East Side Slim
Zito – Today
Eclecto Groove Records, 2008
Mike Zito is a St. Louis home-boy who is
getting very close to breaking out nationally in the
music biz. Being signed to Eclecto Groove, a subsidiary
of Delta Groove Productions, is a major step in that
direction. Zito has worked very hard on his vocals.
While not blessed with a classically great voice,
Mike has worked hard and made himself into a very
good vocalist. He’s able to convey great emotional
depth through his singing – frankly, he’s
become a very soulful singer.
Zito has been known in the
past as a blues-rocker (which fits into Eclecto
Groove’s bag), and while never losing touch
with this style this CD, Today, displays heavy soul
influences, not unlike those displayed by Sean Costello
on his last couple of CDs. Mr. Zito shows that he
is a good song writer; his maturity is showing.
Mike recorded this CD in Los Angeles, and was fortunate
enough to get to work with some of L.A.’s
top session players. Today could very well be the
piece of work that propels Zito to the next level.
1. Love Like This: --
This swaggering track kick-starts the CD very well.
It’s got a sing-along chorus with some nice
female backing vocals.
This is a very soulful track, with organ, female
backing vocals and nice lead guitar lines by Zito.
This is a good tune.
Holding Out For Love: --
Another soulful track with jazzy guitar work by
Zito, driven along by a percussive piano line.
Little Red Corvette: --
Yep, Zito is covering Prince’s tune. It’s
been drastically rearranged into an acoustic guitar
driven slow soul tune.
Zito hasn’t forgotten his rockin’ side,
and he visits it here. The song reminds me very
much of Mato Nanji’s work with Indigenous.
It’ got deep lyrics, a great groove and husky
vocals, and it held my attention for all of its
7 minute length.
This song has a Latin feel with its percussion work
and Zito’s acoustic guitar chording. Think
Los Lonely Boys meet Santana for an idea of what
this tune sounds like.
Slow It Down: --
Zito’s SRV influences show here in his guitar
work. This song itself is a slow-burner featuring
Mike’s soulful vocals and lead guitar. This
is a very good track!
The title track from this CD, the song is a gentle
tune, with Zito singing about how faith can help
a person get through the tough times in life. The
percussion work here adds greatly to the feel of
the tune. This song would not feel out of place
on a Dave Matthews CD.
No Big City: --
Mike’s taking us back into blue-rock territory
via a jazzy path on this song – shades of
Steely Dan? Zito’s maturity as a songwriter
shines through on this CD, and most definitely on
Deep Down In Love: --
Funky hard chording ala SRV; cool horn lines; insistent
drums; electric piano; backing vocals – one
cool funky tune! I bet this one goes over great
at Mike’s live shows.
Dirty Things: --
This song is a nice blues-rock tune, but one with
a nature edge. It also has some nice harmonica work
present, courtesy of Mitch Kashmar (who happens
to record for Delta Groove.)
This song is a funky blues-rocker, with Mike singing
about his views on the culture of Hollywood, CA.
It sounds like Hollywood is a little sleazy to me.
Time To Go Home: --
This song is the set closer. It’s a slow acoustic
guitar-driven track with more than one meaning to
the lyric. I can’t state strongly enough how
good a songwriter Mike Zito has become. I don’t
tend to be a ballad guy, but I’m telling you
that this is a good one.
Mike Zito has a very nice CD on his hands with Today.
It’s one of those sneaky albums, where with
each listen it grows on you and you hear different
things revealing themselves in the music. It has
a very soulful feel, is very mature in themes, and
the music is complex. You get cool guitars, different
keyboard sounds, lots of percussion, horns, female
backing vocals, etc…what more can you ask
for on one album? STLBluesometer reading on Today
is 4.0. Mr. Zito should be very proud of this CD!