In 1998, a 27-year-old blues rocker from St. Louis named Mike Zito decided to take a shot at “original songs written from the heart.” After playing an all-night gig, Zito and his band entered the studio and banged out ten searing tracks in one session to create an astonishing debut record, now re-released in a twentieth anniversary edition. As Zito states, “the vibe is total bravado, full of honesty.” Produced by Kevin Gerdes, Blue Room features Zito, bassist Doug Byrkit and drummer Brian Zielie.
The record immediately kicks off down and dirty with “Hollywood,” saturated in the Mike Zito style we have come to know and love. Chock full of extended blues jams, frenetic solos and gritty vocals, these tracks highlight how extraordinary Zito was from the beginning and how he has continued to hone his craft as guitarist, singer and producer. Tracks such as “Gravy Jam,” “Shoes Blues” and “Soundcheck” sizzle with blues attitude while the slow burner, “Lovering,” features a blistering guitar solo. “Ways About You” even echoes early sounds of The Police.
Zito closes it out with an epic blues reinterpretation of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin-penned “Rocket Man,” proving that this Missouri native can tackle just about anything, make it his own, and absolutely slay it. This early gem is a must-have for every Zito fan’s collection.