Posted February 2022
If you’ve followed Boomerocity very long at all or followed Boomerocity very long at all, then you know I love the blues and love covering blues artists, love catching their shows and albums - the whole nine yards.
Very early on in Boomerocity’s existence, I caught Johnny Winter at the Granada Theater in Dallas, Texas. That's when I lived in Dallas. There was a gentleman that opened for Johnny by the name of Mike Zito and I became an immediate fan of his. I fell in love with his music, especially his song, Pearl River. It just blew me away. Johnny did too, of course. I've been following Mike ever since then.
I did an interview - my first interview with him - was 10 and a half years ago at the Dallas International Guitar Festival (here). I don't know why it took so long for us to get back together after that, but we have. Since that first interview, he has started a record label called Gulf Coast Records. He's got some great blues artists on that label, as well as himself.
We had a great chat about his new live album called, Blues For The South Side. It was recorded in his hometown of St. Louis. It's a phenomenal album, I highly recommend that you get it (and you can do so by clicking on the album cover on this page). We obviously talked about the album. We talked about the state of the blues, how the pandemic affected his business, and some of the other people he knows. There's are a couple names dropped that I think you'll really like to hear about.
Watch the video of the interview, below. Enjoy what’s being talked about. Share it with your friends.
The Boomerocity Interview With Mike Zito
Nederland, TX –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 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."Multi-Blues Music Award-Winning Guitarist Mike Zito Blasts Off with New Double Live CD Set Recorded in St. Louis, Blues for the Southside, Coming February 18th from Gulf Coast Records