Mike Zito wins two Blues Music Awards at The Blues Foundation’s 42nd Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN.
Zito wins BMA in the categories of Blues Rock Artist as well as Blues Rock Album of the Year for Mike Zito and Friends – Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry
Blues-Rock Guitar Master Mike Zito Delivers a Resurrection on New CD
Coming July 16 from Gulf Coast Records/Hillside Global
Nederland, TX –With numerous Blues Music Award honors under his belt, Mike Zito, co-owner of Texas-based Gulf Coast Records (which has birthed a number of critically-acclaimed blues/rock albums since its 2018 inception), will release his new album with Hillside Global, Resurrection, which is set to hit July 16. Resurrection will be available for pre-order on May 21st at mikezito.com.
Producing the new disc is the celebrated Grammy-winner David Z, best known for his long-standing work with Prince, and who has contributed to albums by Etta James, Billy Idol, BoDeans, Buddy Guy and John Mayall, among many others.
“I have songs in me and musical ideas all of the time,” volunteers Mike Zito about the new album’s genesis. “I write what I can, when I can and try to save it all for posterity. Some of the songs are just songs and they don’t always have meaning for me, and some of them become very personal. For me to sing songs and feel them with real emotion, they need to be somewhat personal. Even songs I did not write, I need to feel they explain a part of my thinking or how I am feeling about love, sex, life, death, the world…. Resurrection is an album of feelings, emotions, and is very personal. The title track is how I once almost lost my love, but it came back stronger than ever. I have had this song in me for years, but it only makes sense now to share it with the world. After the year we have had on planet Earth, I believe we all need a rebirth. This rebirth has given me an opportunity to be who I want to be musically and artistically.”
Joining Zito (vocals, guitar) on his new musical journey are many musicians who’ve played with him for the last several years, including: Matthew Johnson – drums; Doug Byrkit - bass guitar; Lewis Stephens – piano, organ; Zach Zito - acoustic guitar; Lisa Andersen - backing vocals; Eric Demmer - Saxophone; and Fernando Castillo - Trumpet.
The 11 tracks on Resurrection not only showcase Zito’s strengths as a composer, with eight original songs that sparkle, but also as an interpreter of other compositions, with scintillating and powerful takes on tunes from JJ Cale (“I’ll Make Love To You”), Eric Clapton (“Presence of the Lord”) and Willie Dixon (“Evil”).
“I wrote and recorded the music I felt strongest about and I wanted to share it with the world,” Zito says.” I played my guitar the way I want to play my guitar, not the way anyone says I am supposed to play my guitar. I sang the way I wanted to sing - in my voice with my emotions. I had David Z produce for me again after a few years apart. We have now worked on seven albums together and I believe he understands my music and helped me to shape this album to be strong in the year 2021. This is an album that requires deep listening from beginning to end. The album cover art is an original painting by an amazing South Korean Artist, Yool Kim. She has captured the feeling of soul and light at the end of struggle. I am excited for people to hear this music. I believe it is a wonderful album of songs, stories, and sonic waves of electric guitar that convey darkness before the dawn. I am once again excited about love and life and music.”
💥 Mike Zito has been nominated for two Blue Music Awards! Mike has been nominated for BLUES ROCK ARTIST and his album "Rock 'n' Roll: A Tribute To Chuck Berry" for BLUES ROCK ALBUM.
🗳 Voting opens on January 28 and closes March 12 at 11:59 pm CT. Only members of The Blues Foundation can vote for the Blues Music Awards. Visit www.BLUES.org and click on “Join” to learn about membership.
On November 13, 2020, Gulf Coast Records will release A Gulf Coast Christmas. A Gulf Coast Christmas contains 16 tracks of beloved Christmas covers as well as original Christmas tunes by the label’s talented and diverse artists. This blues holiday album features 18 Gulf Coast Records artists including Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia, Kat Riggins, The Proven Ones, Mark May, Diana Rein, John "Blues' Boyd, Lisa and Kid Andersen, Kevin Burt, LeRoux, Jimmy Carpenter, Billy Price, Sayer & Joyce, Thomas Atlas, Tony Campanella, and Odds Lane.
A Gulf Coast Christmas will be your favorite holiday album for years to come!!
A Gulf Coast Christmas releases worldwide on Nov.13th, but if you pre-order here you will receive your copy EARLY. This cd will come signed by Mike Zito AND you will get a FREE copy of Quarantine Blues!!
Mike Zito, "Looking Out This Window" from the new album "Quarantine Blues" on Gulf Coast Records.
Of the album "Quarantine Blues" Zito says, “While flying home from Europe after all of our tours being cancelled, I decided the band and myself would record a free album for our fans. Individually we have been quarantined for 14 days and this idea of writing, producing and releasing an album in the 14 day period seemed like quite an effort and a distraction for us. In return fans from around the world contributed to our Gofundme and it has been an amazingingly rewarding experience.
I hope our fans enjoy the album and the music we have written. I followed no rules, I wrote what I was feeling regardless of style or genre and used my feelings of fear, hope, love and rebelliousness to fuel my creativity.
I have collaborations with LA Guns and Guns n Roses founding member, Tracii Guns on the song ‘Don’t Touch Me’ and several songwriting efforts with my label partner Guy Hale. I left the ‘rules’ on the floor and followed my heart.
I think these are some of the best songs I have written in years.”
Quarantine Blues is now available in its entirety, absolutely FREE via SoundCloud.
Video for “Don’t Let the World Get Down” was created by Zach Zito.
Don't Let The World Get You Down
"I had been playing with these 3 chords and this title for a month leading up to this life changing event. I knew I liked the simple melody and meaning behind the saying. Little did I know the world would literally change in the next 30 days. When I got home and began my quarantine, this is the first song I wrote and it wrote itself in minutes. I am so proud my son Zach stepped in and created a music video that shares the emotion of this song. I truly hope people will hear the song and follow the advice I have been giving myself Don't let the world get you down......"
Many of my musician friends are out of work during this pandemic.
Not just a little out of work, completely out of work.
Not everyone is comfortable asking for assistance or maybe tech savvy to do online shows or streaming. This is all VERY new to everyone.
I started a "Quarantine Blues" recording project to help feed my family and truly help my band members who were coming home with nothing after a large cancelled tour. The band and I have committed 10 original songs available for free to the world and in return we were given much needed support from our fans and the Blues community.
Now, we are extending this campaign to our large Blues community.
We are asking artists that are in need of assistance to contribute a song for this project and in return we are going to try and raise $1000 each for the artist and their band members. We feel this is a time of need,
but we want to give back with what we do best - music.
We have a list of musicians and bands that are in serious need right now and they are going to each contribute new music to the project.
We will announce an artist and band in need and once the amount of money has been reached, we will then announce a new artist and band...and so on.
PLEASE if you are a working, professional Blues genre musician that is out of work and in need and would be interested - please contact Mike Zito or Nick Moss to get on the list.
PLEASE if you can share - share what you can - if you cannot share financially, please share the campaign with your family and friends.
We are hopeful that the end result here will be hours of new and wonderful music that can help us all come closer and ease some
anxiety and give a little hope.
Mike Zito and Nick Moss
Well, like many musicians, our tour has been shattered. We are flying home from Europe with only a handful of the 30 shows we were scheduled to perform. The band and myself included will be hurting financially for the next month or so and we are all 4 facing a 14 day quarantine starting Monday March 16th. So I have decided to write, record, mix and master an album while I am quarantined in my recording studio. I will write the songs and record the demo parts and send them to the members of my band who will record their individual instruments at their homes where they are quarantined and then send the parts back to me where I will mix the final recordings and master the album at my studio. Our goal is to be as creative as possible and complete a timely, entertaining blues album and offer it to you in 14 days, the full quarantine term. This recording will not be available via distribution, or on ITunes or Amazon, it will only be available through my website for download or cd. Every dollar you give to this project will go directly to myself and my band members: Matt Johnson, Doug Byrkit and Lewis Stephens. It is solely to offset the loss of our current tour and make creative use of our quarantine. This process will begin Monday March 16 and be completed on March 30th for your listening pleasure. I will post live videos of the process and let you share in the experience. We will offer some very special opportunities for those who can give more and give this music to the world in return. We know it’s crazy right now and we don’t feel right begging for your assistance when those in more need may require help. So we wanted to offer you something special for your support. Something that is real and right now. We are musicians and that’s what we do, we create and perform music, so we will make music for you and anything in return will be much appreciated. God bless and please be safe!
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!