Mike Zito & The Wheel are just rollin' right along here. This is easily his most varied and best album to date. His voice is becoming ever more expressive, and pulling nuance out of the songs. Whether it is because of the influences of playing with the other group he co-founded, Royal Southern Brotherhood, with the likes of Cyril Neville, Devon Allman, and the rest of the crew or just a gradual maturation, he has got it nailed on this disc. This Texas bluesman pulls back from the rock aspect and gets more into the swampy feel honky-tonk feel. The fact that this disc is recorded at Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana with the likes of Delbert McClinton (vocals and Harmonica), Susan Cowsill (vocals), and Sonny Landreth (slide guitar), makes it personal and because of that connection it stretches out and takes the listener on a delicate thrill ride, filled with musical blasts and dynamic vocals throughout.
The Wheel is made up of Jimmy Carpenter (sax and keyboards) Scot Sutherland (bass), and Rob Lee (drums). Mr. Zito expertly meshes the guest artists with his regular band, a very tight unit that has some stomp to it. Just so we are clear not all the slide guitar here is Sonny Landreth's work; Mike Zito is very accomplished on the slide guitar and is more than capable of holding up his end of the bargain, maybe even causing Sonny to dig a little deeper to show Mike Zito something new. (Do not get me wrong Sonny is arguably the finest slide guitarist playing in this reviewer's opinion.) Mike wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the disc except Let Your Light Shine On Me written by William Johnson and Take It Easy by Delbert McClinton. However you cut it this is a disc that you are going to have great trouble getting out of your turntable, it is that good.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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