© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Peter Wolf: Honky-Tonk 'Midnight Souvenirs'

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."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.