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Mike Zito Fuses Rock, Blues, Soul on 'Pearl River'

Mike Zito's 'Pearl River' CD

Rock, blues and soul come together on a new release titled Pearl River by rising singer and guitarist Mike Zito.

For Mike Zito, singing "Dirty Blonde" from Pearl River, the phrase "up-and-comer" is a thing of the past. As one reviewer writes, "With his husky vocals and hard rocking guitar, Mike is well on his way to the big time."

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Zito gravitated to the guitar after hearing an album by '80s rockers Van Halen. Guitar greats Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and B.B. King also made an impression, as well as Prince and Buddy Guy.

Mike crafted his skills while working in a local guitar shop frequented by legendary rocker Chuck Berry. Looking back, Mike says, "I soaked up the sounds of that store, and began building my own style."

After a succession of independent releases in the 1990s, Mike picked up a steady stream of followers on extensive tours across the country. When he wasn't touring, he spent his time off playing nightly gigs in his hometown.

Weary from touring, and close to giving up altogether on a career in music, Mike remained confident that he was close to gaining a major label contract. He says, "Music can change everything; how you feel; how you see and what you believe." Sure enough, he was offered a national distribution deal with Delta Groove Music.

Mike Zito performs the haunting title track from his second Delta Groove release, "Pearl River." The album recently debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard's blues chart.

Much of the album was inspired by the sights and sounds of New Orleans, Louisiana, where Pearl River was recorded, including a duet titled "Shoes Blues" with singer Susan Cowsill of the '60s pop band The Cowsills.