Gone To Texas Mike Zito & The Wheel
- 1Gone To Texas04:58
- 2Rainbow Bridge04:18
- 3I Never Knew A Hurricane05:24
- 4Don't Think Cause You're Pretty04:56
- 5Death Row04:07
- 6Don't Break A Leg04:52
- 7Take It Easy05:44
- 8The Road Never Ends04:12
- 9Subtraction Blues05:02
- 10Hell On Me04:40
- 11Voices In Dallas04:30
- 12Wings Of Freedom05:45
- 13Let Your Light Shine On Me03:28
Info for Gone To Texas
Gone to Texas, is the solo label debut album from singer/guitarist Mike Zito. Also along for the ride are special guests Delbert McClinton on vocals and harmonica, Sonny Landreth on guitar, Susan Cowsill on vocals and Lewis Stephens (Delbert McClinton, Freddie King) on keyboards. Zito expertly matches them with his core band, The Wheel: Jimmy Carpenter – sax and guitars; Rob Lee – drums; and Scot Sutherland – bass. The result effectively announces one of the most exciting and highly-anticipated new releases of the year.
Recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana, Gone to Texas was produced by the Beaumont, Texas-based Zito and engineered by long-time New Orleans notable David Ferrell, giving the album’s mix a decided Crescent City bent, while embracing Mike’s Texas blues and roots influences. The lead-off title track is an autobiographical tale of redemption and catharsis for Zito, who literally lived the tale, with a bit of an Allman Brothers musical twinge. “Rainbow Bridge,” aided and abetted by some killer Sonny Landreth guitar work and soulful Susan Cowsill vocals, sounds like a long-lost Little Feat song. On “The Road Never Ends,” Zito cranks things into the stratosphere with a sonic blast of electric slide guitar and blistering vocals, accompanied on vocals and harmonica by McClinton. “Subtraction Blues” deals with a man whose dealings with his woman “just don’t add up,” spiced with a funky Second Line feel. “Take It Easy, “one of the two non-originals on the album, is Zito’s soothing take on the McClinton-penned ballad. The other cover is Mike’s unique version of Beaumont’s own Blind Willie Johnson’s “Let Your Love Shine on Me,” which closes the album.
Texas saved my life. Sounds a bit dramatic, but absolutely true. Historically, Texas has been the saving grace of many desperate men. In the early 1800s, men who had large debts or committed crimes would run off to Texas to hide from the colonies and their creditors. This was called "Gone to Texas". It was most often a shame on the family left behind and the man on the run. New Spain (Mexico at that time, including Mexican Texas) took in all runaways and vagabonds it could hold. Many of these men found a new life in what would be Texas, returned for their families, paid their debts off, only to fight and die for the freedom of Texas from Spanish rule.
Texas was my last stand as well. I ended up there after running away from all of my problems and mostly myself. I took off on the Greyhound bus and got off in Texas, leaving my family behind. My drug addiction is no secret and Texas is where I confronted my problems and made a change that has saved my life. I met a woman who lived in Texas years before and was spiritually drawn to her. I signed a cd she bought from me years ago and wrote "Take me to Texas with you" on the cover- who would've thought? She has stood by my side though it all and has given me the love and support I needed to stand on my own two feet. South East Texas has taken me in and given me a new life. This is a much different place than the south side of Saint Louis where I grew up. They all take it for granted around here, but it is a very unique place in the world.
The Wheel is a special band. These musicians were hand picked over the years. These are some of my favorite musicians on planet earth. My dream band.
We all have one thing in common, make the music feel good! My sincerest gratitude to all the musicians for their heartfelt performances.
It is no surprise that this most important album to me is being released on Ruf Records. I have wanted to be a Ruf recording artist since 1998. Thomas Ruf and I have tried many times get together over the years but the Universe wasn't ready for us until now!
So, this is my Texas album. My story of Texas. The history, the culture, the music and the amazing pride that shines on every Lone Star flag.I am truly thankful for my life, love, friends and family. God Bless Texas.
Mike Zito, vocals, guitars
Jimmy Carpenter, saxophones, vocals, percussion
Rob Lee, drums
Scott Sutherland, bass guitars
Delbert McClinton, vocals, harmonica
Sonny Landreth, guitar
Susan Cowsill, vocals
Lewis Stephens, B3 and pianos
Singer, guitarist and songwriter Mike Zito grew up in St. Louis, immersed in the gritty and soulful sounds of the city’s south side that would provide the groundwork for his future in music. He began singing and performing at the age of five, received his first guitar not long afterward, and music has been his guiding force ever since. Working at a local guitar shop after high school, he encountered many of the legends of the local music scene. “Everyone from Chuck Berry to [bluesman] Bennie Smith came in that store,” Zito says of his experience. “I soaked up the sounds of that store, and began building my own style.”
Zito’s journey took off in earnest at the age of 19, when he began making a name for himself as a unique new voice on the highly competitive St. Louis music scene. His incessant touring schedule found him crisscrossing the country playing everywhere from funky roadhouses to major festival stages to an international tour for the USO, and performing in front of enthusiastic crowds six nights a week around St. Louis when not on the road. During this period of intense music making Zito began to hone and polish his art, developing a breathtaking level of virtuosity and a unique expressive voice with both his singing and guitar playing, while at the same time stripping away the non-essential elements and cutting to the core of what moved a live audience.
But throwing himself headfirst into the pursuit of his art had a toll, and Zito paid it. The non-stop lifestyle led to a dark and dangerous period during which Zito came close to drinking and drugging away all that he’d worked so hard to establish. It took time, but thankfully, with the help and intervention of friends and supporters in the music business, loved ones, and the woman who would become his wife, Zito regained his faith in himself and his music, cleaned up his act, and settled down in Southeast Texas to begin anew.
With a clean slate, a fresh outlook, and a new dedication to his music, Zito now also had a message of positivity and redemption that has informed his new music with a deeper meaning and taken it to an entirely new level. Zito is that rare new artist who completely in synch with the contemporary music scene, while at the same time having a lifetime’s worth of experience to draw from that informs his music with soul, depth, and lasting appeal that grows with repeated listening.