Hear the Mike Zito interview, Mike talks about growing up with a guitar in hand, the highs, the lows, and Today. Hear songs from his Eclecto Groove Record Today.
Mike Zito was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. In High School Mike got interested in playing guitar to the point that he seemed to never put it down. After getting out of school he got a job at Tower Grove Music store. This was a big learning experience for Mike because everyone that worked there was great musician. Many of the top musicians in St. Louis would come in to this store like Chuck Berry. Mike was playing three nights a week with his band then the rest of the week he would pick up acoustic gigs. This is when he was not on the road touring with the band. Eventually this tiring life style along with all the drugs and alcohol came pretty close to killing him. Thanks to Walter Trout for taking the time to talk to Mike about getting his life together. Mike finely started pulling his life together with the help of a girl he met in Texas that would eventually become his wife. Now all cleaned up and ready to go Mike Zito started working on his song writing to make it better. Mike felt he had a good voice but he could improve upon that too. Mike had recorded some CD’s, but they were never very focused. In 2006 he made another CD on his own that was sent out to a lot of labels. Delta Grove Records started a new division called Eclecto Groove Records for artists that were not just blues but more eclectic. Eclecto Groove was picking up some really great artists like Sean Costello, Ana Popovic and Jason Ricci. People who were not just making blues music, but making really great music of any style. Mike Zito was added to this very impressive list of musicians.
Eclecto Groove Records seeing they had another exceptional artist brought in some very professional artist to work on the CD Today. Starting with producers David Z (Prince, Etta James, Billy Idol) and Tony Braunagel (B.B. King, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt) who also played drums. Then side men like keyboardist Benmont Tench (Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash), James “Hutch” Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs, Joe Cocker) and Michito Sanchez (Joe Walsh, Elton John, Crosby, Stills & Nash) on percussion. When I was talking to Mike Zito he said he was very impressed at how helpful and friendly all these people were. They really wanted the CD to come out the way he wanted it to sound.Today kicks off with “Love Like This” a song about how much love you have for your children. This is just what you would expect from great musicians, top notch playing, vocals and lyrics. The next song is “Superman” has kind of a Latin dance sound to it. Mike re-does the Prince song “Little Red Corvette” as a ballad. It took me a few listenings for me to get into it but now I love the song. As many of you can guess I’m not a Prince fan but this is really good. Go by Mike’s website, MySpace page or Eclecto Groove Records website to hear the song, you’ll love it (links below). For me “Universe” is the high point of the Today CD. Great guitar, lyrics and solo also the only long song on the CD. On “Slow It Down” Mike shows off his lead guitar skills again. The contras between the soft slow blues and the slightly faster and more intense guitar playing really makes both stand out better. “Dirty Thing” is the kind of song many radio stations would find listeners loving. The CD is hard to nail down to what it is like because there are so many different styles going on. Maybe that’s what makes the CD so good is it has everything with out going too far to any extreme.
One last thing I need to tell you about is about Mike Zito’s concerts, they are extreme. Good rocking fun with a lot of lead guitar everybody was having a great time. Besides doing songs from the Today CD Mike did some neat covers. One song I’ve been telling everyone about that he did was “Amazing Grace”. Mike did it like Jimi did the “Star Spangle Banner” with all the power cords, guitar fills and everything. That was just the introduction to song “Slow It Down”, wow. Christmas is coming up on us real fast if you know someone that really likes music this would make a wonderful gift, Mike Zito, Today.
Songs played in the show:
No Big City
“Mike Zito is one of the best singer/songwriter/guitarists I have ever heard.”
Walter Trout (Big Mama Thornton, George Harmonica Smith, John Lee Hooker)
Blues Music and Interviews
formerly A1 Artist Spotlight. Com
by A1 Mark