Keep Coming Back (2015 – Ruf Records)

01. Keep Coming Back
02. Chin Up
03. Get Busy Living
04. Early In The Morning
05. I Was Drunk
06. Lonely Heart
07. Girl From Liberty
08. Get Out Of Denver
09. Nothin’ But The Truth
10. Cross The Border

When he played with the Royal Southern Brotherhood, Mike Zito has shown he was a great guitar player and a great composer, even if he already had before a nice solo career with albums such as Pearl River, Today or Superman. When he played with the Royal Southern Brotherhood, he also created three solo albums, a studio one Gone to Texas, and two lives ones Songs for the Road and Bootleg a tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival, recorded on a New Year eve in Conroe Texas in 2014 at the Dosey Doe Music Cafe. Since the autumn of 2014, when he left the Royal Southern Brotherhood, he keeps on touring with his band The Wheel: Jimmy Carpenter (saxophone), Scot Sutherland (bass), Lewis Stephens (piano, organ) and he issued a new CD. This album, recorded in June at the Dockside studios in Louisiana with producer Trina Shoemaker and David Farrell as the sound engineer, is more rock than the older ones. There are two covers, Bob Seger's "Get out of Denver" with an intro close to the Stones "Honky Tonk Woman", and Creedence's "Bootleg" at the end of this record. These are a great tribute to the great rock bands of the sixties.

Three songs are written by Anders Osborne, including "I was drunk" where this Swedish musician plays. This song is about a hard moment of Mike's life before getting rid of alcohol and drugs with the help of his new spouse. Music is always wonderful, Jimmy Carpenter saxophone brings this unique color to the music and the New Orleans sound. Other Wheel musicians Scot Sutherland (bass), Lewis Stephens (piano, organ), Rob Lee (drums, percussion) are perfect. But something, I think, is missing, and it's in the songs compositions which are not as good as the Royal Southern Brotherhood ones. Maybe the too many tours can explain this fact, maybe the German label Ruff Records is a part of this too. Band is on tour in the USA and in Europe with no time to rest between these two tours. It's hard to find time to create nice songs.

However, we cannot write a song such as "Gone to Texas" everyday, but the lack of a good song is missing in that album. "Keep Coming Back" in spite of this fact is an excellent album but we could hope a better one from this incredible musician!

Michel Bertelle

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