1. Peter Wolf A Cure For Loneliness
It has been six years since Peter Wolf released Midnight Souvenirs. Far too long, but Wolf slow-brews these things – he has only released eight since 1984 after he split with the J. Geils Band. Based on the songs I’ve been able to hear so far – “Wastin’ Time” and “Peace of Mind” – A Cure For Loneliness is a soulful, spirited affair, and I’d expect no less from Wolf. There is a bluegrass reworking of the J. Geils Band standard “Love Stinks” on here that I’m especially looking forward to, and some lesser-known covers to go along with the nine originals. I was lucky enough to witness a conversation between Wolf and Robbie Fulks after a show a few years ago, and the man devours music, literature, and all manner of artistic treasures. The Woofa Goofa has much to teach.
2. Mark Erelli For A Song
By coincidence, Erelli’s For A Song is also his first album of new original material in six years. It’s a strong batch. He has a voice that wavers between Paul Simon and Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, sometimes smoothly bouncing around a complex batch of lyrics, sometimes bending a syllable to fit the phrase. That serves him well on bubbling folk rockers like “Wayside” and the title track, the waltzing “Moonlit Lullaby,” or mediations like “Oklahoma.” There’s a serenity built into the DNA of this album. It’s in every song, and every player.