Mike Zito And Friends review…November 15, 2019…..

MIKE ZITO AND FRIENDS

ROCK AND ROLL: A TRIBUTE TO CHUCK BERRY

RUF RECORDS 1269

ST. LOUIS BLUES–CHARLIE BERRY III  ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC–JOANNA CONNOR  JOHNNY B. GOODE–WALTER TROUT  WEE WEE HOURS–JOE BONAMASSA  MEMPHIS–ANDERS OSBORNE  I WANT TO BE YOUR DRIVER–RYAN PERRY  YOU NEVER CAN TELL–ROBBEN FORD  BACK IN THE USA–ERIC GALES  NO PARTICULAR PLACE TO GO–JEREMIAH JOHNSON  TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS–LUTHER DICKINSON  HAVANA MOON–SONNY LANDRETH  PROMISED LAND–TINSLEY ELLIS  DOWN BOUND TRAIN–ALEX SKOLNICK  MAYBELLENE–RICHARD FORTUS  SCHOOL DAYS–ALLY VENABLE  BROWN EYED HANDSOME MAN–KIRK FLETCHER AND JOSH SMITH  REELIN AND ROCKIN–TOMMY CASTRO  LET IT ROCK–JIMMY VIVINO  THIRTY DAYS–ALBERT CASTIGLIA  MY DING A LING–KID ANDERSEN

Guitarist/composer/vocalist Mike Zito lived in Chuck Berry’s hometown of St. Louis for thirty-two years, working in a musical instrument store along with Chuck’s drummer.  Sometimes, Chuck’s son would stop by and this added to Mike’s passion for Chuck’s music.  For his latest album for Ruf Records, Mike Zito has just released “Mike Zito And Friends: Rock And Roll: A Tribute To Chuck Berry.”  Herein, Mike takes twenty of Chuck’s best-known songs, and, has the help of a whopping twenty-one his best friends in bringing these iconic tunes to life.

Fans, this is one of the best and purest tribute albums you are likely to hear,  Every cut is a classic, and you’ll know most of ’em by heart.  The guest stars are a “who’s who in contemporary blues,” and their contributions make this a special set, indeed.  All the players involved with this project owe a debt of gratitude to Chuck and his music, and perform their material with the spirit, passion, and joie de vivre that Chuck did when these songs were new.

Chuck’s son, Charles Berry III, leads things off with a rockin’ “St. Louis Blues,” followed by slide guitar queen Joanna Connor and Mike groovin’ on “Rock And Roll Music.”  Two videos have surfaced from this collection.  The first features Mike, Walter Trout, and a cameo by Walter’s wife, Marie, bringin’ down the house with “Johnny B. Goode.”  Next, Mike and good friend Albert Castiglia are “gonna give you 30 Days to get back home!”  Mike and Joe Bonamassa dig deep into the slow-burn of “Wee Wee Hours,” and even the young ‘uns know all about those “School Days,” done with Mike and Ally Venable!

On this set, it’s nothin’ but fun from cut one to twenty, just the way Chuck would have wanted it.  Dance your ass off with “Mike Zito And Friends Rock And Roll, A Tribute To Chuck Berry.”  Motorvatin’ over the hill, we remain…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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