Brand new on ElectoGroove Records comes this cross genre release from Mike Zito, entitled “Today” the CD truly defies all
categorization. At times bluesy, at times more country and always with elements of rock, americana and blue-eyed soul thrown in for good measure. Raw this ain’t. Zito’s band features a veritable who’s who of top drawer sidemen but always Zito’s vocals and bluesy guitar are at the forefront.
Zito is young and talented. Fusing traditional ideas into a contemporary package. He was born in St Louis first began singing and performing at the age of five.
The CD kicks off with “Love Like This” with a soul tinged country feel that shows the extremely high production values that typify the ElectoGroove label. The rhythm is held throughout country-style by the strumming acoustic guitar but there is a most uncountrified guitar solo in the middle. That really sets out the stall for the whole CD. Truly genre busting. However all through the release Mike’s sweet vocals are in evidence, sugar sweet and lovely in the more laid back tunes up to a full throated gruffness for the more lively numbers. Evidence of the genre busting nature is ably demonstrated in the beautiful jazzy country-like cover of the Prince classic “Little Red Corvette”
The bluesiest track and hence the one most likely to interest bluesinthenorthwest.com readers is “Slow It Down” a minor keyed blues with a twist.
The highlights for me were “Holding Out For Love” a sad song of love gone bad featuring an almost Dave Gilmour-like guitar solo. “Blinded” has a latin-tinged, almost Doobie Brothers groove going on. However, the clear standout for me is the funky “Hollywood” that tells us all about the perils of living in this famous Californian location - this song features the catchiest guitar hook that I have heard this month and really stays with you long after the strains of the final tune, a very sweet “Time to Go Home”, have died away.
So if you like your soul with a dash of blues, your funk countrified and you like modern, excellent songs written played and sung by a class act then look this CD up.
Mike Zito Releases New Blues-Rock Album "Today" On May 20
Los Angeles, CA-May 12, 2008-Eclecto Groove Records is proud to announce the release of singer/songwriter/guitar player Mike Zito’s national debut release, Today on May 20, 2008.
On Today, Zito has teamed up with Grammy Award-winning producer David Z. (Prince, Etta James) and a lineup of studio musicians that includes bassist James "Hutch" Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs, Joe Cocker); Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch keyboardist Benmont Tench; co-producer/drummer Tony Braunagel (Taj Mahal, B.B. King) and percussionist Michito Sanchez (Nelly Furtado, Steve Winwood). Also appearing on Today are Joe Sublett (saxophone), Darrell Leonard (trumpet), Mitch Kashmar (harmonica) with Teresa James and Ce Ce Bullard (background vocals). Featuring Zito's powerful original songs about love, compassion and respect, (along with his unique spin on Prince's "Little Red Corvette"), his richly expressive vocals and intense solo guitar work, Today takes the listener on a journey into the mind and heart of this gifted artist.
"A blazing guitarist who possesses a warm and expressive vocal style" (Bill Blankenship/Capital-Journal).”
Mike Zito grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and now calls Southeast Texas his home. Growing up in St. Louis, it didn't take long for him to discover his instrument of choice - electric guitar - after receiving a Van Halen record for his birthday. His education and journey were just starting - little did he know he would find himself among legendary musicians at a local guitar shop just out of high school. "Everyone from Chuck Berry to Bennie Smith came in that store," Zito shares of his experience. "I soaked up the sounds of that store and began building my own style."
His first independent release arrived in 1996, titled Blue Room, which included raw and funky songs. His songwriting experience would break through on his sophomore release titled America's Most Wanted in 1999. This album shares his pop sensibilities and intense guitar work.
He found his true sound from all his experiences, new and old, and released his fourth album, Superman in 2006. Touted as "Soulful pop" by critics, Zito's formative influences blend with musical heroes and legends including Prince, Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, and many others. Zito's journey has lead him to sharing the stage with artists such as Chuck Berry, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tab Benoit, Walter Trout, and many more.
In 2007, Mike Zito's path crossed with Randy Chortkoff of Delta Groove Music. Within months, Zito signed a deal with Chortkoff's label Eclecto Groove Records and booking agency Rick Booth/Intrepid Artists. With Mike Zito's national debut release Today due in stores on May 20, 2008, a new chapter of Mike Zito's life is unfolding. Mike Zito has only begun to scratch the musical surface.
01. LOVE LIKE THIS (4:44)
02. SUPERMAN (3:28)
03. HOLDING OUT FOR LOVE (4:34)
04. LITTLE RED CORVETTE (3:53)
05. UNIVERSE (6:57)
06. BLINDED (3:31)
07. SLOW IT DOWN (4:47)
08. TODAY (3:41)
09. NO BIG CITY (4:13)
10. DEEP DOWN IN LOVE (4:09)
11. DIRTY THINGS (4:05)
12. HOLLYWOOD (3:19)
13. TIME TO GO HOME (5:27)
About Mike Zito
Singer, guitarist and songwriter Mike Zito grew up in St. Louis, immersed in the gritty and soulful
sounds of the city’s south side that would provide the groundwork for his future in music. He
began singing and performing at the age of five, received his first guitar not long afterward, and
music has been his guiding force ever since. Working at a local guitar shop after high school, he
encountered many of the legends of the local music scene. “Everyone from Chuck Berry to
[bluesman] Bennie Smith came in that store,” Zito says of his experience. “I soaked up the sounds
of that store, and began building my own style.”
Zito’s journey took off in earnest at the age of 19, when he began making a name for himself as a
unique new voice on the highly competitive St. Louis music scene. His first independent CD
release, “Blue Room”, which included his raw and funky original crowd-pleasers “Hollywood”
and “Pull the Trigger”, appeared in 1996. Zito’s songwriting and performing experience
continued to develop with his sophomore release, “America’s Most Wanted”, in 1999. This album
showcased his wide-ranging pop sensibilities and fiery guitar work; the songs "Crazy People",
"Deal Me In" and his own interpretation of Elton John’s classic "Rocket Man" helped pave the
way towards bringing Zito to a national audience.
His incessant touring schedule found him crisscrossing the country playing everywhere from
funky roadhouses to major festival stages to an international tour for the USO, and performing in
front of enthusiastic crowds six nights a week around St. Louis when not on the road. During this
period of intense music making Zito began to hone and polish his art, developing a breathtaking
level of virtuosity and a unique expressive voice with both his singing and guitar playing, while at
the same time stripping away the non-essential elements and cutting to the core of what moved a
live audience. But throwing himself headfirst into the pursuit of his art had a toll, and Zito paid
it. The non-stop lifestyle led to a dark and dangerous period during which Zito came close to
drinking and drugging away all that he’d worked so hard to establish. It took time, but thankfully,
with the help and intervention of friends and supporters in the music business, loved ones, and
the woman who would become his wife, Zito regained his faith in himself and his music, cleaned
up his act, and settled down in Southeast Texas to begin anew.
With a clean slate, a fresh outlook, and a new dedication to his music, Zito now also had a
message of positivity and redemption that has informed his new music with a deeper meaning
and taken it to an entirely new level. His CD “Slow It Down” was released in 2004, and included
the moving autobiographical originals “Long Dark Road,” “Change My Ways,” and the title track,
as Zito examined and shared the experiences he’d learned from. He formed a solid new band and
began performing full-time again, playing over 250 shows in 2005, and approaching his life and
his music with a new vigor. “Music can change everything…how you feel, how you see, and what
you believe,” Zito explains.
Zito’s new sound further coalesced with the release of his fourth independent CD, “Superman” in
2006. His varied influences such as Prince, Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray
Vaughan, and B.B. King, as well as more recent ones like John Mayer, blend with Zito’s
completely original voice to create an appealing, broad-based hybrid of soulful roots and
contemporary pop that is as profound as it is catchy.
In 2007, fate intervened and Zito crossed paths with a kindred spirit who also had turned his life
around and made the most of it, Delta Groove Music chief Randy Chortkoff. Zito and Chortkoff
immediately hit it off, and before long had inked a recording deal with Chortkoff’s Eclecto Groove
Records label, as well as with Rick Booth of Intrepid Artists for representation. “There is
something in Zito’s music that went straight to my heart that goes way beyond his incredible
talent as a musician…it’s that his music has such a message of positivity and hope. That’s
universal, and when you pair that up with music that appeals on so many levels simply as great
contemporary music, it makes Mike Zito a guy who truly deserves to be heard. I’m very proud to
have him on board,” says Chortkoff.
With all the pieces in place, the time is right for Mike Zito to break through as a major voice on
the contemporary music scene. His debut release on Eclecto Groove, “Today”, is currently being
readied for release. Produced by the ‘dream team’ of David Z (Prince, Big Head Todd, Etta
James), Tony Braunagel (Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Burden), and Randy Chortkoff, “Today”
showcases Zito’s music in a distinctly contemporary setting, without any gimmicks or artifice.
The producers perfectly captured the earthy essence and intimacy of Zito’s voice, and the driving
intensity of his music, creating a recording that sounds simultaneously comfortable and familiar,
and brand new and original. Zito’s original material has never been stronger; songs like “Today”,
“Holding Out For Love” and “Superman” would mesh perfectly with the playlists at any Hot AC or
Triple A format radio station, while the strutting “No Big City” and “Hollywood” won’t disappoint
long-time fans from his hard-rocking days. And Zito’s sensitive, acoustic cover of the Prince
classic “Little Red Corvette” will have listeners who are familiar with the song hearing it in a
whole new light.
Zito is that rare new artist who completely in synch with the contemporary music scene, while at
the same time having a lifetime’s worth of experience to draw from that informs his music with
soul, depth, and lasting appeal that grows with repeated listening. And thanks to his alliance with
Eclecto Groove, it looks like “Today” is the day for Mike Zito.
Zito - "Holding Out For Love" (LIVE)
Mike Zito Live @ BB's in St Louis.
The new album, "Today" out May 20th on Eclecto Groove Records