Award-winning blues guitar phenomenon Mike Zito has a new album set to be released July 16. Resurrection was produced by the notorious David Z, famous for his collaborations with artists such as Prince, Etta James and Buddy Guy. The record is comprised of eight originals and three covers and offers the listener an enjoyable experience of blues and rock. Let us explore this in more detail.
Starting with the album cover. I don’t usually focus on this aspect in my reviews, but this particular art cannot be ignored. Courtesy of the South Korean artist Yool Kim, the vibrant and colorful painting affiliates perfectly with the album title, creating a tone of much-needed positiveness after the dark, gloomy days of the pandemic. It’s a rebirth, as Mike Zito himself states. Well, and nothing better to accompany this period of renewal than good music, something this record is not short of.
The album kicks off with the catchy “I’ll Make Love To You”, a JJ Cale original. The mid-tempo blues rocker features an exquisite saxophone solo that ends the song in the highest of notes. “Don’t Bring Me Down”, the second track, is a swaggering, funky mid-tempo rocker supplied with some relentless guitar work from Zito and a remarkable chorus. Accompanied by assertive lyrics, it’s the strongest cut on the album. “Dreaming Of You”, the unflustered song that follows contains a good guitar solo. The same can be said about “In My Blood”, the fourth track. “Presence Of The Lord”, originally by Blind Faith, is a blues ballad that showcases Zito’s lead guitar abilities at some of its best with a raging guitar solo that manages to sound even more powerful than the original one.
“When It Rains” is another standout blues ballad. It features an elegant hook, supplied by the horn section, and another stellar lead guitar performance from Zito. The follower, “You Don’t Have Me”, is a fun, medium-paced rocker with a pop-ish chorus. A good song but not strong enough to be one of the album’s highlights. “Damned If I Do”, the best ballad on the record, features an absolutely stunning vocal and guitar performance by Zito, powered by out-of-this-world saxophone and trumpet fills. “Running Man” is an enjoyable rocker. The penultimate song is “Evil”, a cover of Willie Dixon/Howlin’ Wolf’s blues standard. Zito and his band do a great job of adding a new touch to such a classic song and the result is a groovy, lustful six-minute thrill ride that features a spectacular guitar solo and a muscular riff. The album closer, “Resurrection”, is not on the same level, though. It is certainly a respectable ballad, though.
In conclusion, Resurrection is definitely a high-standard effort from a high-caliber musician. Don’t miss it.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– I’ll Make Love To You
– Don’t Bring Me Down
– When It Rains
– Damned If I Do
The Big Hit
– Don’t Bring Me Down