Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

What A Blues Scene Tonight Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia, and blues-harpist Will Wilde kick up a storm of a rich tasty music infused jam.


Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The SceneAn evening of a spectacular display of the power of blues with Albert and his Gibson Les Paul and Mike Zito’s Custom V shaped Silver Delaney Guitar everyone in the room was held spellbound by guitar magic through the whole of the two sets tonight. Joining the guitarist were Jack Bazzani on drums and bassist Jon Chase who added layers of rhythm picking up the tone and adding funky vibes when necessary. The tones were immense, the riffs and licks had an energy that was hard to define as the two guitarists bounced off each other building on riffs or adding those special licks that make the music pop with a verve; this was scintillating blues that shimmered. Will Wilde’s harp was added into a few numbers so now there were three virtuoso sounds as the chords blew the roof and captured the music soul of everyone.


zito-and-castiliga-0271The first set was planned at the set list which included Big Dog the title track of Albert Castiglia’s current album. Recorded it is good but live it has a different energy it is a huge blues number that pulls from the past and recreates a sound we want to hear now.  The interaction between Albert and Mike kept a fluidity through every number. One played a riff the other picked up the challenge with a curling lick building into another riff. The lead breaks were something in a different league., whether played by Mike or Albert and when they coalesced the Les Paul and Delaney were tuneful buddies.




Another title track this time, Keep Coming Back, from Mike’s 2015 album and the very special Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The ScenePearl River co-written with Cyrille Neville, with Will Wilde stepping up and adding his dynamic harp tones that whirl around the  guitar key picking up the emotional tone of the number. Then we were treated to a Will Wilde favourite Paranoia from his Raw Blues album. Now the band was kicking as they followed the twist and turns of Wills’ harp. No time yet for a breather as the last number of this set Down Down Down was given a special treatment tonight at the Scene.


zito-and-castiliga-0342There followed a short break where Mike and Albert chatted with the crowd and then it was back on stage for what was going to be a rollercoaster ride of blues delights as the unscripted second half kicked off.  This was an hour of musicians who were spinning a sparkling yarn of blues to capture everyone standing in front of the stage tonight. This was a jam that mixed up the flavours of the blues as they chose the next number to play. It was exhilarating to watch the dexterous fingers of Albert combining with the smooth slide of Mike. The guitar playing was jaw-droppingly good this is blues that lights a fire in your musical veins.  Full of excitement, twists and turns as the guitar and chords are melded into medleys that talk to every listener. Included in the mix was a funky number started by Albert and picked up by the band as they explained Women Don’t Lie a Luther ‘Snake Boy’ Johnson number that fitted in the set perfectly.


Nights like these are what define live music, why live music has the special something no recording can ever replicate.  Thank You House of Rock & Blues for putting on these nights of quality music. Support live music at The Scene in Swansea you will not be disappointed.

Mike Zito and the Wheel Keep Coming Back

Mike Zito

Mike Zito and the Wheel
Keep Coming Back
RUF Records


Texas, blues, and so much more, story-telling with the spice of a life well lived plus those life affirming moments define Keep Coming Back. The solo album from Mike Zito, Keep Coming Back is one that you will return to again and again to bring musical sunshine that is both bright and tinted with shadows of hurt and bewilderment that life throws at us all.

This is foot stompingly good music and Get Busy Living has a quieter feel as the lyrics reflect on life the sad and unobtainable and then the drums kick in the tempo brightens and he sings Get Busy Living a motto for us all.
The guitar is fast and zinging and then Jimmy Carpenter’s Saxophone has you pulled into the album from the off and it is fast and furious as Mike sings what have you got to loose, Keep Coming Back is Mike Zito and the band on fine form the sound is full of musical vigour with a depth of textures and tone. The personal nature of the songs, as Mike sings directly to you is how the album works and Early in the Morning captures this perfectly. The rendering of I Was Drunk, a moving autobiographical number drenched in emotional energy, that never becomes a dirge thanks to the use of guitar hooks and a melody line that sustains the tempo throughout another example of how Trina Shoemakers production has given the album a drive and purpose.

The intro of Sax and drums with the guitar and vocals picking up the beat and then rocking out on Girl From Liberty. This is an album that never stays in the same place it rolls and flows with each track tempo reflecting the mood and this is a song written to make the band shine. Then the rocking fun takes over on Get Out Denver a high-octane version of this Bob Segar song and the keys cascade through before the guitar crashes the party and takes over the lead break this is a track that makes you smile, laugh and you just have to get up and dance! It is difficult to find a favourite track as they are all strong but for me the fuzzy, dirty guitar sound and the tone of Mike’s vocals makes Cross The Border a firm contender along with Chin Up and I was Drunk. Closing with Creedance Clearwater Revival’s Bootleg, Mike and the Wheel have done it again an album that is sheer quality. The combination of Mikes ability to shape his vocals to the lyrics, his sharp and deft guitar skills the six-strings play to his tune and the backing of a band that just loves being the wheel to his creativity.

Mike Zito is the hub of the wheel and the spokes that keep the music turning providing layers of glorious sound are Jimmy Carpenter on saxophone, bassist Scott Sutherland; Rob Lee on drums and Lewis Stephens playing the keys. The other essential elements of the wheel that keeps Mike Zito rolling and playing awesome music are Trina Shoemaker producer and the engineering skills of David Farrel. Without the lyrics the album would ring hollow and the bumps experienced on the road of life would be missing. The lyrics are provided by Mike himself on seven tracks, three he co-wrote with Anders Osborne and completing the album two covers From Bob Seger and CCR. Making the album a wheel that is perfectly balanced as the sound rolls out of your speaker and you walk a musical journey.

Keep Coming Back has all the ingredients of a great album, if you love music infused with emotion this is for you. If your music needs guitar a great rhythm section and you love the layers that keys and sax contribute then Keep Coming Back is for you. If you love lyrics that tell a story puts the flesh on the bones of the melody then Keep Coming Back is for you. If you love modern Texan infused blues Keep Coming Back is a must for your collection. The conclusion is love good music then add Mike Zito’s Keep Coming Back to your collection.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

1. Keep Coming Back
2. Chin Up
3. Get Busy Living
4. Early In The Morning
5. I Was Drunk
6. Lonely Heart
7. Girl From Liberty
8. Get out of Denver
9. Nothin’ but the Truth
10. Cross the Border
11. What’s On Your Mind
12. Bootleg