Mike Zito & The Wheel, “Keep Coming Back” (2015): Something Else! exclusive stream

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Between his recently-concluded stint in the roots-rock supergroup Royal Southern Brotherhood and his own blossoming solo career, the blues-rockin’ guitarist, singer and songwriter Mike Zito keeps coming back to give us more of his quality honest, rough-hewn, foot-stomping music. Now it’s time for another helping of that.

With a voice akin to John Hiatt but with more soul, Zito is also similar to Hiatt in that his songwriting is often at its best when he’s in confessional mode. That was one of the charms of his last album Gone To Texas and he’s doing it again for Keep Coming Back (Ruf Records), his second with his backup band, The Wheel.

That deeply personal tone is set from the start with the title song, debuted in the stream above. It’s a no-nonsense lesson about perserverance drawn from Zito’s own experience of his salvation from addiction. “It’s an old school recovery phrase,” he explains. “Like when you’re just getting sober and you show up at a meeting they tell you to keep coming back. Everyone can relate, life sucks sometimes, but it’s bound to get better soon, nothing lasts forever, this too shall pass.”

More words of wisdom are found in his lyrics: “Give your burden to the blues” and those are words he’s lived by to the most literal extent.

Then again, “keep coming back” can just as easily mean “keep coming back to Texas” because there’s a lot of Lone Star twang in this roadhouse blues rocker. Not just recalling SRV, but also the legend who hailed from Zito’s hometown Beaumont environs: the late, great Johnny Winter. And like Winter once declared on the title of a popular early 70s album, Mike Zito is still alive and well. You only have to listen to his music nowadays to know it.

Keep Coming Back drops on November 6, 2015.

feature photo: Roman Sobus

Click here to find out when Mike Zito & The Wheel rolls into your town.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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