Blues Underground Network
Mike Zito "Greyhound"
Hailing out of St. Louis, Missouri, Mike Zito's immersion into music started at the very young age of 5, an age when he not only started singing, but also performing. Mike's love for guitar also started at a young age, with the catalyst being him receiving a Van Halen record for one of his birthdays, which along with the good fortune of having a popular guitar shop which attracted greats such as Chuck Berry, to name a few, Mike, now fresh out of high school, was starting to develop a his own style of playing.
Mike Zito's hit the St.Louis music scene at the age of only 19, further intensifying not only his Guitar style, but also his singing, songwriting and stage presence. Mike's first few albums were not far off, with the 1996 release of “Blue Room” "which included raw and funky songs “Hollywood” and “Pull the Trigger”", and his 1999 Sophomore release “America’s Most Wanted”, an album which "his pop sensibilities and intense guitar work". "America’s Most Wanted" was also the album in which Mike first tried out his songwriting skills.
With all the good things fame was bringing, Mike Zito also found he was being dragged down with some of fames darker side, which included, "a crazed schedule and lifestyle, drugs and alcohol" that "took their effect on him". Wise words, from Walter Trout, whom had been down that dark road himself, and the meeting of the woman who would later become his wife, had the needed effect, and Mike was eventually able to turn his life around and point it in the right direction. Now with the necessary real life experiences, Mike Zito was able to truly grow as an artist, especially a singer and songwriter. Continued honing of his craft came from not only being influenced by many of the greats music, but by also having the opportunity to perform, as well, with many greats, such as, "Chuck Berry, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tab Benoit, Walter Trout, Bernard Allison, Coco Montoya, Joe Bonamassa and many more". "Greyhound", Mike Zito's 10th Album overall and his 3rd release for Eclecto Groove Records, continues to show us all, that he has no intention of slowing down on the road that will certainly, one day, take him to legendary status.
Referred to as Bluesy Americana, "Greyhound" consists of 11 Tracks, of which Mike Zito is credited with writing 9 and co-writing 2, one with Gary Nicholson ("Judgment Day") and one with Anders Osborne ("Show Me The Way"). In addition to Mike Zito doing Vocals and Guitar, he is joined by Carl Dufrene (Bass/Vocals), Brady Blade (Drums/Vocals), and Anders Osborne (Guitar/Back-Up Vocals). Anders Osborne, whom also happens to be a "Grammy Award winning guitarist/singer/songwriter" also produced "Greyhound" and as such, continues his work with Mike Zito, as he did with Mike's 2 previous releases.
With "Greyhound", Mike Zito once again stays close to not only his roots, which are buried deep in Americana, but also close to his passion as a storyteller and songwriter. Gifted as he is, when it comes to the Guitar, Mike Zito does not allow that to be his focal point with his music. It is the songs that he sings and the intensity and honestly in which he sings them, that has defined and continues to define Mike as an artist. Mike Zito is able to search deep inside himself and come up with material that although, it is part of his personal journey, it still is able to strike a chord as being something that a few of us have also experienced and if we have not experienced, we still are able to understand.
"Greyhound" was just packed with favorites for me and really was joy to listen. It surely is not an album that one could easily stop listening to fully, once it is started. From the gritty determination of the vocals on the title Track "Greyhound", one which gave me a vague similarity to Jackson Browne's "Running On Empty", to the heart string pulling last Track "Hello Midnight", Mike Zito simply bares his soul and his love of music and in doing so, he captivates us into the realm of his shear honesty of craft.
Like a bus that never really stops, "Greyhound" shows us that the path Mike Zito has chosen, is far from over and continues to build excitement for what lies ahead for the many fans he has added and continues to attract, on his journey.
"Greyhound" gets my highest rating of 5*****. A superb album, certainly equal to an perhaps better then any of his previous work. Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed...
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1. Roll on 4:06
2. Greyhound 5:00
3. Judgment Day 5:44
4. Show Me The Way 4:14
5. The Hard Way 4:32
6. Motel Blues 3:54
7. Stay 5:31
8. Until The Day I Die 4:15
9. Hello Midnight 3:52
10. The Southern Side 3:59
11. Please, Please, Please 5:25
Listen To Samples Here...