Zito's Patience Paid Off in Musical Success; Award-winning Blues Artist Coming to Stanhope Nov. 20 with Bob Lanza Opening.
STANHOPE (Nov. 4, 2021) - Patience and perseverance have been Mike Zito’s stock and trade ever since he began playing the guitar at the age of five.
That patience and perseverance has paid off many years later for Zito in a big way as he is now considered among the top bluesmen in the blues world.
Zito brings his musical talent - and delightful crowd rapport - to the Stanhope House on Saturday Nov. 20. The Bob Lanza Blues Band, a hugely popular New Jersey group, will open the evening's show.
Zito is not just a great guitarist, but he's also known for his song writing abilities. When crafting songs he is most proud that he maintains a personal feel of honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.
Zito, who has recorded, played and toured with numerous A-1 musicians, including Royal Southern Brotherhood, was already considered a guitarist on the rise by his late teens when he performed regularly on the St. Louis music circuit. Things really took off with his 2009 recording, "Pearl River", which won Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and marked his first collaboration with Cyril Neville, with whom he’d later work in the Royal Southern Brotherhood.
A steady succession of critically acclaimed albums followed, culminating in 2011’s Greyhound, which was nominated for Best Rock Blues Album at that year’s Blue Music Awards ceremony in Memphis. Two years later, he signed with Ruf Records and released Gone to Texas, the story of how he gained his sobriety, offered an emotional homage to the state that left an indelible imprint on his entire life. It also marked the debut of his band, The Wheel.
From 2010 to 2014, Zito played an integral role with Royal Southern Brotherhood. The group released two albums and a DVD, Songs from the Road – Live in Germany, winner of the year’s Blues Music Award for Best DVD. He has also made his mark behind the boards by producing albums for Samantha Fish, Albert Castiglia, Ally Venable, Jeremiah Johnson, Jimmy Carpenter, and many others.
Meanwhile, the accolades kept coming. His album, Make Blues Not War, debuted on the Billboard Blues Album Chart at number one and garnered him recognition as the 2018 Rock Blues Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards. First Class Life followed suit, also entering the charts at number one. Alternate Root magazine insisted that “The First Class Life that Mike Zito titles his upcoming album can be heard in the sweet sound of Blue Soul rising like heat waves from his guitar and his vocal.” American Blues Scene said, “Mike Zito’s return to the blues is, in a word, triumphant!” No Depression declared, “Once again, Zito has delivered the goods, a first class package with no postage due.”
Mike Zito’s last CD, Quarantine Blues, was recorded during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and served as a healing love letter to his fans around the world that heralded better days ahead if "we’d all just stick together." His album prior to that was a tribute to fellow St. Louis native and rock ‘n’ roll legend, Chuck Berry, and featured an array of guest guitarists ranging from Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Eric Gales, to Robben Ford, Luther Dickinson and Sonny Landreth, as well as Berry’s own grandson.
Lanza, meanwhile, has released several of his own recordings, and is a regular on the warm weather festival scene. He, too, has performed with many blues greats, in one instance for example, backing up James Cotton.
The Stanhope House is located on Main Street in Downtown Stanhope. For ticket information to this show and others at the club, visit www.stanhopehousenj.com.
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