Blues fans all felt a little, well, blue when Mike Zito announced that he was leaving the heavy-hitting supergroup, Royal Southern Brotherhood, but now that he’s announced his second solo album since his departure, we can all rest easy, knowing that this one-man blues-rock powerhouse is still on the scene.
Make Blues Not War marks lucky number 13 for Zito, a follow up to last year’s Keep Coming Back, and will be released by Ruf Records on November 18th. Grammy Award-winning producer Tom Hambridge co-wrote and produced the album, and once they arrived at the Sound Stage Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, the magic started flowing. “It’s a completely live album, where the musicians all set up and we just hit record and went for it,” Zito recalls. “The energy was awesome and sometimes we’d just be laughing so hard because it was all so intense and exciting.” On one song, the musical chemistry comes as no surprise; Mike’s oldest son, Zach Zito, picked up the guitar for a guest spot on “Chip Off The Block” (aww).
The wild energy of those sessions translates to tape, as you’ll hear the second you hit play on the title track, which Elmore is premiering today. “We hear about everything 24/7 now,” Zito says of the inspiration behind the single. “The news never stops and it’s all become propaganda. But when you turn off the news and turn on some blues, the world is a beautiful place. I think music is the cure for all ailments. Always has been. Always will be.”
Zito’s slow-burning guitar opens the sultry track, and soon his smoky croon chimes in, doubling down on the track’s seductive slink. Towards the end, he cues up alongside the greats in blue history: “Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters said it too… B.B. King showed the world that blues is good for you.”
Give “Make Blues Not War” a spin below.