Gulf Coast Records
is proud to announce the November 17 release of Blood Brothers: Live in Canada, an album which perfectly captures all the excitement and blues/rock energy created by the dynamic duo of guitarists Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia on their recent Blood Brothers Tour, featured in an intimate setting that transports listeners to front row seats for all the action. Blood Brothers Live in Canada was recorded at Blue Frog Studios, White Rock, British Columbia, Canada, on May 19 and 20, 2023. The new album was produced by Mike Zito and mastered by Kid Andersen.
– : gulfcoastrecords.net
“Our shows in White Rock were full of energy and fire,” Mike Zito says about the recording. “Blue Frog Studios set an exceptional vibe for the task at hand. Albert and the band were seriously on that night; I felt really good about it.” Adds Albert Castiglia: “The stars were aligned that night in White Rock: the perfect room, perfect acoustics, an amazing audience and incendiary playing by everyone in the band. We’ve had a lot of shows like that, but very few have been captured on tape. It had to be shared with the world. It was a night to remember!”�
The band for those nights consisted of Mike Zito – vocals/guitars; Albert Castiglia – vocals/guitars; Doug Byrkit – bass guitar; Matt Johnson – drums/percussion; Ephraim Lowell – drums/percussion; and Lewis Stephens – piano/organ.
The track listing for Blood Brothers Live in Canada album includes 10 live versions of songs that were originally included on the duo’s Blood Brothers studio album released to great international critical acclaim on Gulf Coast Records. That disc was produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith and proceeded to top both the Billboard and iTunes blues charts after its release in March, 2023. Augmenting those tracks are searing live covers of Zito’s “Gone to Texas,” the title track of his 2013 CD released on Ruf Records; and a blistering take on the Neil Young Classic, “Rockin’ in the Free World,” which closes the new album out in grand style.
Blood Brothers: Live in Canada – Track Listing and Songwriting Credits�
1. Hey Sweet Mama (Mike Zito)�
2. Tooth and Nail (Tinsley Ellis)�
3. In My Soul (Mike Zito)
4. Food Never Learns (Fred James)
5. A Thousand Heartaches (Albert Castiglia)
6. No Good Woman (Mike Zito)
7. My Business (John Hiatt)
8. Hill Country Jam (Mike Zito, Josh Smith)
9. You’re Gonna Burn (Fred James, Berry Hill)
10. Bag Me, Tag Me, Take Me Away (Graham Wood Drout)
11. Gone To Texas (Mike Zito)
12. Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young, Franks Sampedro)
Blues-Rock Guitar Master Mike Zito Delivers a Resurrection on New CD Coming July 16 from Gulf Coast Records/Hillside Global
Album Produced by Grammy Winner David Z
Nederland, TX –With numerous Blues Music Award honors under his belt,
, 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
, 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 R. Johnson – drums;
– bass guitar; Lewis Stephens – piano, organ; Zach Zito – acoustic guitar; Eric Demmer – Saxophone, Fernando Castillo – Trumpet, Lisa Leuschner 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’s last CD, Quarantine Blues, was recorded during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and served as a healing love letter to his fans around the world that heralded better days ahead if we’d all just stick together. His album prior to that was a tribute to fellow St. Louis native and rock ‘n’ roll legend, Chuck Berry, and featured an array of guest guitarists ranging from Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Eric Gales, to Robben Ford, Luther Dickinson and Sonny Landreth, as well as Berry’s own grandson.
Mike Zito is one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today and rightfully so, but for him, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.
“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders (Osborne) told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff; I try to make every word count.”
Naturally, patience and perseverance have been Zito’s stock and trade since the beginning. He began playing guitar at the age of five, and by the time he reached his late teens, he was already a fixture on the local St. Louis music scene. He initially released his music independently and then signed with Eclecto Groove Records in 2008. “Pearl River,” the title track of his 2009 album for the label, won Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and marked his first collaboration with Cyril Neville, with whom he’d later work in the Royal Southern Brotherhood. A steady succession of critically acclaimed albums followed, culminating in 2011’s Greyhound, which was nominated for Best Rock Blues Album at that year’s Blue Music Awards ceremony in Memphis. Two years later, he signed with Ruf Records and released Gone to Texas, the story of how he gained his sobriety, offered an emotional homage to the state that left an indelible imprint on his entire life. It also marked the debut of his band, The Wheel.
From 2010 to 2014, Zito also played an integral role in the super group of sorts, Royal Southern Brotherhood. The group released two albums and a DVD, Songs from the Road – Live in Germany, winner of the year’s Blues Music Award for Best DVD. He also made his mark behind the boards by producing albums for Samantha Fish, Albert Castiglia, Ally Venable, Jeremiah Johnson, Jimmy Carpenter, and many others.
Meanwhile, the accolades kept coming. His album, Make Blues Not War, debuted on the Billboard Blues Album Chart at number one and garnered him recognition as the 2018 Rock Blues Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards. First Class Life followed suit, also entering the charts at number one. Alternate Root magazine insisted that “The First Class Life that Mike Zito titles his upcoming album can be heard in the sweet sound of Blue Soul rising like heat waves from his guitar and his vocal.” American Blues Scene said, “Mike Zito’s return to the blues is, in a word, triumphant!” No Depression declared, “Once again, Zito has delivered the goods, a first class package with no postage due.”
Michael Zito Guy Hale
Mark Pucci Media
Joan A Mallotides
Oliver Overton Michelle Castiglia
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Reviewing a recent show in Pittsburgh by blues-rock guitarist/vocalist Mike Zito, Rock and Blues Muse writes, “taking the stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd, Zito greeted the room, telling the audience that he and the band would be presenting material from the new album, plus some old favorites. With that, they went into the first two songs on First Class Life– “Mississippi Nights” and the title track, “First Class Life,” which has been getting air-time on terrestrial and satellite radio. Both songs featured Zito’s vocals and slide playing in true form. His band of top-tier Texas session and stage players (all of whom appear on the new album) – bassist & backing vocalist Terry Dry, drummer & backing vocalist Matthew Johnson and veteran keyboardist Lewis Stephens (who has worked with Freddie King and Delbert McClinton, as Zito declared) were a perfect groove-producing machine.” #FirstClassLife #RufRecords#BluesTours #Bluesrock https://www.rockandbluesmuse.com/…/concert-review-mike-zit…/
Photo: Dave Resto By Dave Resto Fresh off his win of the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award for “Rock Blues Artist” 2018, singer/song-writer/guitarist Mike Zito and his band performed live in Pittsburgh on Friday, May 18th.
Congratulations for this beautiful cd