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Peter Wolf quiets things down for solo shows

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Fronting longtime Detroit favorites the J. Geils Band and even as a solo act, Peter Wolf has channeled his ebullient, "Wolfa Goofa with the green teeth" persona for a good 47 years now. The idea of "an intimate evening, an acoustic evening" might be enough to make a fan's blood run cold.

But that's exactly what Wolf is doing these days as he showcases the more nuanced, singer-songwriter side of himself that he displayed on his 2010 solo album "Midnight Souvenirs."

"This gives me a lot more intimacy between myself and the audience, which is challenging," explains Wolf, 68, who was born Peter Blankfield in the Bronx and was a radio DJ in Boston before joining the Geils Band. "I enjoy that kind of show, where you come away feeling like you know a little more about (the performer) than you did before."

Wolf anticipates some highly interactive shows in these settings, too. "Right from the days of the Cinderella Ballroom (in Detroit), it has been an active group, shall we say," he notes. "So I think people will respond. The dynamics go from really very sort of attention-demanding to foot-stomping. It has a beginning, middle and end; it goes from the appetizers to the entrees to the desserts."

Wolf says he and his two accompanists will incorporate Geils material as well as his solo work, and he anticipates playing more with Geils in the future, especially now that the group has settled a lawsuit filed by guitarist J. Geils over rights to the band name.

"Every couple of years we like to go out there and do it," Wolf says. "We never call it reunions; we just, for whatever reason, get together. The last time was the Boston Strong concert (in May of 2013) to raise money for the Marathon victims. So maybe this fall we'll do something. I don't know; I never know, really. Right now I'm just focusing on getting on the highways and byways with the show I'm doing now."

Peter Wolf performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Monday, May 4-5, at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Both shows are sold out. Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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