BluesWax Rating: 8
Reader Rating: 7
Wolfe, Todd
Stripped Down At The Bang Palace
Blues Leaf Records
Hear It! Rate It! Buy It!
Passion Drenched Blues Rock, (02/11/10)

This is Todd Wolfe's sixth album and second on Blues Leaf. His last
album Borrowed Time was a well produced studio recording. I've often
stated that whenever I listen to Wolfe I feel as if I'm listening to
an old, forgotten and rediscovered rock album. He is an exciting
guitarist who does not overplay and, as a seasoned bandleader, he has
always surrounded himself with able sidemen to produce a total band
sound. The rhythm section consists of bass player Suavek Zaniesienko
and Roger Voss on drums.
Stripped Down is a huge surprise exceeding my expectations. It is a
live recording which captures Wolfe at his most passionate. I have
never heard him sing like this.

Opening with "Wing of a Dove," Wolfe plays a National Steel on this
acoustic version originally written and recorded on Wolf released in
2002. "Roll Over" and "Light of Day" are two more songs reprised from
that first album. He also does a fantastic acoustic version of
Mountain's "Mississippi Queen."

"Stranger Blues" is the Elmore James classic included on Wolfe's 2004
Delaware Crossing. He also covers Muddy Waters' "She's Nineteen Years
Old," B.B. King's "Three O'clock Blues," Willie Dixon's "Evil," Eddie
Taylor's "Bad Boy," Howlin' Wolf's "Wreck My Life,"and performs a duet
with Sarah Ayers on Robert Johnson's "Come in My Kitchen." Wolfe's
vocal and slide guitar on Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now" make it
> another highlight on this very good set of songs.

Although these old chestnuts have been recorded many times, Wolfe's
passion shines through as he makes them sound fresh again. There are
many Blues/rock artists that pale in comparison. Give this a listen.

Richard Ludmerer is a contributing editor to BluesWax.Richard can be
reached at www.blueswax@visnat.com.