|Gone To Texas|
Mike Zito and The Wheel
Gone To Texas
I Never Knew A Hurricane
Don’t Think Cause Your Pretty
Don’t Break A Leg
Take It Easy
The Road Never Ends
Hell On Me
Voices In Dallas
Wings Of Freedom
Let Your Light Shine On Me
''Texas saved my life.'' This is how Mike Zito begins his liner notes and he goes on to expand his claim.
''Gone to Texas'' is an old euphemism for running away from large debts and committed crimes. In Zito's case, it was a physical relocation as well as a personal inner journey.
Describing Texas as ''My last stand'', it was where Zito ''confronted my problems and made a change that saved my life.'' He once signed a CD for a Texas woman and included the words ''take me to Texas with you''. It turned out to be a pivotal moment in his life.
The (obviously autobiographical) opening track charts the initial journey in an upbeat manner and acts as a fitting introduction for what is to follow.
We encounter an impressive range of styles over the course of the 13 tracks. Rockers such as Rainbow Bridge rub shoulders with the likes of the soulful (I Never Knew A Hurricane), the dark and grungy (Don’t Think Cause Your Pretty), bluesy (Death Row) a slab of sax-driven funk (Don't Break A Leg) and even Gospel, which makes a late appearance on Let Your Light Shine On Me.
The musicianship is not in question. In addition to Mike Zito's own evident virtuosity on various guitars, he is open with his admiration of the following personnel: Jimmy Carpenter (saxophines, vocals, percussion); Rob Lee (drums); Scot Sutherland (bass), Lewis Stephens (B3 and pianos); Susan Cowsill (vocals).
''The Wheel is a special band. These musicians were hand picked over the years. These are some of the greatest musicians on planet earth. My dream band.''
Each and every song takes its place in a soundtrack to Mike Zito's own life. That means they all have great meaning to him and it certainly shows through in the quality of the performances.
Stand out tracks: Gone To Texas, I Never Knew A Hurricane, The Road Never Ends.
For further details, head for the official Mike Zito website.