With numerous Blues Music Award honors under his belt, Mike Zito, co-owner of Texas-based Gulf Coast Records (which has birthed a number of critically-acclaimed blues/rock albums since its 2018 inception), announces a February 18th release date for his new double live album set, Blues for the Southside.
Recorded on November 26, 2021 at the Old Rock House in St. Louis, Missouri, and produced by Zito himself, Blues for the Southside showcases him (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 mates Tony Campanella and Dave Kalz, plus guitar wizard Eric Gales.
The song list for that special night included tunes from Mike’s earlier albums such as First Class Life, Gone to Texas, Make Blues Not War and his Tribute to Chuck Berry, plus his takes on songs popularized by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Tampa Red, as well as a new song, the album’s title track.
Now based in Nederland, Texas, Zito states:
‘Blues for the Southside‘ is a special album for me. I have wanted to do a live blues album playing songs from my catalog with my current band for a while now. I wanted to go back to my old neighborhood in South St. Louis to make the recording. That’s where it all began for me, where I fell in love with music. I knew friends and family would fill the Old Rock House and bring the energy I was looking for in this recording. I wanted Tony Campanella and Dave Kalz to join me as guests. I grew up with both of these guys playing in the scene in St. Louis in the 1990s. They are also both Gulf Coast Records artists. I was surprised by my dear friend Eric Gales who happened to be in town for a rehearsal. He showed up and I got him onstage to do an impromptu version of the original ‘Voodoo Chile,’ which turned out to be 12 minutes of pure guitar bliss. I am proud of this album and my band. I’m most proud of my hometown and my neighborhood, South St. Louis.
*Feature image by Danya Artimisi courtesy of Mark Pucci Media