Gulf Coast Records announces a February, 2024, release for the upcoming disc from multi-Blues Music Award-winner Mike Zito, to be titled Life Is Hard. Zito will record the new album September 18-22 during sessions at Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood, California, with Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith producing. Both Bonamassa and Smith were involved in the production of Blood Brothers, the critically-acclaimed album Zito recorded with fellow label guitarist Albert Castiglia, which topped both the Billboard and iTunes blues charts after its release in March, 2023.
“This will be a straight up blues album – something I haven’t really done before,” says Mike Zito about the forthcoming CD. “My wife Laura (who passed away in July after a long battle with cancer) and I planned this recording back in January of this year. We both agreed I needed to continue to make new music and try and put some of these hard earned emotions to music. Both Joe and Josh understand my goal and I expect it to be a rocking tear jerker.”
Mike Zito’s last Gulf Coast solo album, the double live set, Blues for the Southside (released Feb. 2022), debuted at number one on the Billboard Blues Chart. Recorded in November, 2021, at the Old Rock House in St. Louis, Missouri, and produced by Zito, Blues for the Southside captured Mike (guitar and vocals) and his stellar band in full fury: Matthew Johnson – vocals/drums; Lewis Stephens – piano/organ; Doug Byrkit – vocals/ bass, with special guests including label mate guitarists Tony Campanella and Dave Kalz, plus guitar wizard Eric Gales.
Zito’s last studio album, Resurrection (released July, 2021), contained 11 tracks that not only showcased his strengths as a composer, but also as an interpreter of other compositions, with scintillating and powerful takes on tunes from JJ Cale (“I’ll Make Love To You”), Eric Clapton (“Presence of the Lord”) and Willie Dixon (“Evil”). Mike won the 2022 Blues Music Award for “Blues Rock Album” for Resurrection.