Autumn De WIlde
Henry Wolfe isn't really offering musical innovation. With a voice that recalls Paul Simon and Randy Newman and songs that follow a basic verse-chorus-verse template and feature the standard bass-guitar-drums instrumentation, the New York-born, L.A.-based musician could be any one of a thousand men with guitars and a voice. Yes, his lineage suggests magic: His mom is Meryl Streep. But it's not something he publicizes, and in a songwriting world that prizes authenticity while looking askance at celebrity, his ancestry is perhaps as much a liability as a benefit. But at a recent Wolfe performance at a packed holiday house party in Hollywood, nobody seemed to care where he came from. All that mattered were the songs, most of which were taken from his forthcoming full-length, "Linda Vista": sturdy, smart and immediately hummable.
-- Randall Roberts