Mike Zito and the Wheel
Keep Coming Back
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 doodle paws out of TEN ….
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