The J. Geils Band's Peter Wolf Returns With New Song 'Peace of Mind': Exclusive Premiere

Peter Wolf 2016
Joe Greene

Peter Wolf

If you've ever seen one of Peter Wolf's frenetic live performances, particularly with the The J. Geils Band, he's doesn't seem like a guy who's looking for a peaceful, easy feeling. But on his new solo album, A Cure For Loneliness, the singer does express a longing for some "Peace of Mind" -- at least for one song.

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"We're all kind of searching for a peace of mind, one way or another," Wolf tells Billboard about the smooth, soulful track, which Billboard is premiering exclusively below. It was also a team effort, co-written with Duke Levine, the guitarist in Wolf's Midnight Travelers troupe as well as The J. Geils Band, and lyricist Will Jennings. "Duke's the person I call The Maestro, and Will is one of the most important people in my career, such a unique talent," Wolf notes. "So it was a really great cast. We tried different variations, different tempos. This one just seemed to have the right feel for the lyric."

Listen to "Peace of Mind" below.

The 12 tracks on A Cure For Loneliness, which comes out April 8 and is Wolf's first new solo album in six years, are a stylistic blend, mixing studio creations with live recordings -- including a jaunty bluegrass-flavored romp through Geils' "Love Stinks." Some of the songs have been around for awhile; Wolf wrote "It's Raining" with Don Covay for his Midnight Souvenirs album in 2010 and recorded it last year, with the intention of inviting the late Bobby Womack to guest on it. "As I came out of the studio finishing the track, the producer said, 'Pete, you won't believe this. I just noticed on my phone that Bobby Womack passed,'" Wolf recalls. "I was determined to try to get him for this record and I knew he had been ill, but that was still kind of a shock."

The musical variety comes naturally to Wolf, a former DJ who grew up in the Bronx exposed to a wide range of artists by his father, a singer and vaudeville performer. "The last bunch of records have just been explorations in trying to keep it moving forward and keep it interesting and enduring and prevailing and trying to explore the music that I love," Wolf says. "When I grew up music was a constant. Music was all around me. I saw the founding fathers of rock'n'roll -- Jerry Lee LewisLittle RichardChuck Berry -- when I was 10 years old, and from that point on it was just something I became possessed with, and that hasn't changed in the last 60 years."

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With nothing currently on The J. Geils Band docket, Wolf will be playing shows with the Midnight Travelers throughout the year, starting April 29 in Hartford, Conn. The group had road-tested most of the songs on A Cure For Loneliness, and Wolf expects some more fresh material will make its way into the shows during the course of the run.

"It's an organic thing, all improvised," he says. "We try to keep a certain spontaneity so each show doesn't seem like a cookie cutter. That's what I love about working with the group of players I have; They're such unique players and great artists in their own right, and there's nothing more exciting for me than to come in with a song and let the other artists kick it around. It's always a surprise, what you come up with. It's a great situation."


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