By his new creativity oeuvre “Make Blues Not War” Mike Zito is to enthuse again with a loud-blast of blues-rock. Mike manifests again that he’s not only hell of a powerful singer and guitar-virtuoso, but also an intelligent songwriter with ambitious content and by the sound-title he’s absolutely right: People should also enjoy their lives by blues-rockin’ music to set them free for positivity from the daily bad, horrifying and often manipulated news.
The opener “Highway Mama” is a dynamite blues-rocker with Walter Trout as special guest. The guitar-slinger jam to duel is the absolute highlight, besides maestro Zito’s canto by exuding vitality. Tom Hambidge on drums and Tommy Macdonald are providing superbe rhythm grooves. Phenomenal sortilege opener! “Wasted Time” as second tune is a tremendous blues-rock’n-rolla. Mike lets his bottleneck do the wizardry by slidin’ down the guitar bar with hellish fervidity. Guitar freaks will get luminous eyes by the axe-artistry “Red Bird”. A song that would fit also a jam by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix in heaven. Mike proves that he also loves heavy hard-rock the Van Halen style with a buckshot of blues by “Crazy Legs”. Mike proves that he is even more dexterous than good ole Eddie. The title-track “Make Blues Not War” is a slide-solo culmination by MZ besides his vocals to hex and featuring additionally chili-hot blues-harp plays by Jason Ricci. By “Bad News” coming it’s time for some modern Chicago blues. Mike loves Louisiana and its swamps; “One More Train To Ride” is by sound his dedication to the Mississippi bayou state. “Road Dog” is the sensitive, blues-ballad to hoodoo by Mike as storyteller about his life on the road with a sensational guitar-solo intensified by Kevin McEndree on B3 organ. “Route 90” concludes the cd as red-hot honky-tonkin’ blues’n-rolla” the Nawlinz kick-ass-style. This song will definitely make your day by the goodtime spirit.
Grammy award winner Tom Hambridge has provided the high-fidelity and thunderous sound-production and also proves what dynamite, versatile drummer he is on seven songs. Perfect, atmospheric recording facility was the Soundstage-Studio in Nashville.
“Make Blues Not War” one of the top ten notch cd’s & Mike Zito a hot candidate as “Blues-Artist & Guitarist Of The Year 2016”! A glorious must-buy for music-devotees of all styles. It will after first listening definitely be in hot-rotation in your players.
Mike Zito – vocals, guitar
Tom Hambridge – drums
Tommy Macdonald – bass
Rob McNelley –guitar
Walter Trout – “Highway Mama”
Jason Ricci – ”Make Blues Not War” & “One More Train”
Kevin McEndree – B3 Organ & piano.
Zach Zito – “Chip Of The Block”
Mike Zito is to enthuse with his new release ”Keep Coming Back”, a glorious publication again with the outstanding Ruf Records label. The Wheel are his phenomenal and well-rehearsed band again.
“Keep Coming Back” as title track and opener is a hellacious blues-rocker the Texas Style. Mike is singing ever so magically strong to keep the devil away from him and his bottleneck makes his axe-fretboard to be fiery by his slide-solos. Rob Lee on drums and Scott Sutherland as dynamite rhythm-section are providing a knucklebone groove. All the freaks in the mood to twist and shout get your feet in motion by the consecutive boogie-blues “Chin Up”. After so much musical speed Mister Zito grants his devotees by “Get Busy Listening” a little pause to have some bourbon on ice or with coke to refresh, haha. He proves by the melodies and chant that he is also a starry singer and songwriter. By “Early In The Morning” Mike testifies that a hooky country-blues has not to be created in Nashville or Austin, the matter is a creative mastermind. “I Was Drunk” is a beautiful, shiny bayou blues and a cooperation starring his friend Anders Osborne. A reminiscence to his bad, inglorious days which he luckily left behind and is sober for over than 12 years. “Girl From Liberty” can be entitled a homage song to the unforgettable Willy Deville, a song with a strollin’ Mexican twang. “Get Out Of A Denver” following is a hot rock’n-blues’n-roller and Mike and honky-tonkin’ keyboarder Lewis Stephens are dueling musically. “Nothin’ But The Truth” has a lambent attitude and maestro Zito is “The Glimmer Twins” in unity by his chant and guitar-riffs. The spice-up is provided by one of the hottest saxophonists of the universe mister Jimmy Carpenter. “What’s On Your Mind” is a beautiful ballad for lovers in whatever season you are. In winter it sets your heart on red heat and in affection and desire for your partner. “Bootleg” is already the final cracker; a song from “The Big Easy” conglomerating its historic musical origins from the French and Spanish invaders and populationwith a heavy buckshot of funky provided by Jimmy on sax, “rock till you drop” by Scott & Rob and off course the hoodoo-sorcerer Mike on guitar and hot voice.
Trina Shoemaker has done hell of a job as producer, absolutely stunning sound!
“Keep Coming Back” definitely a hot deal as gift and for Santa Clause’s and the reindeers Christmas blues’n-boogieyin’ sleigh-ride in 2015*****
Mike Zito – vocals, electric and acoustic and guitars
Jimmy Carpenter -saxophones, vocals
Lewis Stephens – piano, organ, Wurlitzer, Rhodes
Rob Lee – drums
Scott Sutherland – bass guitars
Trina Shoemaker – Percussion
Anders Osborne – vocals and guitars (track 5)
Suze Simms – background vocals
Riley Zito – background vocals (tracks 4 and 12)
David Farrell – background vocals (track 12)
Maison De La Blues*****