Mike Zito, ‘Life Is Hard’

Words By Emily Kowalczyk.

Mike Zito’s “Life Is Hard” is a mirror of his enduring power in the blues scene, and it is presented with raw emotion and musical finesse. Released under Gulf Coast Records, this album is a poignant journey through life’s struggles and triumphs, masterfully crafted by a team of seasoned professionals.

A product of Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood and produced by blues virtuosos Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, “Life Is Hard” benefits from top-notch production and a stellar lineup of musicians. Zito’s vocals and guitar work are complemented by the soulful contributions of additional guitarist Joe Bonamassa and keyboardist Reese Wynans, among others.

The album’s twelve tracks showcase Zito’s versatility as a songwriter and interpreter of the blues. From the haunting “Lonely Man” to the soul-stirring “Forever My Love,” each song resonates with authenticity and depth. Zito’s heartfelt lyrics and soulful delivery invite listeners to reflect on love, loss, and the human experience.

You can stream it below.

Photo Credit: Mike Zito | Gulf Coast Records.

Jennifer Porter, ‘Yes, I Do!’

Words By Emily Kowalczyk.

Jennifer Porter’s “Yes, I Do!” invites all on a soulful journey through the heartlands of American music. This ninth studio album from the acclaimed singer-songwriter is a vibrant fusion of New Orleans and Memphis Blues, tinged with the timeless essence of 1970s soul.

With eight tracks brimming with authenticity, Porter pays homage to musical legends like Professor Longhair, Billie Holiday, and Carol King while carving out her own unique sound. From the first note to the last, “Yes, I Do!” stuns with its rich melodies and emotive storytelling.

Porter’s velvety vocals glide over each arrangement, infusing every lyric with raw emotion!

You can stream below.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Porter

Jimmy Wayne, ‘Killing Me Softly’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Guy Hale and his musical companions, Mike Zito and Kid Anderson, have rocked their way to the forefront of the blues sphere with the release of the soundtrack for Guy’s latest must-read thriller, titled “Killing Me Softly.” A novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat with a plot that is replete with ruthlessness, ambition, and vice; in other words, all the essential elements of a nail-biter!

Guy Hale

Jimmy Wayne, the golden boy but with a secret like no other, leads us on a wild expedition through his life, and it is a story that a lot of musicians will relate with, apart from the crime section, of course. If you haven’t read the book yet but want to get a sense of what’s going on in Wayne’s crazy existence, listening to the soundtrack will provide you with plenty of hints.

It is not often that we review soundtracks here because that is not typically our thing. Usually, we find them a bit crap, but this one struck us as being a little bit unusual and it tickled our fancy. It could be a standalone album in is own right and that is what makes it so convincing!

The arrangement of the piano and violin in “Walking In A Dream” is absolutely stunning, and the way that each instrument is layered on top of the other has us clinging to the arms of our chairs with glee. The path is not like many others, and it is accompanied by profound feelings as it unfolds.

Photo Credit: Guy Hale.

The Lucky 13s, ‘We Can Come Together’

Words By Joey Rochert.

On New Music Friday, there is always one song that stands out, and this week it is The Lucky 13’s and their new track, ‘We Can Come Together.’

The band from the United Kingdom manage to find a positive in the mess of the world, and they hit home with a storey about reconnecting with loved ones despite current events dragging us back. Jamie Johnso’s voice is exquisite here, and he creates a stunning impression with his impressive vocal range.

The music is equally thrilling, with the drums thumping away with conviction, the brass section proving their worth, and the bass and guitar solos leaving us itching to hit repeat.

Check it out below.

Follow The Lucky 13s here – Facebook | Instagram | Official Website.

Photo Credit: The lucky 13s.

Jennifer Porter, ‘Show Me Your Love’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Jennifer Porter, the blues and soul vocalist, can’t go wrong with her new single, ‘Show Me Your Love.’

Jennifer Porter

Compared to her critically lauded single, ‘Sun Come And Shine,’ it’s a track that takes a step back in terms of energy. However, the soundscape still has a lot of power flowing out of it that’s hard to ignore. Its ethereal flow also gives way to serenity, and Jennifer’s beautiful vocal performance contributes to the air’s calmness.

The music is just as captivating as the melody, and Jennifer delivers a fantastic keyboard performance that hooks you in right away.

You can take a listen below.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Poter.

Tito Jackson, ‘Under Your Spell’, Review

Words By Joey Rochert.

Tito Jackson continues to cast his spell on the music world, and his new album, ‘Under Your Spell,’ is no exception. His latest album, which is out now on Gulfcoast Records and Hillside Global, is an instant classic, with his excellence reaching new heights.

Tito Jackson
@ Tito Jackson.

Jackson, who doesn’t typically venture into the blues domain, demonstrates his versatility here with a path to some of the best blues-rock on the planet. It all starts with ‘Wheels Keep Turning,’ and the feel-good sentiments begin with an unforgettable flavour. Tito is the man that holds the key to the good times, and he doesn’t hold back when it comes to spreading happiness with his instantly mesmerising singing.

‘Love One Another’ is the next track to hit the airwaves, and it’s no surprise that it’s already racked up over half a million Spotify streams in a short amount of time. It’s the song we all need in our lives, and it inspires change with a thought-provoking message on the need of spreading love.

Another fan favourite is ‘Dying Over Here,’ which features Kenny Neal, fellow music great. It’s a soulful blues treasure that leaves us wanting more! It’s tough not to sway your hips to ‘Rock Me Baby’, which features Tito’s buddies George Benson and Claudette Kings, among others.

‘I Got Caught (Loving In A Dream)’ brings the album to a close, and the tracks dazzling aura is enough to put it on the list of the finest new records of 2021.

Photo Credit: Tito Jackson.

Dave Kalz, ‘Mexico’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Dave Kalz returns with a new foot-stomping delight, ‘Mexico’, from his next album, ‘Relish’, out on June 25th via Gulf Coast Records.

With this first track from the next album, Dave hits the ground running vocally. With his distinct vocal quality pounding the cheeks with persistence, he draws us in from the first second. He talks about his time in Mexico, and his story expands as he continues through the song.

Dave smashes through the six-string, and his characteristic blues-rock grooves leap out of every area of the mix, in great form with his guitar delivery. The drum is powerful, and the product’s stadium atmosphere is unbeatable.

Grab some ‘Mexico’ below.

Gulf Coast official website.

Photo Credit: Dave Kalz.

KAJA, ‘Polish Flowers’

Words By Max Jordan.

KAJA is as fresh as they come with ‘Polish Flowers’. The release is a testament to the upcoming starlets’ prowess, and she smashes it from the first second.

Opening the track is a bold piano arrangement that is quite the paradox of KAJA’s lead vocal, somewhat tender and sincere with a heavenly aura. Seamlessly though, the components synergise, and the foundation paves the way onward.

Vocally, KAJA is compelling, and she reveals a reflective narrative about life in her mother, Poland. Also, she does not hold back, and her performance leaves an impression that pulls us back in time and time again.

You can check out ‘Polish Flowers’ by KAJA below.

Photo Credit: KAJA.

Jennifer Porter, ‘Sun Come And Shine’

Words By Max Jordan.

Jennifer Porter captivates with her new delivery, ‘Sun Come And Shine’.

The delivery is instantly empowering with a soundscape that is unlike another in the current space. Vocally, Jennifer is on flying form, and she smashes through her performance with vitality.

Fusing many sounds into one, Jennifer creates a hybrid of blues and soul, and she takes a giant leap forward, leaving us itching to hit replay once it comes to its closing second.

Pre-save here.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Porter.