Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

MIKE ZITO & THE WHEEL

GONE TO TEXAS

2013-10-13

After a tough stretch fighting drug addiction and other assorted demons, guitarist Mike Zito finds himself in a much better place than when he last checked in on 2011's Greyhound. With a dream gig as the dueling guitar counter-part to Devon Allman in the supergroup Royal Southern Brotherhood, and with his own top-notch band The Wheel backing him when the Brotherhood is on break, he's gaining some space on his demons. On Death Row and Gone to Texas he lays it all on the line and reveals that a higher power and the right lady in Texas saved him from an ugly fate but on I Never Knew A Hurricane he admits that he continues to dread having his heart stomped flat and on Hell on Me and Voices in Dallas he finds the drug demons are still hot on his heels. While his time in the Lone Star state may have saved him, he's still on the move and finding roadblocks, Rainbow Bridge (where he trades riffs with Sonny Landreth) and still finds relationships to be befuddling at best, Subtraction Blues, but mostly touch and go, Don't Think Cause You're Pretty and Don't Break a Leg where he foolishly can't understand why he's in trouble for commenting favorably on his lady's sister and then trying to make up by asking her to be more sensuous. While his sentiments might be clunky, at least he has insight into his failings. On the low key ballad Take it Easy he pleads with his lover not to waste too much emotional energy trying to change him since it will only end badly. The roadhouse rock duet with Delbert McClinton, The Road Never Ends finds him echoing his Greyhound disc and acknowledging wanderlust to be a major factor in his problems: "The road never ends it just goes on and on/ by the time I get home I'm already gone."On Wings of Freedom he finally realizes that always flying away from his problems is his problem. While Zito's tales are deeply personal they strike a universal chord and are made compelling by his great guitar work and the spot on work of his band. Smitty

 

 

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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