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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ruf Records artist: Mike Zito & the Wheel - Keep Coming Back - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (November 6, 2015), Keep Coming Back, from Mike Zito & the Wheel and it's a real rocker! Opeing with title track, Keep Coming Back, Zito is leading the way on vocal and screaming hot slide guitar. Jimmy Carpenter on sax, Scot Sutherland on bass, Rob Lee on drums and Lewis Stephens on keys really rock the house! Excellent opener!! Keeping up the driving rhythm with Chin Up, with a little more country rock twist. Rocking guitar lines and soulful sax work from Carpenter nicely compliment Zito's vocals. Easy country rock track, Get Busy Living has that laid back Dickie Betts Blue Skies feel. A perfect radio track, has cool vocal blending with Carpenter and Suzie Sims. Country rock ballad, Early In The Morning, nicely highlights Zito's vocal work, backed on vocal by Riley Zito. Comfortable track for cross radio play. I Was Drunk is a cool style ballad with a twist of southern blues. This is a really nice gritty track with Anders Osborne sharing vocal and guitar lead. Very nice! Lonely Heart takes a turn toward jazz with a poppy, blues fused funk. This is a quiet, but really nicely executed, track with stylized guitar and percussion by Trina Shoemaker. Zito's vocals are pure and his guitar work seems to float in the mix. Sweet! Girl From Liberty is a pop rocker in the vein of John Cougar. Zito holds this track in the palm of his hand with strong vocals and a really nice guitar solo setting it out nicely. Next up is Bob Seger's, Get Out Of Denver. With all of the enthusiasm of the original, Zito and Carpenter really drive the train and Stephens' piano work is super. Zito rips off a great rockin' guitar solo and the track romps into Carpenter's super sax solo. Excellent! Nothin' But The Truth is a low slung blues rocker and Zito really shows off his signature warm guitar tone. Zito, with Keith Richards like style, and Carpenter, with full sax timbre rock the house. Warm slide guitar opens funky swamp track, Cross The Border. This is my favorite new track on the release with it's perfectly crafted vocal lines, guitar and rhythmic phrases. Real nice! Super ballad, What's On Your Mind, has really nice guitar harmonic overtones sprinkled over Zito's soulful vocals, and warm sax phrasing from Carpenter. Carpenter takes a really smooth melodic sax solo leading into the final stanza as Zito delivers the track home. Very nice. Wrapping the release is a remake of John Fogerty's Bootleg. Zito's own style is really not terribly dissimilar to Fogerty's so this track is a natural. With David Farrell and Riley Zito on backing vocal, expressive sax soloing from Carpenter, driving drum work from Lee and hot riffs from Zito, this is a great party track to end a rocking release. \

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