Recorded in March 2022 at Baysound Studios in Sarasota, FL. Produced by Mike Zito with additional production by Bud Snyder. Engineered by Bob.
I played the house Yamaha Recording Custom drunset with a mix of personal cymbals. I used a Ludwig copper snare drum on the entire album—it was a solid drum. A wonderful room to create music in!
From CD Digipak:
Sometimes compared to Koko Taylor, Etta James, and Chaka Khan, Kat Riggins travels the world with the sole mission of keeping the blues alive. Progeny is her 7th album and 2nd for Gulf Coast Records. These 12 songs range from soulful blues ballads to blues-based rock to soul-stirring gospel. "Progeny means descendent of decedents. This album is a tribute to my upbringing in honor of all those who had anything to do with it."
Recorded live at The Old Rock House in St. Louis, Missouri. The day after Thanksgiving, November 26, 2021. We move fast in the Mike Zito world! I played my 1968 Yamaha Kick and toms with a 90's Pearl Steve Ferrone model snare drum. 20" Zildjian K Medium Ride, 19" K Custom Thin Crash and a 17" A Custom crash cymbal. Early 1970's Zildjian 15" A Hi-Hats finished it out. Lots of fun recording this with a few special guests. All captured live with no overdubs whatsoever. Proud of this album and the fellas in the band!
Recorded on November 26, 2021 at the Old Rock House in St. Louis, Missouri, and produced by Mike Zito, Blues for the Southside showcases Zito (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.
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, Mike Zito states that "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."
Recorded at Dockside Studios in Lake Charles, LA & MARZ Studios in Nederland, TX -- November & December of 2020
I used my 90's Yamaha Recording Custom drums for the guts of the drums. I used a few different snare drums; a 1967 Ludwig 400 drum; a 1920's nickel over brass Ludwig super drum; as well as a 90's era Pearl Steve Ferrone signature snare drum. The room at Dockside Studios is LARGE! We were able to get some wonderful drum sounds together. In addition to the incredible songwriting of Mike Zito, we recorded a few covers on the album as well.
From Amazon Music: With numerous blues music awards already under his belt, Mike Zito provides a remedy for ravenous ears as he unleashes 11 of his most exquisite blues, rock, and soul treasures. The highly anticipated Resurrection is brimming with deep and nail-biting melodies. Zito showcases his strengths as a composer with 8 original songs that sparkle, as well as an interpreter of other compositions, with scintillating and influential takes on tunes from JJ Cale, Eric Clapton, and Willie Dixon.
Recorded October 2020 at MARZ Studios in Nederland, TX. A wonderful collection of Christmas music that I was blessed to be a part of. 16 tracks of music all from Gulf Coast Records artists. I play on tracks by; Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia, Kevin Burt, Billy Price, Jimmy Carpenter, Tony Campanella, & Diana Rein. All of the tracks I played on were done with an Alesis electronic drumset. Quick & easy to get sounds and make music!
Recorded the first week of June 2020 at MARZ Studios in Nederland, TX. This was the first record done all together in one space after the initial lockdown phase due to Covid 19. I used some 1990's era Yamaha Recording Custom Drums along with various snare drums. Mike Zito on rhythm guitar and Doug Byrkit on bass. Mixed & Mastered by Mr. David Ferrell. I LOVE Kevin Burt and this was a real blessing getting to record his music with him. He is a TRUE artist in every sense of the word. HUGE voice, honest lyrics, and beautiful/funky melodies. Please check him out when you get a chance! www.kevinburtmusic.com
A different undertaking when working with Mike Zito for sure. I recorded all of my tracks from my basement studio in North Dakota. I mainly used a Pearl Masters Custom maple kick drum and toms for tracking. Many different snare drums were used including my brass 20's Ludwig, a 60's Rogers brass Powertone, a 60's Slingerland deep wood snare drum among others.
Of the album "Quarantine Blues" Zito says, “While flying home from Europe after all of our tours being cancelled, I decided the band and myself would record a free album for our fans. Individually we have been quarantined for 14 days and this idea of writing, producing and releasing an album in the 14 day period seemed like quite an effort and a distraction for us. In return fans from around the world contributed to our Gofundme and it has been an amazingingly rewarding experience.
I hope our fans enjoy the album and the music we have written. I followed no rules, I wrote what I was feeling regardless of style or genre and used my feelings of fear, hope, love and rebelliousness to fuel my creativity.
I have collaborations with LA Guns and Guns n Roses founding member, Tracii Guns on the song ‘Don’t Touch Me’ and several songwriting efforts with my label partner Guy Hale. I left the ‘rules’ on the floor and followed my heart.
I think these are some of the best songs I have written in years.”
Another Covid-19 collaboration project. Recorded remotely from North Dakota. I used some 1970's Ludwig Standard drums with a 1966 Rogers Powertone brass snare drum. Nice little brushes/train groove. Please click on the image to purchase the single and support independent music!
Recorded at MARZ studio in Nederland, Texas. I mainly used the studio house drumset...a Gretsch maple kit. A brass Pearl Masters Steve Ferrone signature snare drum was the main snare used.
Tyler is a wonderful human and an incredibly talented young man. He has a HUGE future in front of him in the music world.
I spent MANY hours in preparation for recording this album. I concentrated on trying to "swing" the songs correctly. Hopefully I pulled it off! Mainly used a 20's Ludwig Super snare drum on the songs.
Zito’s upcoming album -- his 16th -- due this November on Ruf Records and descriptively titled Rock N Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry, finds him broadening his boundaries still further even as it marks a return to his roots. The album consists of 20 Chuck Berry classics performed by Zito and an impressive array of 21 guest guitarists, among them Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout, Eric Gales, Robben Ford, Richard Fortus, Sonny Landreth, Luther Dickinson, Albert Castiglia, Anders Osborne, and significantly, Chuck’s grandson, Charlie Berry III.
“This was a very special project for me,” Zito says. “I was born and raised in St. Louis, I lived there for 32 years, home of Chuck Berry. I worked at a small musical instrument store where his drummer also happened to be employed. Chuck’s son would drop by on occasion as did Chuck himself a few times. Johnny Johnson came to that store and taught me piano licks. I was fortunate enough to open for and play with Chuck Berry on occasion at the Duck Room. He was an icon, and rightfully so. I’ve been playing his songs since I was a kid. Needless to say, he was a tremendous influence on my career, and, of course, on many other musicians’ as well.”
Produced by Zito himself, the album was recorded at his own Marz Studio and mixed and mastered by David Farrell. “We recorded the basic tracks and then sent them to each guest musician,” Zito recalls. “They added their contributions and then sent the files back to us. The process took a year to complete.”
I had a ball recording this album with Tony. Big and brawny blues! Used a 70's Slingerland 24" kick drum and newer Gretsch maple toms. Brass snare drum along with a 1967 Ludwig Super 400 alloy shell drum. FUN stuff!
Tony Campanella’s long-awaited debut album, Taking It to the Street, delivers a terrific set of varied and genuine songs. The band expertly walks the delicate line between traditional blues forms and more modern sounds owing as much to guitar rock as they do to Campanella’s blues influences. The collection of originals, and a few select covers, exhibit a rare blend of technical ability, imagination and unfeigned sentiment that the St. Louis native has been living and sharing for most of his life.
“Taking It to the Street” wastes no time crashing into the album with punchy drums and an austere guitar riff. A slightly flanged vocal track gives the song a sleek, rock-feel, while the solo provides listeners a taste of the guitar fireworks to come. Accompanying the groove is Campanella’s credible claim that, “I’ve been playing this here guitar, since it was my only toy.” The following tune, “Pack it Up,” opens with a mellower, rotating-speaker guitar tone that displays Campanella’s ability to use the instrument not only as an emotive vehicle, but also as a tool to construct diverse soundscapes. “One Foot in the Blues” continues the trend towards slow and soulful, marked by an echoey guitar sound reminiscent of Dire Straits’s, “Brothers in Arms.” Campanella allows himself space to stretch out in a couple excellent guitar passages, but it is his passionate singing that makes the song one of the album’s best tunes.
A trio of blues classics comprises the midsection of the collection. The band’s interpretation of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” elaborates on the original song with a thick guitar and bass combination that lets Campanella showcase his virtuosity, playing in unison with the verse and independently on the instrumental breaks. On Eddie Vinson’s “Mr. Cleanhead,” Campanella pokes a bit of fun at his follicularly-challenged appearance, but his playing reminds that it is what’s in the musician’s head that is important, not what’s on his head. Wrapping up the triad is a straightforward, shuffling version of Sonny Boy Williamson II’s “Checking on My Baby.”
“Texas Chainsaw,” a darker, haunting number, vies for the album’s best track through it’s swampy pacing and raw sounds. The drum and bass tandem pull the song along, allowing overdriven guitars and vocals to oversaturate the purposefully, unpolished mix, which includes the resultant static. Traded guitar licks alternate stereophonically as Campanella convincingly sings of “Deep down in Texas, to a place I’ve never been.” The band concludes the selection with the gospel inspired “Those Are the Times.” The piece’s softer, Leslie guitar tone and prominent organ show yet another dimension of Campanella’s blues vision.
Taking It to the Street, covers a lot of ground in just eleven cuts. The outstanding guitarwork takes center stage, but it’s Campanella’s authentic and soulful voice, combined with the backing band’s musicianship that create an immediately enjoyable album. After a couple listenings, blues fans will be hoping that they need not wait as long for the follow-up as they did for this great first effort.
Recorded at Mike Zito’s MARZ studio in Nederland, TX. An old friend of Mike’s, Lonnie Trevino, was on bass on this session(more about that connection later). I used the studio house drum set consisting of a Gretsch maple kick and toms. Various snare drums were used but mainly my old Ludwig Supraphonic 400. 1967.
At just 17 years of age David Julia has already been playing guitar for ten years, has competed four times at the IBCs, counts the likes of Bob Margolin as a friend and now has Mike Zito producing this CD. David is based in Florida but this album was recorded in Texas. David wrote six tunes and there are five covers of songs by artists who have inspired him, hence the title of the album. David is on guitar and vocals, Matthew Johnson on drums, Lonnie Trevino Jr on bass, Elliot Keys on B3 and Lewis Stephens on piano; Mike Zito duets on guitar and vocals on one track.
The album opens brightly with “Hey There Sally” which bounds along with a tricky riff over Elliot’s organ work before David cuts loose with a complex but controlled solo, all in just over two minutes. “Sunshine Boogie” is equally short and sweet as David adds some country picking to Matthew’s fast-paced drums, the only instrumental on the album.
The pace drops for a slow blues in which David professes his undying love “If Only” she would be his, Elliot playing some delightful gospel organ and David showing a sure touch on guitar. David’s vocals and edgier guitar style on “Don’t Get Me Goin’” suit the song well. Album closer “You Don’t Need No Shelter” has a laid-back country style with David and Mike Zito on acoustic guitars as they share the verses and harmonize on the chorus. The other original “Throw Me A Rope” is track 2 on the album but to this reviewer’s ears seems inspired by Pink Floyd with its slow pace, heavier feel and dramatic lyrics about drug use and despair.
The covers include songs by guitarists who have played in Florida and influenced David: JP Soars, Albert Castiglia and expat Brit Matt Schofield are all based there. JP’s “Something Ain’t Right” has a theme of needing to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Played over a thumping riff, David adopts a slightly deeper voice for this one, perhaps a nod towards JP’s own vocal style. Albert’s “Keep Her Around Too Long” is excellent with Lewis’ piano featured as David sings this one well over a jagged beat. Matt’s jazzy shuffle follows on lyrically from Albert’s song as David suggests that if the relationship is over it is best to make a “Clean Break” as he plays some really good stuff in the solo.
David is a fine guitarist but, inevitably at such a tender age, his voice is still developing. The other two covers are a case in point as his vocals seem a little too ‘formal’ for Tab Benoit’s “Nice And Warm” though a sympathetic version of the late Michael Burks’ “Empty Promises” works well with some rousing guitar over warm organ support, David double-tracking his solo over his own rhythm work to great effect. Indeed, the biggest compliment is that after hearing David’s version I wanted to get out Michael’s original – inspiration in reverse!
There is plenty to admire on this disc which shows a young man who must surely have a great future in the blues. The CD is therefore well worth a listen.
This was recorded at a couple different studios throughout 2018. The main recording was done at Red Shack Studios with Rock Romano engineering in the Heights of Houston, Texas. We finished up at MARZ studio in Nederland with our friend Zachary Silas Feemster engineering.
Dry Johnson is comprised of bassist Terry Dry and drummer Matthew Robert Johnson, who collectively have formed the powerhouse rhythm section backing award-winning Texas guitarslinger Mike Zito for almost two years. Dry and Johnson met for the first time in Fargo, North Dakota in 1998 and played together a few years later in Houston, Texas. They have continued playing music together off and on for 20 years.
“I met Matthew Robert Johnson and Terry Dry in St. Louis around 2002 when I opened a show for Hadden Sayers,” writes Zito in the album’s liner notes. “I still remember thinking they sounded really good and had a big sound.
“Matt and Terry share a love for the American art form. The blues brought them together and has given them a musical purpose to work toward. Matthew’s drumming is strong and immense, while Terry’s bass playing is solid and straight forward. Together they make a sound that is large and tight, round and moving. Always musical and consistent, they work together to form a foundation that any guitarist, vocalist or band can make great music with.”
Zito joins in on Long Live Them Blues, Vol. 1 by playing guitar and singing on several tracks including a soul-searing duet with another Houston favorite, Annika Chambers, on the lead-off song, “Daddy’s Got a Cadillac.”
Other special guests on the Dry Johnson debut include legendary singer (and Connor Ray labelmate) Trudy Lynn, guitarists Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Mighty Orq and James Wilhite, harmonica ace Steve Krase, and beloved Houston musician Kevin “Snit” Fitzpatrick on vocals.
All of the songs on the new CD are originals, with the exception of a nifty cover of Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Hit the Highway.”
“Getting this out has been a year and a half in the making,” admits Johnson. “Terry and I originally thought up the idea after a gig with Mike Zito in a hotel room in Florida. We discussed the idea of doing a project as a rhythm section, with all of the artists that we have either worked with in the past, or would like to work with in the future…and Dry Johnson was born. I can only hope that we have done this great city and its incredible musical legacy some justice with this recording.”
This was recorded at Red Shack Studios in the Heights of Houston, Texas with the masterful Rock Romano engineering & producing. I used a house/studio drumset that was made up of new era Tama maple drums. Small, foam box of a room at the old Red Shack. Loved it for the funkiness of it. Snare was most likely my 1967 alloy shell Ludwig 400. I LOVE Miss Trudy Lynn and was honored that I was able to play on 2 of her albums. This being the second of the two. Please check out Miss Trudy Lynn.
Review of "Blues Keep Knockin" from Living Blues:
From the very first swampy note of Trudy Lynn’s Blues Keep Knockin’, one is transported back to a time when female blues belters served notice to all of the guitar-slinging, bad habit–pursuing bluesmen that women can be just as bold, rowdy and ribald as their male counterparts.
From Big Mama Thornton and Big Maybelle in the 1940s and ’50s to Etta James, who topped the charts in ’50s and ’60s, women carved their own niche in the genre dominated by men. Given that proud lineage, it’s no wonder that this Houston singer would also traverse her own unique blues pathway. But despite the fact that she’s been performing in clubs since she was a teenager, made her first studio recordings in the early ’70s and spent several years singing in Houston blues guitarist Clarence Green’s band, Lynn may be one of the best kept secrets in music.
On Blues Keep Knockin’, Lynn’s 13th solo album and follow up to 2016’s excellent I’ll Sing the Blues for You, she puts her husky, yet nuanced voice on full display on the disc’s ten songs. Paired with a solid backing outfit that includes frequent collaborator and Houston harp maestro Steve Krase, Lynn traffics in the tried and true territory of good women loving bad men, struggling to make ends meet and getting what they want when they want it, and she does it all with the conviction of a singer who truly loves the blues.
Krase’s harp kicks off the album on the upbeat shuffle of Blues Ain’t Nothin’, a tune propelled by sizzling guitar by guest Bob Lanza, who returns with some smoldering licks on the slow burn Pitiful.
Lynn delves into her personal relationship with the blues on the title track—which she wrote—an up-tempo shuffle driven by her husky rasp and tasty guitar fills by David Carter. “C’mon in Mr. Blues, sit down, have a seat / I’m just sittin’ here drinkin’ / Have a drink on me.”
Lynn switches deftly from playful to naughty to defiant on the Big Maybelle gem One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show. She gives Hoyt Axton’s Never Been to Spain her own stamp via a slow, funky groove that puts a unique spin on the ’70s classic made famous by Three Dog Night. You can practically hear the pool balls smacking and smell the backroom smoke on When I Been Drinkin’, a down and dirty dose of swampy New Orleans swagger.
Lynn is joined by Houston guitarist/vocalist Carolyn Wonderland on the closer, Wouldn’t It Make Any Difference to You, with Wonderland offering some righteous fretwork on the mournful track.
Blues Keep Knockin’ is proof positive that it may have taken a few years, but Lynn appears to be an artist who’s just hitting her stride.
This was the first Mike Zito album that was recorded at MARZ Studio in Nederland, TX. This was done over 2 days in January 2018. I used the studio drumset along with my 1960 Ludwig Super 402 COB snare drum...the BEAST!
Review of "First Class LIfe" from Relix magazine:
The blues is always at the root of Mike Zito’s music, both in his work with Royal Southern Brotherhood earlier in the decade and the recordings he’s made on his own for more than 10 years. As on 2016’s Make Blues Not War , and Gone to Texas a few years before it, Zito gets down in the trenches for First Class Life (his 15th in all), which he’s calling his most personal recording to date. On these songs, Zito addresses topics that mean something, from his love for his wife (“Dying Day”) to the matter-of-fact “The World We Live In.” But it’s the title track—which charts his dive into addiction and the crawl back out—that hits hardest. It’s often dark and difficult, not your basic 21st-century bar-band blues party-all-night anthem. The music is up-tempo and effervescent, betraying the nakedness of the lyrics: “When I was down, I was down on my knees, but down didn’t stop me from begging please, please, please,” he sings in the first line. There is redemption, in love and in faith, but there isn’t any sanctimony in Zito’s telling of it, and there are good times too. First Class Life may have been a cathartic exercise for the artist, but you’re welcome to just marvel at the guitar playing. The album’s greatest strength is in Zito’s ability to take his tales, get into the studio with a cooking band and turn it all into first-class blues rock.
I was blessed to share drumming duties on this album with the great Yonrico Scott(Derek Trucks). My tracks were recorded in November 2017 at Studio Erde in Berlin, Germany. I used the house/studio kit which were the first Sakae drums I had ever played. I learned the history of Sakae & Yamaha drums on this trip. Cool stuff!
Review of "Bad Penny" from Getreadytorock.me.uk:
Bad Penny’ is a 12 track rock-blues album on which the young Croatian guitarist Vanja Sky impressively crafts her own style. She’s a song driven artist with a locker full of licks who moulds the rock-blues format to her own end.
There’s lot to be said for fearless youthful energy and spark, as she let’s rip with a welter of guitar tones and contrasting styles. 10 original songs and 2 covers give her album ‘Bad Penny’ a very accessible feel.
Her songs rely more on spirit and honesty than lyrical depth, while occasional references to rock & roll allied with lashings of guitar is something you might expect from a guitar slinging rock-blues artist.
But there’s much more to this album than simply raking up old coals, as the effervescent Vanja Sky carves out her own niche almost in spite of the borrowed Rory Gallagher album title.
The CD feels like she’s been given a familiar template with which to work. It’s a slice of contemporary blues-rock framed by the experience of producer Jim Gaines and the catalytic guitarist, vocalist and mixer Mike Zito, while Laurence Jones also helps shape 4 songs. But it’s her own material that freshen things up with a raw energy and consistent focus.
She benefits from strong structures, decent hooks and fiery licks that always support lyrical meaning and song dynamics.
Her imperious jangly guitar on the title track for example, is matched by a gritty vocal which suggests she’s straining at the leash to deliver the very best performance.
Unlike many of her contemporaries she sounds as if she revels in the moment the red light goes on.
Her hard driving style works stretches to a swampy groove on ‘Hard Working Woman’, and the slick rhythm section of bassist Terry Day and drummer Matthew Johnson give her all the drive she needs.
‘Do You Wanna’ envelops us and rocks out John Fogerty style, as she adds one her best vocals on a catchy hook. She further adds cutting edge riffs on smoking track destined to be a live favourite.
She changes her guitar tone to a fuzzy drone, and brings a more vulnerable timbre to her vocal phrasing on the booming ‘All Night’. Her willingness to explore is self evident on ‘Hit Me With The Blues’. She overcomes the dreaded opening line: “I woke up this morning’ and a vocal wobble, on a spacious arrangement with cool dynamics to confidently emote soulfully. It’s the kind of song that you could imagine gathering depth from plenty of touring.
‘Inside Pain’ is an outstanding dreamy arrangement that features a big tremolo sound and a melange of chiming guitars. It’s a slow burner with a repeated hook and some subliminal guitar tones that linger well after its finished.
The title track showcases her energy and spark, while the cover of Luther Allison’s ‘Low Down And Dirty’ flies on the back of her slashing slide guitar work. Mike Zito takes the first verse, before Sky and a growling Bernard Allison take the song on. And if the mid-number rap sounds a little forced, the avalanche of hot licks effortlessly take the number home.
Her willingness to experiment leads her to the atmospheric ‘Married Man’, on which the musical arrangement again mirrors lyrical intent. The combination of intricate percussion, distant slide and a breathy vocal potentially crosses her over from blues-rock to Nashville.
The spirit of her music is writ large in her surname Sky. It evokes the kind of freedom of imagination to be found on a first class debut album that is well placed to revitalize the rock-blues scene. Well worth checking out! ****
James is one of my oldest friends in the Houston music scene. We have played MANY gigs together over the years. I played on 2 tracks on this release. Go see James at his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jim.wilhite.14
Jimmy is a wonderful friend that I met over 20 years ago when he was playing with Jimmy Thackery. I was blessed to get to play on this album. We recorded it in New Orleans. I played a studio Mapex drumset. This was the first time I met & got to record with Anders Osbourne.
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What Bluesblastmagazine.com says about "Plays the Blues":
Jimmy Carpenter spent many years playing sax with Tinsley Ellis, Jimmy Thackery, Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington and Mike Zito before he started making records under his own name. His 2014 album Walk Away was excellent and this follow-up is also very good, albeit that Jimmy is mainly covering the music he knows and loves: blues, soul and Rn’B, with just two originals this time around. Recorded in his adopted city of New Orleans Jimmy was able to use an excellent band, the late Marc Adams on keys, Matthew Johnson on drums, Bob Bridges on bass and producer and Jimmy’s former bandleader in The Wheel, Mike Zito, is on guitar, Jimmy handling all the sax work and sharing vocals with Mike. Guests include another former Wheel member Lewis Stephens on keys, Dave Keyes on piano and a slew of guitar slingers who get a track each: Anders Osborne, Tinsley Ellis, Jonn Del Toro Richardson and Tony D (MonkeyJunk).
Magic Sam’s “You Belong To Me” works really well with Jimmy demonstrating solid vocals as well as great sax work, Tony D playing sympathetically off Jimmy’s sax. If you are going to record a blues album you should always include a Willie Dixon tune and “Too Late” barrels along in fine style with Dave Keyes’ piano to the fore and Jimmy taking a great solo. “Jimmy Plays The Blues” is an original instrumental that does what the title suggests as Jimmy really cooks on the sax with subtle organ and guitar support from Marc and Mike respectively. In total contrast Jimmy’s other original is “Kid In My Head”, a wonderful two and a half minutes with Lewis’ pumping piano and Mike’s rock and roll guitar as Jimmy states what many of us feel – that in our heads we are still kids, it’s just the body that ain’t! A warm take on Little Walter’s “Blues With A Feeling” has some great piano from Marc and Jonn’s understated guitar work, Jimmy singing the familiar lyrics particularly well and giving us another storming sax break.
Three instrumentals follow. First we get one of Sonny Thompson and Freddie King’s less well-known tunes, “Surf Monkey” on which Tinsley Ellis and Jimmy duel brilliantly before a fine reading of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” reminds us of just what a beautiful melody lies beneath the familiar lyrics, Jimmy ‘voicing’ the song on sax and Anders Osborne playing some gentle chords behind him – an outstanding version of a classic song. King Curtis’ “Preach” has a gospel feel in the opening solo sax section before the band joins in and the tune develops into a soulful strut. Mike Zito sings Otis Rush’s “All Your Love” very well, reproducing that familiar riff on guitar, Jimmy plays a sort of call and response with his sax and the ending is great, just listen to the way the band urges each other forward to the conclusion. The last song is another nod to sax players in the soul arena with Junior Walker’s “Shotgun” to close a great album that really showcases Jimmy’s playing. Recommended!
I played on the track "Bottle Rocket" from this album. Recorded at Beebe Gun Studios in Houston. I used the house drumset...a vintage 1970's Ludwig clear vistalite kit. Funky sounding for sure.
This was a bunch of fun to do. One of the first(if not the first) record to be done at Mike Zito's MARZ studio. I used the house drumset. Freddie is a groovy dude. He played guitar for Louisiana Cajun music legend Wayne Toups for years. He's got a lot of soul. Love that dude.
Find out more about Freddie at www.freddiepate.com
The first album that I got to record with Miss Trudy Lynn. This was done at Rock Romano's Red Shack Studio in the Heights of Houston. I used the house drumset along with a couple personal snare drums.
Trudy is a Houston treasure and one of the reigning queens of the blues. EVERYONE should know who Trudy Lynn is.
Buenos Diaz is the alter-ego/brainchild of my old friend, Nick Diaz. This project was a lot of fun. We recorded it at Troubadour Studios in Lockhart, TX with Steven Collins producing. I used house drums along with some of my personal snares. Modern rock with a funky twist.
Find out more about Nick & Buenos Diaz at
Steven Collins, the leader of Deadman, is one of the great songwriters & producers alive in the world today. Recorded at his Troubadour Studio in the lovely burg of Lockhart in Central Texas. Steven helped me to see the art, beauty, & love in this world. He is also an incredible chef. I love Steven & I love Deadman.
Visit Steven & find out more about Deadman at:
This is the first recording that I did with Steven Collins & Deadman. I am on the leadoff track "Young & Alive". A very cool tune with an odd-time signature turnaround. We recorded this at Steven's Troubadour Studios in Lockhart, TX. I was also blessed to be a part of the DVD recording as well. Truly a wonderful piece of art.
About "Chimes", Steven writes:
Shortly after beginning to record the songs for “How Shall We Then Live”, the idea of making a short film came to mind. I thought it would be interesting to have two separate mediums that complimented each other but also were autonomous, packaged together as one piece of art. “How Shall We Then Live” as an album was very short, only six songs. The idea for the film came from wanting to expand on the creative process itself, to show the strange alchemy that creating something brings about.
My main objective in doing this was to create a piece that focused on the mystery, beauty and romance of creating something in general, whether it be music, film, photography, painting, story-telling, etc. When we view or listen to art, we engage in some way in what another person has created. In this case, it was even more interesting to focus on the act of creating, something that continually is referred to as a “mystery.” Mysteries are becoming increasingly few but the act and chemistry of musicians playing together continues to mystify both the musicians and the listener. In fact, it enthralls them in a strange way.
I contacted J. Hawkins and Chip Tompkins to discuss my idea. They seemed to find it equally interesting and took the songs, and my initial ideas, to develop into a film. In about six months, we had a storyboard, a cast, a location and started to make the film itself.
The little town I live in was involved, local folks mixed with actors, musicians, painters, photographers, designers and other artists completed the cast. The result is something I’m proud of: It accomplishes what I wanted it to from an artistic perspective but also is not heavyhanded in forcing those ideas on the viewer. It does, however, focus on beauty, romance, story telling and imagination. I’m glad to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.
Recorded in Germany in 2010. This is the last album that I was involved in with Mighty Orq. 16 songs and over 70 minutes of music. I am still proud of the work we did together.
This was our first release on ZYX/Peppercake records. We recorded this at Showplace Studios in Dover, NJ. Ben Elliott(RIP) produced this. Recorded over a marathon 5 day trip from TX to NJ and back again that included a gig in NYC...craziness. Some wonderful music that I was blessed to be involved in.
Artwork by PUNCHGUT!