With a crowd of 3000 assembled, guitarist Todd Wolfe had music fans hooting, hollering and dancing from start to finish during his ninety minute set before his hometown crowd at Bethlehem's Musikfest Aug 6. It was a beautiful August evening with temperatures in the low 70's and low humidity. This made for a comfortable night in a beautiful setting overlooking the Lehigh Valley.
Todd, who was born and raised in Forest Hills Queens, has been a resident in the Lehigh Valley Region for nearly ten years. Todd had been playing in NYC since the late 70's before hooking up with a then unknown Sheryl Crow in the late 80's. He would record and tour with her through the mid 90's. This was an experience that would have Todd opening for the Rolling Stones at a sold out MSG and doing similar high profile engagements around the world.
Todd has built up much good will around the Lehigh Valley area amongst the musical community by hosting open blues jams, deejaying at local public radio stations and always sharing his talent and experiences with a smile. Having said that, it was easy to see how much the hometown fans gathered this night love Todd.
Todd was supported by the rock solid rhythm section of drummer Roger Voss and bassist Suavek Zaniesienko and a percussionist playing for the first time with the band whose name I didn't catch. [ Sorry!] Todd kicked off the set with some nice slide guitar on his song 'Roll Over' and stepped into more original material 'Wing Of A Dove' and Ready For Love' that featured his strong vocals and nice percussion work. Todd then ratcheted it up with an outstanding version of Eric Clapton's 'Got To Get Better In A Little While' and continued rolling with his rocker 'On The Run'. There was more nice percussion with his tune ' Black Hearted Woman' then into 'Beg Forgiveness', a rollicking original with a killer bass line from his 'Delaware Crossing' CD.
People [mostly female] of all ages streamed down to the 25 foot space between the stage and seats to dance and get a closer look. This space was filled with folks before long.
Todd played his slow burner ' Cold Black Night' before launching in to Buddy Miles 'Them Changes' with the incredible Mary Hawkins joining him on stage to sing. The crowd was at fever pitch after this number. Todd followed up with Mary singing the song ' If This Is Love' from Todd's most recent release Borrowed Time. Mary departed and Todd kept the crowd going with a few more numbers before ushering Lehigh Valley favorite Sarah Ayers on stage for one more Clapton cover, a high energy, crowd pleasing duet 'The Core'. With the crowd still cheering loudly Sarah broke in to 'Little By Little' which left the crowd cheering even louder. As Sarah left the stage Todd capped off the set with his jam version of the Peter Green classic 'Oh Well'.
A great time was had by all with the possible exception of Todd's guitar tech who was replacing guitar strings on Todd's guitars throughout the night. I was thrilled to see a world class player like Todd get the adulation he deserves at this fun event. No doubt that Todd is king here in Bethlehem but you can always count on Todd and his band to give you a world class show no matter where he plays.
Check Todd out at TODDWOLFE.COM