Live review: Mike Zito & The Wheel + The Tom Kilner Band: True Blues Club at Earlestown Conservative Club, Newton-le-Willows: 31st October

Posted on: Wednesday, Nov 4, 2015

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Live gig review for MIKE ZITO & THE WHEEL by Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive @ True Blues Club, Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside 31/10/15

Another memorable evening at the North West’s premier ‘Juke Joint’, the True Blues Club in Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside.

Breaking ground with the support act for the evening, the Tom Kilner Band, a blues rock combo from Rotherham. As a three piece, they played a great set with many numbers taken from their new album ‘Hard Road’. Fronting the band on guitar and vocals was Tom Kilner, ably supported by Oliver Tallent on bass and Jake Ashton on drums. With some powerful vocals and Gallagher style guitar they also gave us some rockin’ numbers with a dash of Hendrix to finish the set.

Playing to a full house, the main pull for the evening was of course, from Missouri USA, Mike Zito and The Wheel, who gave us a show to remember. Fronting the band on class vocals and extraordinary guitar was Mike Zito. Filling the room on supersonic sax and vocals was Jimmy Carpenter, with incredible bass riffs from Scott Sutherland and exceptional rhythms from Rob Lee on drums.

They played a great selection of numbers from Mike’s previous albums and also showcased the new album ‘Keep Coming Back’, the title track an all singing and dancing rockin’ R&B number with terrific slide, vocals and super sexy sax, with drums and bass working their socks off. Also ‘Chin Up’, an up tempo rockin’ blues and ‘Nothing Coming Back’ an excellent southern rock to finish the set.

With plenty more on the table, they also played the great award winning song , ‘Pearl River’ which was sung and played to perfection. It was recorded in 2009 and, written by Mike and Cyril Neville from the Royal Southern Brotherhood, which Mike Zito was a co-founder. Jimmy took to lead vocals on a funky number, interspersed with the coolest sax I have heard for a long while. Guitar work from Mike was out of this world with some phenomenal bass playing from Scott, working so well with the complex drumming skills of Rob.

To complete the evening, for an encore, some great Texas blues with classic Freddie King, with tastes of funky, 12 bar rocky blues, just excellent! To have such a band in such an intimate venue was an experience in itself , so many thanks go to Graham and Steve who host the True Blues Club and Gordon who sponsored the event.

Here’s hoping Mike Zito & The Wheel will be paying a return visit to True Blues Club in the future. It was certainly a night to remember!

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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