Reviews for "Above the Influence"
Samuel J. Fell from Rhythm Magazine "Fans of Canadian slinger Wolf Mail will be all too familiar with the man’s epic dexterity on, and command of, the guitar...New release, Above The Influence, however, sees Mail return to where he cut his teeth, our teeth, everyone’s teeth – again, searing electric blues. Electric Love Soul was obviously an important record though, because not only do we get his brilliant six-string playing on this new one, but we also get more of a focus on the songs themselves, without leaving the guitar behind.
It’s this evolution and growth as a musician that makes this Mail’s best work yet.
Beginning with the groove-heavy ‘You Move Me’, Above The Influence takes us on a blues cruise of fantastic proportions. There’s flash where it’s needed (not just for flash’s sake), there’s velvet strings when the situation dictates. Mail’s voice, gravelly and course, rides along with casual aplomb, nicely complementing his own playing, as well as that of bassist Michael Mulder and drummer Niko Sarran....more"
Steve Creedy from The Australian "Wolf Mail produces rich, earthy electric blues-rock .....the album gets off to a great start with the infectious You Move Me and basically doesn't let go"
Shane Pinnegar from 100% Rock "Wolf Mail picks notes that almost move the listener to tears, delivering a warm and expressive record that will not fail to thaw even the coldest of hearts"
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Wolf and bassist Michel Mulder Niko Sarran
The first leg of the tour started in Moscow Russia then moved to Scandinavia where Wolf played on the bill with Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Winter.
Photo by Jan P.Svendal - Oseana Auditorium - Norway
Wolf had encountered Winter a few years back, and had his precious 57 Telecaster signed by the man.
Wolf recalls "It was somewhere in the South of France, after the show Johnny wanted a case of red wine and didn't want Ted Slatus (former manager) to know about it. His harp man James Montgomery knew I spoke some French so he came up to me to see if I wouldn't mind getting the wine and sneaking it backstage to Johnny".
Mark Gilbert Guitars, Carvin amps and back-ups Backstage Oseana Auditorium with Erlend
Playing live at 1230am - Norway
One of the concert at the Oseana Auditorium in Norway was filmed and recorded. A DVD is soon to be released.
It was truly an honor for Wolf to be part of the The Vienna Jazz Festival (Jazz Fest Wien) with the likes of George Benson, Bonnie Raitt and Mike Stern. Considered one of the top 3 music fest in the world, it usually gathers some 50,000 music lovers.
Live onstage at the Vienna Jazz Festival Countryside Austria Schönbrunn Palace
Michel Mulder Mike, Winner of the Blues award contest
Photos by Christine Maas
Wolf recalls "It was a wonderful experience, not only musically but also culturally, as Vienna is such an extraordinary place" "But the best moment came when the festival organisers asked if I wouldn't mind coming back in 2014" Needless to say, my schedule got cleared on the spot".
Russian fans really thanked us well by attending two consecutive sold-out performances in Moscow. Wolf got invited to the Moscow Media center where he performed live on the famous 105.2 Moscow FM radio show. Dozens of young fans from Moscow high school greeted Wolf after the talk show.
Wolf was also an honorary guest to the Belgorod Conservatorium of Music to deliver one of his masterclass.When asked by Muse Magazine about the content of his Masterclass, he had this to say" I usually talk about history of blues music, some of my career highlight, muic theory related to blues music, and end the lecture with a jam with students. " I've been getting a few requests for masterclasses lately and I'm working on dedicating more time for theses"
Musical Hall in Nizhny Novgorod Rhythm Blues Moscow - Photo by Arthur Vasilenok Red square
Moscow Media station
It was great to have the opportunity to perform for our fans across all the major cities in Australia. Over six weeks traveled 12,000 kms and completed 20 shows and 20 media performances. The tour started in Perth, Western Australia where the great Rick Wittle filled in on drums, then it was off to the island of Tasmania home of the almighty luthier Mark Gilbert.
Live onstage at the Charles in Perth,WA Loading in the Daimler With Rick Whittle
We then headed out to Brisbane, Queensland to stop over at the Great Southern Blues Festival in Narooma, NSW. After our performance it was a pleasure to see my buddy Mal Eastick and his new band. Next stop was Melbourne city in Victoria, then off to the legendary Governor Hindmarsh in Adelaide, South Australia to close up in Sydney, NSW and surroundings.
Great Southern Festival Reuben Alexander/Bas Khoury Triple J Radio Brisbane
Photo by Murray Foote Photo by Russell Cherry
Wolf also took part in an anti-fracking benefit concert in Byron Bay, NSW. Many Australian artists and musicians participated and supported the event, including Kevin Borich, Leo Sayer, John Butler, and Xavier Rudd.
Kevin Borich- Lil fi - Wolf Mail - Leo Sayer With Billy Williams With Kev
We would like to personally thank John Snelson the editor of Get shot Magazine for his outstanding support. Mr Snelson sent a journalist/photographer to nearly every major city in Australia during our tour and got some great photos. Thanks also to the ABC radio network for giving us a very generous airplay time as well as AMRAP, and of course the man behind the Wolf Mail sound, Mr Mark Gilbert from Mark Gilbert Guitars.
Next stop on the schedule was the Taipei International Blues Festival in Taiwan. This was of one the warmest welcomes we've had in a long time. We also had a chance to mingle and jam with local musicians in downtown Taipei; it was a great time.
10th annual Taipei Blues Festival With Linda and crew Mike,Larry,Wolf,DC and Angelo
The last leg of the 2013 "Above the Influence" tour was Japan. "Japan is one of my favorite places to tour and visit" says Wolf. This was the 6th time that Wolf toured Japan, and new cities were added to the schedule. "I usually perform in Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, the main cities in the Kansai region then out to Tokyo. This time we've also played in Nagoya, Nagoya is about half way between Japan's 2 biggest cities Osaka and Tokyo, so with a growing fan base it was an obvious choice".
After show - Nagoya,Japan Japanese crew with surgical mask, Osaka After show Tokyo
Rocket club - Osaka Live in Tokyo Tokyo Grand central station
We are happy to announce that one of Japan's leading music magazines Blues & Roots Magazine, has rewarded Wolf with a valuable accolade. Wolf Mail has been voted one of the top 10 guitarists of the 21st Century. Other top 10 guitarists include Gary Clark Jr, Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa, Chris Duarte and Jack White.
From Blues & Roots Japan #114 Click here to buy your copy
Derek Trucks - Gary Clark Jr - Joe Bonamassa - Robert Randolph
Jack White - Dan Auerbach(Dr John) - Chris Duarte - Mato Manji
Wolf Mail - Oli Brown - Joanne Shawn Taylor - Shawn Holt
Stay tuned as 2014 promises to be a another outstanding year for the Wolfman.
Thank you for your constant support and best wishes for the festive season.
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