Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mike Zito - Greyhound : From the Archives #18


2011 – Eclecto Groove Records
By Phillip Smith; Aug. 20, 2011 * 


Mike Zito’s newest release, Greyhound, spinning in the CD player, along with a large cup of hot coffee and the morning newspaper, makes for a near perfect Saturday morning.  Greyhound is quite the impressive collection of songs.  Zito is a master at telling a story within a song.   With a similar writing technique to John Hiatt, he seamlessly uses a blend of an assorted Americana musical styles to ward off monotony. 

Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Zito boasts a plethora of musical influences.  You can definitely tell from just listening to his songs.  As the opening track on the album, “Roll On”  plays, it fulfills its obligation to pull the listener immediately in, and promises more good music to come.  It’s not hard to imagine Bob Dylan performing this song.  From the intro of “Judgment Day“, through the end, the song is laced with Jimi Hendrix-like licks.  The guitar solo is phenomenal, reminding us Zito is as much a guitarist as he is a singer/song-writer.   As “Judgment Day” seems to be a Hendrix tribute, “Show me the Way” has that classic early ZZ Top sound.   It’s a bit funky, but gritty, but with a Seventies blues rock vibe. 

It‘s something special when an artist can make you feel emotion through their music.  Feeling his pain, one can almost imagine tears welling up in Zito‘s eyes as he begs his woman not to leave him in “Please, Please, Please”, a wonderful slow tempo track dripping with heart-felt emotion.     

Favorite cuts also include,  “Until the Day I Die” a ditty about commitment, has a contagious rhythm that’s quite enjoyable.. My feet can’t help but tap the floor when it starts playing.   There’s also “Motel Blues”,  an acoustic ballad expressing the drudgery of motel life, wearing shoes to bed, and seedy neighbors.  Not quite the toe-tapper, but an interestingly good song anyway.

Some albums are a hodgepodge of music making no sense as to the order and arrangement of songs.  Greyhound is well constructed, and has a great flow from one song to the next.  It really is an impressive album.   I can’t wait until next Saturday.



* Originally published for Blues Revue Magazine on www.bluesrevue.com