Copyright 2011
Tim Aves & WOLFPACK

REVIEWS AND PRESS...

Tim Aves & WOLFPACK - The Wolfpack Burnham Sessions

"I am always eager to discover CDs that pay tribute to Chicago blues greats like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, or Elmore James. Motor City Josh’s 2008 tribute to Wolf, Forty Four, Paul Rodgers’ star-studded 1993 CD, Muddy Water Blues, and John Primer’s 2003 Blue Steel, offer outstanding re-interpretations of blues classics like “Forty Four,” “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” and “Fine Little Mama.” I’ll add Tim Aves & Wolfpack’s 2011 sessions’ CD recorded at the Saint Studios in Burnham, England, to this list. Tim’s expert slide work on “300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy” sets the stage alongside Paul Lester’s drums, and Joel Fisk’s guitar on Robert Johnson’s “Kindhearted Woman” and on Aves’ “Robert Johnson’s Shoes” add nice acoustic touches to this otherwise plugged-in CD. When not bending notes with Tim & Co., “Jelly Roll” Joel plays with a well-respected British blues outfit named Hokie Joint. Not every blues vocalist can scale the heights Wolf climbed, but Tim capably throws his all into each song. Wolf had a powerful stage persona, and was a powerful singer; Aves’ vocals more than meet the challenge posed by the man born Chester Burnett. Two songs not penned by Willie Dixon or Chester Burnett are keepers, too: Aves’ own “Robert Johnson’s Shoes” is a solid blues ballad, and Doyle Bramhall’s “Life by the Drop” is a fitting tribute to a Texas bluesman who died in November of 2011. The set’s closer, recorded live at Essex’ New Crawdaddy Club, is a delightful 13-minute mash-up of “Smokestack Lightning,” “Spoonful,” and “Commit a Crime.” If the Chicago Blues Festival needed a band to honor Howlin’ Wolf’s memory, I’d highly recommend Tim Aves & Wolfpack. They’ve captured the soul, the passion and artistry of Howlin’ Wolf."

  ERIC STEINER
President, Washington State Blues Society.
Member of the Board of The Blues Foundation

"An excellent album by Tim Aves & Wolfpack: The artwork is instantly striking and captures a classic ‘Chess Label’ 1960’s style – we would suggest it’s a lesson for graphics (and publicity?) people – it tells us exactly, with no waffle, what the album is about – which is classic electric blues with a 21st Century twist. The twist is simple enough –a modern and excellent live studio sound. The music
– electric blues consists mainly of the songs of Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon – Tim has a lifelong passion for Wolf’s music and this album is indirectly a tribute to Wolf and in general we think it really honors the great man’s legacy.
The opening track is a cracker – ‘Down in the Bottom’ – a boogie built on a visceral slide guitar riff and a guttural vocal from Tim – singing Wolf songs can be a trap for the unwary – Wolf’s voice was so powerful that inviting comparison can be a trap but on this album Tim avoids any unfavorable comparisons and gives what is probably his best-ever vocal performance. It leads and inspires the best from Joel Fisk on guitar who weaves neatly around Tim’s own guitar lines; and Rob Barry on bass underpins everything. Paul Lester is on drums.
The main selection closes with Tim’s own ‘Robert Johnson’s Shoes’ and then there is a bonus track – a live version of Wolf’s seminal ‘Smokestack Lightnin’’ . It's a 14-minute extended version and very good. They call it a bonus, but its really saying ‘you’ve heard the studio stuff – this is how we do it really live!’ It’s a cracking finish to an excellent record – a fitting tribute to a musical giant and a record of which the band can justifiably be proud-recommended.

Live Blues Info website CD review

"Apparently we’re in for a party according to the ‘in-crowd’ visiting this festival! Tim on blues-harp, vocals and guitar is a real entertainer but not afraid to share the stage with some of the bigger names from the festival’s line-up who were still lingering around. By inviting Giles King and Ian Siegal on stage he creates the inevitable….the jam!! Tim himself leaves the stage and does his version of ‘a Buddy Guy and a Guy Forsyth’ wrapped into one!! Fantastic entertainer, lovely man and musician, why didn’t we see him before we were asking ourselves?"

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