MIKE ZITO AND FRIENDS
ROCK 'N' ROLL: A TRIBUTE TO CHUCK BERRY
DROPS NOV. 1st ON RUF RECORDS
Zito’s upcoming album -- his 16th -- due this November on Ruf Records and descriptively titled Rock N Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry, finds him broadening his boundaries still further even as it marks a return to his roots. The album consists of 20 Chuck Berry classics performed by Zito and an impressive array of 21 guest guitarists, among them Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout, Eric Gales, Robben Ford, Richard Fortus, Sonny Landreth, Luther Dickinson, Albert Castiglia, Anders Osborne, and significantly, Chuck’s grandson, Charlie Berry III.
“This was a very special project for me,” Zito says. “I was born and raised in St. Louis, I lived there for 32 years, home of Chuck Berry. I worked at a small musical instrument store where his drummer also happened to be employed. Chuck’s son would drop by on occasion as did Chuck himself a few times. Johnny Johnson came to that store and taught me piano licks. I was fortunate enough to open for and play with Chuck Berry on occasion at the Duck Room. He was an icon, and rightfully so. I’ve been playing his songs since I was a kid. Needless to say, he was a tremendous influence on my career, and, of course, on many other musicians’ as well.”
Produced by Zito himself, the album was recorded at his own Marz Studio and mixed and mastered by David Farrell. “We recorded the basic tracks and then sent them to each guest musician,” Zito recalls. “They added their contributions and then sent the files back to us. The process took a year to complete.”
On Rock N Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry, Mike Zito does what he does best, make an album that’s humble, heartfelt, skilled and sublime....and, to paraphrase Chuck himself, letting it rock all at the same time.
🎸Rock N Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry
• St Louis Blues
Charlie Berry III (Chuck's grandson)
• Back In The USA
• Johnny B Goode
• Monkey Business
• You Never Can Tell
• Rock N Roll Music
• Promised Land
• Reeling and Rocking
• Schools Days
• No Particular Place To Go
• Downbound Train
Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Richard Fortus (Guns n Roses)
• Havana Moon
• Thirty Days
• Brown Eyed Handsome Man
Josh Smith / Kirk Fletcher
• Wee Wee Hours
• I Want To Be Your Driver
• My Ding-a-Ling
• Let It Rock
TRADING SOLOS : BLUES ROCK
Interactive Video Jam Session with TrueFire Artist Mike Zito
There’s no better way to put your skills to work and improve as a guitarist than jamming with other players. When you’re comping for another soloist, you not only improving your rhythm chops, you’re also picking up on new licks and ideas from their solos. When they comp for you, it’s a great opportunity to try out your own improvisational ideas inspired by the groove that the rhythm section is laying down.
In this edition of trading solos with Mike Zito, you’ll jam together over 5 blues rock backing tracks in a variety of keys and feels. Mike will share gear tips, techniques, and approaches to help you get a great blues rock sound. For each of the five grooves, Mike will also teach you a handful of licks and comping approaches that you can use. Then you’ll take turns applying those ideas, by soloing and comping for each other over the backing tracks.
”We guitarists spend a lot of time working on new licks and chords trying to work out our phrasing and comping chops, but nothing makes it all come together better than jamming with other musicians - especially when you can work with another guitarist. When we jam, we get the real feel of these licks and chords and how they work best in an actual musical setting. In this course, we'll jam together over 5 different blues rock grooves and different keys. I'll show you my rhythm ideas and my lead approach, and then we can take turns backing each other up with the backing tracks. You'll get the chance to play rhythm behind my licks and then I'll do the same for you. Grab your axe and let's jam!”
Grab your guitar and let’s trade solos with Mike Zito!
TRADING SOLOS: with MIKE ZITO
BLUES ROCK EDITION
20 Year Anniversary!
The debut album that blew up the ’90s blues scene. The songs that announced the touchdown of a major new talent. In modern times, as an established solo star and former member of the globally acclaimed Royal Southern Brotherhood, Mike Zito’s reputation precedes him. But turn back the clocks. Rewind the film reels. Slip through the wormhole to 1998, when a 27-year-old punk kid took his first shot in the studio. “Blue Room,” he reflects, “is the beginning of me becoming an artist.”
Released by: Ruf Records
Release date: November 16, 2018
20th Anniversary Remastered Edition
FIRST CLASS LIFE
Mike Zito's new album
on Ruf Records!
Blues-rock is a tightrope – and Mike Zito has never lost his footing. At times in his storied two-decade career, the Texas bandleader has rolled up the amps and rocked as hard as anyone. Yet his lifelong fascination with the blues has always reeled him back in. And now, having shaken the rafters with 2016’s acclaimed Make Blues Not War, First Class Life finds Mike diving deep into the only genre that can do justice to his hard-won true stories of hardship and redemption. “Make Blues” was pretty extreme and rocking,” he reflects. “This time, I was definitely thinking more blues.”
Released in 2018 on Ruf Records, First Class Life is a fitting album title from a man who has known glory – both in his solo career and US supergroup the Royal Southern Brotherhood – but he also remembers the hard times. “The title track is a nod to where I’ve come from and where I’m at,” explains the songwriter whose promising early career was almost destroyed by addiction. “It’s a rags-to-riches story, and it’s true. I grew up poor in St. Louis, and now I'm travelling the world to sing my songs.” And what music. On his 15th album, Mike’s socially charged observations and candid soul-searching have never been sharper. There’s the punchy call-to-arms of Time For A Change and the exquisite ‘one-note’ slow-blues, The World We Live In. The electrified blues bounce of Dying Day swears lifelong allegiance to his wife, while the sinister Old Black Graveyard growls with Hendrix-esque flourishes.
Yet the record’s darker moments are offset by cuts like Mama Don't Like No Wah Wah, the crash-bang-wallop gem written with Bernard Allison. “Bernard told me about his first gig as guitarist for Koko Taylor,” laughs Mike. “Koko didn’t like any effects on the guitar, she wanted it to sound natural. When Bernard made an attempt to use an effect on his guitar after playing with her for months, he got caught. ‘Mama don't like no wah wah’ is what he was told. That’s a song to me!”
Of course, the most captivating story of all is the dazzling upward curve of Mike Zito’s unfolding career. In 2018, First Class Life doesn’t just capture the past glories and setbacks – it points a signpost at the peaks to come. “With this album,” he concludes, “I had this idea of ‘stepping up’. I want the world to know I can play this music with conviction and style. I think it’s really the next step…”
Released by: Ruf Records
Release date: May 11, 2018
Rock Blues Artist of the Year
39th Annual Blues Music Awards!