. Wolfe accepted Olson's invitation to join The Textones as the band's lead guitarist, a spot he held for the next two years.

In 1993, Crow offered Wolfe the lead guitar spot in the touring band she was forming to support her debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club. Based upon her earlier work with Wolfe, Crow understood that his dynamic stage presence would bring an additional measure of excitement to her live shows. During the next five years, Crow and her band would sojourn from "all in the van" tours of local establishments to a string of world tours in which they opened for performers such as Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Plant & Page, and Elton John. In 1996, Todd Wolfe co-wrote with Sheryl Crow "Hard to Make a Stand," which appeared on Crow's eponymously titled second album, Sheryl Crow.[3]

In 1995, while a member of Crow's band, Wolfe put together a band which signed with A & M Records. The band, Mojoson, included Wolfe as the lead guitarist, Scott Bryan—a fellow member of Crow's band—on guitar, keyboards and lead vocals, bassist Eric Massimino and drummer Michael Lawrence, who also played for Sun 60. Over a three-year period, the band recorded two studio albums. However, A&M underwent a transition of ownership before the albums were released. Consequently, the label's "takeover" albums went unissued, Mojoson's contract was dissolved, and the band was disbanded.

In 1998, Todd Wolfe left Sheryl Crow's band so that he could focus on a new project. He formed a new band with a varying lineup of players including two former members of Mojoson—Eric Massimino and Michael Lawrence— as well as Rich Pagano, Dave Hollingsworth, and others. Currently, Wolfe's band features drummer Roger Voss and bassist Suavek Zaniesienko who replaced Massimino and Lawrence. This lineup recorded Wolfe's sixth (studio) release since leaving Sheryl's band, Stripped Down at The Bang Palace. Wolfe and his band have kept busy with six album releases and over a dozen European tours to Europe in the last ten years.

Discography[edit]

YearTitleLabel
1999Live from Manny's Car WashBlue Lizard Music
2002WolfeUlftone Music, Okra Tone Records
2004Delaware CrossingUlftone Music, Valley Entertainment
2006Why, Thank You Very MuchUlftone Music, Valley Entertainment
2008Borrowed TimeBlues Leaf Records
2009Stripped Down at the Bang PalaceBlues Leaf Records
2011LiveAmerican Home Entertainment

Additional credits[edit]

YearTitleArtistCredit
1988Sweden USACarla OlsonGuitar
1991Too Hot for SnakesMick TaylorGuitar
1991Too Hot for Snakes PlusMick TaylorGuitar
1993Within an AceCarla OlsonGuitar
1994Fast Track to Nowhere: Songs from "Rebel Highway"Various ArtistsGuitar
1994Reap the WhirlwindCarla OlsonGuitar
1995Boys on the SideOriginal SoundtrackComposer, Guitar
1995Live OnePhishComposer
1995Wave of the Hand: The Best of Carla OlsonCarla OlsonGuitar
1996Pompatus of LoveOriginal SoundtrackGuitar
1996Sheryl CrowSheryl CrowDobro, Guitar (Electric), Guitar
1996Sheryl Crow [Japan]Sheryl CrowDobro, Composer, Guitar (Electric), Guitar
1997Hard to Make a StandSheryl CrowPedal Steel, Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
1997Live on Letterman: Music from the Late ShowVarious ArtistsPedal Steel
1998Enchanted: The Works of Stevie NicksStevie NicksGuitar
1998FaithFaith HillGuitar
1998Love Will Always WinFaith HillComposer
1998Globe SessionsSheryl CrowSoloist, Guitar (Electric)
1998Globe Sessions [DVD]Sheryl CrowGuitar (Electric)
1998Globe Sessions [SACD/Bonus Track]Sheryl CrowGuitar (Electric), Soloist
1999Loud Guitars, Big SuspicionsShannon CurfmanComposer
1999Hampton Comes AlivePhishComposer
2001Honest as Daylight: The Best of Carla Olson (1981–2000)Carla OlsonGuitar
2001Livin' on LoveDeborah ColemanComposer
2001Best of Sessions at West 54th, Vol. 1Various ArtistsGuitar
20022 Good 4 UMichelle PennSlide Guitar
2002Live Phish, Vol. 08PhishComposer
2002Mystic FireMountainSlide Guitar
2002Live Phish, Vol. 14PhishComposer
2003ChasChasSlide Guitar
2003Live Phish, Vol. 17PhishComposer
2004Chartbuster Karaoke: Faith Hill, Vol. 1KaraokeComposer
2004Songs I Left BehindMike TrampGuitar
2007Masters of WarMountainGuitar (Rhythm), Guitar
2007CollectionLeslie WestGuitar (Rhythm), Guitar
2008Step UpDoña OxfordGuitar, Soloist
2008Dark HorsesCarla OlsonGuitar
2008Beautiful People/CirclesThe New SeekersComposer

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview with Todd Wolfe by Tina Wolfe, August 2010". Maximum Influence. August 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ "FAME Review: The Todd Wolfe Band Live". Acoustic Music. 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ "ASCAP.com". ASCAP database. Date not provided. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 

External links[edit]