Scott Metzger is one of New York City’s most in demand guitarists, touring with the likes of Trixie Whitley, Nicole Atkins and Grateful Dead revivalist phenomenon, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and picking on numerous studio sessions, including those by Anders Osborne, Shooter Jennings, Craig Finn and Kelli Scarr. But it’s Metzger’s instrumental trio, WOLF!, that reveals his own truly distinct voice as a guitarist. First and foremost, Metzger’s sound is built upon the great Fender Telecaster tradition, the lineage of which runs from Roy Buchanan to Jeff Beck, Danny Gatton to Steve Cropper, Bill Frisell to Albert Collins. It’s within that rich history that Metzger stands to be recognized as the next great torchbearers.
Joined in WOLF! by Jon Shaw on bass and Taylor Floreth on drums, Scott Metzger and company deliver a gem with their self-titled debut album. It’s a record that will not only resonate with guitar enthusiasts, but will immerse the more casual listener whose ears are peaked by impeccably performed, red-hot instrumental music.
For Metzger, it’s all about time, tone, taste and touch—uncompromisingly so. He illustrates this point over and again throughout the album’s nine compositions, whether it’s the Les Paul-meets-Jerry Reed inspired spirit of the album’s opening tracks, “Cake Walk” and “Neck Bone” or the dark, dreamy, South of the border journey “Cafe Hidalgo.”
Later in the collection, WOLF! hits squarely on point with the surf rock escapade, “Frightenin’ (Part Two),” that would feel right at home in a Quentin Tarantino film. The noir-esque “Wolf Eyes” and the freewheeling guitar boogie “Steve Miller” expand into further dimensions of Metzger’s oeuvre. When heard in its totality, there’s little doubt that WOLF!’s eponymous debut will be considered one of the premier guitar records of 2015.