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Today CD (2008)

Artist: Mike Zito

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Contemporary soul-blues and AC pop with moving voc

by on 6/3/2008

Blues singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Zito’s life story reads as if it were a Behind the Music script. Growing up on the southside of St. Louis, Zito took to the city’s music scene at an early age. By his teen years he was working in a guitar shop and meeting city luminaries like Chuck Berry and Bennie Smith. He developed his guitar playing, gigged at local clubs, released an independent album, and toured the country. Success lead to drug and alcohol abuse, a stern lecture from an elder statesman, a period of reconsideration, love, marriage and eventually, sobriety and a new focus on his career. His inkwell stocked with life experience, Zito began writing, formed a new band and rededicated himself to touring. His new professional experiences, in turn, provided additional material for his music. ¶ “Today” is Zito’s fifth album and his first for Electro Groove. His latest batch of songs offer up soulful blues in the contemporary vein of Robert Cray, Eric Clapton and John Mayer, topped by rough-but-melodic vocals that are both intense and inviting, and underpinned by music that’s adult-contemporary ready without losing its edge. “Love Like This” opens the album with a powerful lyric of burning love, pushed along by electric guitars and soulful background vocals. The rock vibe returns on Lenny Kravitz-styled “Universe,” and on “No Big City” Zito’s guitar and strong drumming support a clear-eyed view of the big city’s darker side. A similar appraisal provides the inspiration for the horn-lined blues-rock “Hollywood.” ¶ Zito slows down for the album’s adult contemporary title track, finding a lighter groove for his lyrical appreciation of living in the here and now, and his restrained take on Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” is surprisingly effective in its combination of mellow tempo and a quietly emotional vocal. The mood turns heavy and blue for “Slow It Down,” and the horns and howling guitar return for “Deep Down in Love.” The album closes with the soulful “Time to Go Home,” featuring bass and acoustic guitar accompaniment to a lyric of wits end. ¶ There’s a lot of variety in Zito’s songwriting, and though his voice and guitar dominate the arrangements, there’s still room for bassist James Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs), keyboardist Benmont Tench (Tom Petty), and drummer Tony Braunagel (Eric Burden, Taj Mahal) to add their musical voices. Fans of contemporary blues should check this out. 3-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2008 redtunictroll at hotmail dot com]

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Product Overview


Label City Hall Records
SKU 207536884
UPC 850021001223
UPC 14 00850021001223
Format CD
Release Date 5/20/2008
Author Mike Zito
Product Attributes
Artist Zito,Mike
Music Format Compact Disc

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Contemporary soul-blues and AC pop with moving voc by on Jun 03, 2008