Mike Zito – Make Blues Not War – One of the Best Blues Albums of 2016
So today I see thar Mike Zito’s new album Make Blues Not War is continuing to rise up the Roots Music Blues Chart. This week the album sits at number 8. Up at eight spots from last week’s 16.. That’s good news for Mike, but the better news is that the album is number 1 on the Billboard Blues Chart. Way to go Mike!
Make Blues Not War is a terrific album and certainly deserves its lofty position on the charts. It has been in my music rotation for a couple of weeks now and I enjoy it more each time I listen to it.
I have been a Mike Zito fan since I first discovered his music back in 2010 when I started this blog. Pear River his second major label release had just hit the charts! You can read what I wrote here. Mike’ first major label release was Today, released on Electro Groove Records in 2008. Prior to that release Mike had been self-releasing albums for about ten years. In total mike has release around twelve albums!
In addition to his solo career Mike was also a founding member of the supergroup “Royal Southern Brotherhood” with Cyril Neville and Devon Allman. Mike has also produced albums for Samantha Fish, Laurence Jones, Albert Castiglia and others. (Albums from all three of those blues artists can be found in my music library!!
Mike signed with Ruf Records In 2012 and released is first album with the Royal Southern Brotherhood. Since then he has released two more records with the RSB. In 2012 Mike also formed Mike Zito and the Wheel, Since then they have released three studio albums, “Gone To Texas“, “Keep Coming Back” in addition to Mike’s current release.Mike and the Wheel have also released a CD/DVD live set “Songs From The Road”.
About Make Blues, Not War
But back to Make Blues Not War. Make Blues Not War was produced by Tom Hambridge and features to of my blues favorites Walter Trout and Jason Ricci, along with Mike’s son Zach Zito! I don’t think that there is a bad track on this album.
I like variety in any album and Make Blues Not War certainly serves up the variety! The album kinks off with one of the best tracks on the album “Highway Mama”. There are plenty of scorching guitar licks on the track, as Walter Trout adds his talents to the album. The title track is a more tradational blues number with Mike on slide guitar and some fine blues harp from Jason Ricci. Things change up again on “One More Train”. On this track boogie piano is added to Mike’s guitar and some more fine blues harp and slide guitar.
Zach Zito plays guitar with his dad on “Chip Off the Old Block”, the story of how Mike’s son Zach grew up listening to the blues greats.I could go on and on, telling you more about the great tracks on Make Blues, Not War I could tell you about “Redbird”, “Road Dog” or the rocking “Route 90”, that closes the album. But I think you should just go check it out for yourself!!!!
Links for the Further Exploration of the Music of Mike Zito.
Here’s a Live Performance of “Make Blues Not War”