Rolling Stone - 12/26/02, p.112
Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002"
Rolling Stone - 10/3/02, p.1024 stars out of 5
- "...Easily his best: A superb work of soulfulness and delicacy....a clean and sparely produced album of hand-polished gems..."
Personnel: Peter Wolf, Steve Earle (vocals); Mick Jagger (vocals, harmonica); Larry Campbell (acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, fiddle, background vocals); Kenny White (acoustic guitar, piano, Wurlitzer piano, organ, background vocals); Angelo Petraglia (acoustic guitar); Keith Richards (electric guitar, background vocals); Duke Levine, Stu Kimball, Cornell Dupree (electric guitar); Magic Dick (harmonica); Brian Mitchell (accordion); Paul Ossola, Tony Garnier (acoustic bass); Warren McRae (electric bass); Kevin Shurtleff, (drums, percussion); Shawn Pelton (drums, loops); Charlie Drayton (drums); Rob Eaton, Teresa Williams, Cire Jones, Catherine Russell, Ada Dyer (background vocals); The Uptown Horns.
Recorded at Sear Sound, New York, New York; Wooly Mammoth Sound, Waltz Audio, Futura Productions, Boston, Massachusetts; My Generation Studio, Somerville, Massachusetts.
Personnel: Peter Wolf (vocals); Keith Richards (vocals, electric guitar); Mick Jagger (vocals, harmonica); Milt Grayson (bass voice); Duke Levine (guitar, electric guitar, mandolin); Larry Campbell (guitar, resonator guitar, baritone guitar, mandolin, fiddle, background vocals); Kenny White (acoustic guitar, piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ, background vocals); Angelo Petraglia (acoustic guitar); Cornell Dupree, Stuart Kimball (electric guitar); Magic Dick (harmonica); Brian Mitchell (accordion); Crispin Cioe (alto saxophone); Arno Hecht (tenor saxophone); Laurence Etkin (trumpet); Robert Funk (tenor trombone); Tom West (organ); Paul Ossola (acoustic bass, electric bass); Tony Garnier (acoustic bass); John Conte, Warren McRae (electric bass); Kevin Shurtleff (drums, percussion); Dan Reiser, Shawn Pelton, Charlie Drayton (drums); Sammy Merendino (percussion); Teresa Williams, Theresa Williams, Ada Dyer, Rob Eaton, Catherine Russell (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Dave Westner; Phil Greene; Rob Eaton; Ben Wisch.
Recording information: Futura Productions, Boston, MA; Globe Studios, New York, NY; My Generation Studio, Somerville, MA; Red House, New York, NY; Sear Sound Recording; Waltz Audio, Boston, MA; Wooly Mammoth Sound, Boston, MA.
Photographer: Joe Greene.
With each step he takes past his years as frontman to the J. Geils Band, Peter Wolf builds on his legacy as a solo artist of remarkable distinction. Bits of the jive caricature of his early years surface on Sleepless, especially when reunited with his old running buddies Keith Richards and Magic Dick on "Too Close Together," but most of the album documents much more skillful and sensitive approaches to interpretation. In fact, in his ability to slide from singing to a spoken word or two and back again, Wolf affirms his mastery of the Bob Dylan method for bringing a lyric to life. The musical settings throughout Sleepless vary dramatically, from roadhouse country on the highway epic "Nothing but the Wheel" through Mexican romanticism on "Oh Marianne" and to raw blues with a Tom Waits edge on "Homework." In each of these, Wolf's voice, recorded bone dry and boosted high in the mix, flawlessly nails the feel; on one track, the Stax-flavored ballad "A Lot of Good Ones Gone," his performance -- reflective, understated, delicately phrased, and soulful -- compares favorably to some of Van Morrison's best work. It is, in other words, about as good as a performance can be in this genre. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk