Guitarist Mike Zito to play shows in ABQ, Santa Fe - Albuquerque Journal

Guitarist Mike Zito to play shows in ABQ, Santa Fe

Mike Zito will stop in New Mexico for two performances — one in Albuquerque, one in Santa Fe on Jan. 28 and 29, respectively. (Courtesy of Luke Scott)

It’s the first night of tour and guitarist Mike Zito is bursting with anticipation.

After time off the road due to the pandemic, there’s a new world when it comes to touring – and Zito is taking all the precautions.

“We’re doing our best,” he says. “It’s a little touch and go with the new variant, but we’re moving forward.”

Zito spent the first half of the pandemic working on the album, “Quarantine Blues.” After a few months, he went back into his studio to work on his current album, “Resurrection,” which was released on July 16 off of his Gulf Coast Records. He worked with producer David Z on the album. Joining him on the album is Matthew Johnson, Doug Byrkit, Lewis Stephen, Zach Zito, Lisa Anderson, Eric Demmer and Fernando Castillo.

“I have songs in me and musical ideas all of the time,” Zito says. “I write what I can, when I can and try to save it all for posterity. Some of the songs are just songs and they don’t always have meaning for me, and some of them become very personal. For me to sing songs and feel them with real emotion, they need to be somewhat personal. Even songs I did not write, I need to feel they explain a part of my thinking or how I am feeling about love, sex, life, death, the world. ‘Resurrection’ is an album of feelings, emotions, and is very personal. The title track is how I once almost lost my love, but it came back stronger than ever. I have had this song in me for years, but it only makes sense now to share it with the world. After the year we have had on planet Earth, I believe we all need a rebirth. This rebirth has given me an opportunity to be who I want to be musically and artistically.”

Another silver lining to the pandemic is that Zito got time to know himself and his family.

“When I came home from a European tour, I didn’t know what would happen,” he says. “Everyone was scared and fans were able to buy ‘Quarantine Blues’ to help pay the musicians on the album.”

Zito also learned more about the changing music industry. His wife and children help him run all aspects pertaining to the record label.

“I didn’t know how to live stream,” he says. “I don’t care for it. But the world was changing and I had to adapt to it. COVID taught me that I wanted to keep doing what I was doing. I’ve been in this business for nearly 30 years. It’s what I love to do.”

Zito is looking forward to his performances in New Mexico.

“I’ve never played as Mike Zito,” he says. “I haven’t played in Albuquerque since the 1990s when I was playing guitar for Tony Vincent. He’s from Albuquerque and I was his guitar player. We still stay in touch and I called him up and told him I was doing a show there. Being on tour with Tony was the first time I ever toured. It’s going to be a wonderful time to return.”

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