Jim Suhler

Jim Suhler and his band Monkey Beat have been on the music scene since 1992 and have built a loyal fanbase worldwide. The Dallas, Texas-based group is known for its no holds barred approach to blues-inspired rock ‘n roll and roots music.

Their four Lucky Seven releases, two releases on Underworld Records, and Jim’s solo acoustic CD ‘Dirt Road’ on Topcat Records have shown an amazing depth of songwriting and playing, and their constant touring both in North America and Europe has garnered many admirers and accolades. Their album Tijuana Bible was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Rock/Blues Album in the 2010 Blues Music Awards by The Blues Foundation in Memphis.

The band has worked in the past with noted producers Terry Manning (ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Stax Records, etc.), and Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan), and Grammy Award-winning producer/songwriter Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Winter etc.).

Jim is also well known as lead guitarist and songwriter with George Thorogood & the Destroyers since 1999, appearing on all albums and video releases during that time.

He has had his songs used in feature films (Spun, Wallace & Grommit) and is a multiple nominee in the prestigious Dallas Observer Music Awards. He is a member of BUDDY, Texas’ oldest music magazine Texas Tornado Hall of Fame.

MIKE ZITO

Mike Zito is one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today and rightfully so, but for him, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.

“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders (Osborne) told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff; I try to make every word count.”​

Naturally, patience and perseverance have been Zito’s stock and trade since the beginning. He began playing guitar at the age of five, and by the time he reached his late teens, he was already a fixture on the local St. Louis music scene. He initially released his music independently and then signed with Eclecto Groove Records in 2008. “Pearl River,” the title track of his 2009 album for the label, won Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and marked his first collaboration with Cyril Neville, with whom he’d later work in the Royal Southern Brotherhood. A steady succession of critically acclaimed albums followed, culminating in 2011’s Greyhound, which was nominated for Best Rock Blues Album at that year’s Blue Music Awards ceremony in Memphis. Two years later, he signed with Ruf Records and released Gone to Texas, the story of how he gained his sobriety, offered an emotional homage to the state that left an indelible imprint on his entire life. It also marked the debut of his band, The Wheel.​

From 2010 to 2014, Zito also played an integral role in the super group of sorts, Royal Southern Brotherhood. The group released two albums and a DVD, Songs from the Road – Live in Germany, winner of the year’s Blues Music Award for Best DVD. He also made his mark behind the boards by producing albums for Samantha Fish, Albert Castiglia, Ally Venable, Jeremiah Johnson, Jimmy Carpenter, and many others.​

Meanwhile, the accolades kept coming. His album, Make Blues Not War, debuted on the Billboard Blues Album Chart at number one and garnered him recognition as the 2018 Rock Blues Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards. First Class Life followed suit, also entering the charts at number one. Alternate Root magazine insisted that “The First Class Life that Mike Zito titles his upcoming album can be heard in the sweet sound of Blue Soul rising like heat waves from his guitar and his vocal.” American Blues Scene said, “Mike Zito’s return to the blues is, in a word, triumphant!” No Depression declared, “Once again, Zito has delivered the goods, a first class package with no postage due.”​

Mike Zito’s last CD, Quarantine Blues, was recorded during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and served as a healing love letter to his fans around the world that heralded better days ahead if we’d all just stick together.  His album prior to that was a tribute to fellow St. Louis native and rock ‘n’ roll legend, Chuck Berry, and featured an array of guest guitarists ranging from Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Eric Gales, to Robben Ford, Luther Dickinson and Sonny Landreth, as well as Berry’s own grandson.

Gulf Coast Records’ Blues Music Award-Winners Mike Zito and  Albert Castiglia bond as Blood Brothers on new CD coming  early 2023. Blood Brothers was produced by Joe Bonamassa  and Josh Smith and recorded at Dockside Studio in Maurice,  Louisiana. 

Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia are true “Blood Brothers” in life  and in the music they create both individually and collectively,  joining forces in a collaborative effort of songwriting and  performances to create a total listening experience greater than  the sum of its parts. Added to that process are the talents of  producers Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, who brought fresh  ideas to the recording sessions, pushing Mike and Albert  creatively and musically to present their best work to date. 

Mike and Albert have a special chemistry together when they  plug in and play that few have. They finish each other’s  sentences musically,” award-winning guitarist Joe Bonamassa  said about the sessions. “Great tunes, great people, great hang!  What’s not to like? It was an honor to be involved in this  project.” 

“Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia have done something special,”  added co-producer Josh Smith. “They have both found their  musical confidante. Most solo artists never even look – let alone  find – theirs. They have brought together a real ‘band’ using  members of each’s solo acts. The sum of all these parts added  with a tremendous effort to both write and perform the strongest 

record of their respective careers has paid off in a special album.  Blood Brothers indeed! Joe and I are proud that these brothers  trusted our partnership to produce this special album!” 

Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia will be hitting the road again in  support of the new Blood Brothers album. They will bring  together their two powerhouse bands, featuring Matt Johnson:  drums; Ephraim Lowell: drums; Doug Byrkit: bass; and Lewis  Stephens: piano/organ. Both Mike and Albert will be onstage  performing together for the entire show, so fans can enjoy the  amazing chemistry and creativity that these two musicians share  with each other – and the audience. In addition to their own  rock, blues and roots individual tunes, the set will feature a  number of songs from the Blood Brothers album.  

About Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia 

Both Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia are celebrating their most recent albums: Zito’s double live set, Blues for the Southside  (released Feb. 2021), debuted at number one on the Billboard  

Blues Chart; and Castiglia’s latest solo disc, I Got Love,  (released in May, 2022) also charted very high.  

Mike Zito won the 2022 Blues Music Award for “Blues Rock  Album;” and Albert Castiglia won the BMA for “Blues Rock  Artist.” With both artists on the exciting Gulf Coast Records  label, it only made sense to join forces and give the fans what  they’ve long been clamoring for: “Blood Brothers.”

MIKE ZITO

Mike Zito is one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today and rightfully so, but for him, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.

“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders (Osborne) told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff; I try to make every word count.”​

Naturally, patience and perseverance have been Zito’s stock and trade since the beginning. He began playing guitar at the age of five, and by the time he reached his late teens, he was already a fixture on the local St. Louis music scene. He initially released his music independently and then signed with Eclecto Groove Records in 2008. “Pearl River,” the title track of his 2009 album for the label, won Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and marked his first collaboration with Cyril Neville, with whom he’d later work in the Royal Southern Brotherhood. A steady succession of critically acclaimed albums followed, culminating in 2011’s Greyhound, which was nominated for Best Rock Blues Album at that year’s Blue Music Awards ceremony in Memphis. Two years later, he signed with Ruf Records and released Gone to Texas, the story of how he gained his sobriety, offered an emotional homage to the state that left an indelible imprint on his entire life. It also marked the debut of his band, The Wheel.​

From 2010 to 2014, Zito also played an integral role in the super group of sorts, Royal Southern Brotherhood. The group released two albums and a DVD, Songs from the Road – Live in Germany, winner of the year’s Blues Music Award for Best DVD. He also made his mark behind the boards by producing albums for Samantha Fish, Albert Castiglia, Ally Venable, Jeremiah Johnson, Jimmy Carpenter, and many others.​

Meanwhile, the accolades kept coming. His album, Make Blues Not War, debuted on the Billboard Blues Album Chart at number one and garnered him recognition as the 2018 Rock Blues Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards. First Class Life followed suit, also entering the charts at number one. Alternate Root magazine insisted that “The First Class Life that Mike Zito titles his upcoming album can be heard in the sweet sound of Blue Soul rising like heat waves from his guitar and his vocal.” American Blues Scene said, “Mike Zito’s return to the blues is, in a word, triumphant!” No Depression declared, “Once again, Zito has delivered the goods, a first class package with no postage due.”​

Mike Zito’s last CD, Quarantine Blues, was recorded during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and served as a healing love letter to his fans around the world that heralded better days ahead if we’d all just stick together.  His album prior to that was a tribute to fellow St. Louis native and rock ‘n’ roll legend, Chuck Berry, and featured an array of guest guitarists ranging from Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Eric Gales, to Robben Ford, Luther Dickinson and Sonny Landreth, as well as Berry’s own grandson.

MIKE ZITO

Mike Zito is one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today and rightfully so, but for him, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.

“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders (Osborne) told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff; I try to make every word count.”​

Naturally, patience and perseverance have been Zito’s stock and trade since the beginning. He began playing guitar at the age of five, and by the time he reached his late teens, he was already a fixture on the local St. Louis music scene. He initially released his music independently and then signed with Eclecto Groove Records in 2008. “Pearl River,” the title track of his 2009 album for the label, won Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and marked his first collaboration with Cyril Neville, with whom he’d later work in the Royal Southern Brotherhood. A steady succession of critically acclaimed albums followed, culminating in 2011’s Greyhound, which was nominated for Best Rock Blues Album at that year’s Blue Music Awards ceremony in Memphis. Two years later, he signed with Ruf Records and released Gone to Texas, the story of how he gained his sobriety, offered an emotional homage to the state that left an indelible imprint on his entire life. It also marked the debut of his band, The Wheel.​

From 2010 to 2014, Zito also played an integral role in the super group of sorts, Royal Southern Brotherhood. The group released two albums and a DVD, Songs from the Road – Live in Germany, winner of the year’s Blues Music Award for Best DVD. He also made his mark behind the boards by producing albums for Samantha Fish, Albert Castiglia, Ally Venable, Jeremiah Johnson, Jimmy Carpenter, and many others.​

Meanwhile, the accolades kept coming. His album, Make Blues Not War, debuted on the Billboard Blues Album Chart at number one and garnered him recognition as the 2018 Rock Blues Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards. First Class Life followed suit, also entering the charts at number one. Alternate Root magazine insisted that “The First Class Life that Mike Zito titles his upcoming album can be heard in the sweet sound of Blue Soul rising like heat waves from his guitar and his vocal.” American Blues Scene said, “Mike Zito’s return to the blues is, in a word, triumphant!” No Depression declared, “Once again, Zito has delivered the goods, a first class package with no postage due.”​

Mike Zito’s last CD, Quarantine Blues, was recorded during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and served as a healing love letter to his fans around the world that heralded better days ahead if we’d all just stick together.  His album prior to that was a tribute to fellow St. Louis native and rock ‘n’ roll legend, Chuck Berry, and featured an array of guest guitarists ranging from Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Eric Gales, to Robben Ford, Luther Dickinson and Sonny Landreth, as well as Berry’s own grandson.

 

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Mike Zito is one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today and rightfully so, but for him, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.

“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders (Osborne) told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff; I try to make every word count.”​

Naturally, patience and perseverance have been Zito’s stock and trade since the beginning. He began playing guitar at the age of five, and by the time he reached his late teens, he was already a fixture on the local St. Louis music scene. He initially released his music independently and then signed with Eclecto Groove Records in 2008. “Pearl River,” the title track of his 2009 album for the label, won Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and marked his first collaboration with Cyril Neville, with whom he’d later work in the Royal Southern Brotherhood. A steady succession of critically acclaimed albums followed, culminating in 2011’s Greyhound, which was nominated for Best Rock Blues Album at that year’s Blue Music Awards ceremony in Memphis. Two years later, he signed with Ruf Records and released Gone to Texas, the story of how he gained his sobriety, offered an emotional homage to the state that left an indelible imprint on his entire life. It also marked the debut of his band, The Wheel.​

From 2010 to 2014, Zito also played an integral role in the super group of sorts, Royal Southern Brotherhood. The group released two albums and a DVD, Songs from the Road – Live in Germany, winner of the year’s Blues Music Award for Best DVD. He also made his mark behind the boards by producing albums for Samantha Fish, Albert Castiglia, Ally Venable, Jeremiah Johnson, Jimmy Carpenter, and many others.​

Meanwhile, the accolades kept coming. His album, Make Blues Not War, debuted on the Billboard Blues Album Chart at number one and garnered him recognition as the 2018 Rock Blues Artist of the Year at the Blues Music Awards. First Class Life followed suit, also entering the charts at number one. Alternate Root magazine insisted that “The First Class Life that Mike Zito titles his upcoming album can be heard in the sweet sound of Blue Soul rising like heat waves from his guitar and his vocal.” American Blues Scene said, “Mike Zito’s return to the blues is, in a word, triumphant!” No Depression declared, “Once again, Zito has delivered the goods, a first class package with no postage due.”​

Mike Zito’s last CD, Quarantine Blues, was recorded during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and served as a healing love letter to his fans around the world that heralded better days ahead if we’d all just stick together.  His album prior to that was a tribute to fellow St. Louis native and rock ‘n’ roll legend, Chuck Berry, and featured an array of guest guitarists ranging from Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Eric Gales, to Robben Ford, Luther Dickinson and Sonny Landreth, as well as Berry’s own grandson.

Jim Suhler and his band Monkey Beat have been on the music scene now for over twenty two years and have built a fanbase worldwide. The Dallas, Texas based group are known for their no holds barred approach to blues inspired rock ‘n roll and roots music. Their four Lucky Seven releases, two releases on Underworld Records and Jim’s solo acoustic CD ‘Dirt Road’ on Topcat records have shown an amazing depth of songwriting and playing, and their constant touring both in North America and Europe has garnered many admirers and accolades.

The band has worked in the past with noted producers Terry Manning (ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Stax records, etc.), and Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter Tom Hambridge. Jim is also well known as lead guitarist with George Thorogood & the Destroyers since 1999, and has had his songs used in feature films (Spun, Wallace & Grommit) and is a multiple nominee in the prestigious Dallas Observer Music Awards, plus he is a member of BUDDY, Texas’ oldest music magazine Texas Tornado Hall of Fame.

Jim Suhler and his band Monkey Beat have been on the music scene now for over twenty two years and have built a fanbase worldwide. The Dallas, Texas based group are known for their no holds barred approach to blues inspired rock ‘n roll and roots music. Their four Lucky Seven releases, two releases on Underworld Records and Jim’s solo acoustic CD ‘Dirt Road’ on Topcat records have shown an amazing depth of songwriting and playing, and their constant touring both in North America and Europe has garnered many admirers and accolades.

The band has worked in the past with noted producers Terry Manning (ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Stax records, etc.), and Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter Tom Hambridge. Jim is also well known as lead guitarist with George Thorogood & the Destroyers since 1999, and has had his songs used in feature films (Spun, Wallace & Grommit) and is a multiple nominee in the prestigious Dallas Observer Music Awards, plus he is a member of BUDDY, Texas’ oldest music magazine Texas Tornado Hall of Fame.

Jim Suhler and his band Monkey Beat have been on the music scene now for over twenty five years and have built a fanbase worldwide. The Dallas, Texas based group are known for their no holds barred approach to blues inspired rock ‘n roll and roots music. Their four Lucky Seven releases, three releases on Underworld Records and Jim’s solo acoustic CD ‘Dirt Road’ on Topcat records have shown an amazing depth of songwriting and playing, and their constant touring both in North America and Europe has garnered many admirers and accolades. The band has worked in the past with noted producers Terry Manning (ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Stax records, etc.), and Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter Tom Hambridge.

Jim is also well known as lead guitarist with George Thorogood & the Destroyers since 1999, and has had his songs used in network tv, feature films (Spun, Wallace & Grommit) and is a multiple nominee in the prestigious Dallas Observer Music Awards, plus he is a member of BUDDY, Texas’ oldest music magazine Texas Tornado Hall of Fame. Their latest release, “Live At The Kessler”, recorded at the Kessler Theater in  Oak Cliff was nominated for a Best Live Blues CD in the 2016 Blues Blast Awards.

This presentation is a rare treat for fans of both artists and for fans of blues in general. It features two of the most accomplished and acclaimed entertainers on the blues scene today. Tommy Castro and Mike Zito have a combined nine Blues Music Award wins and Mike Zito won a BMA Award for Best Blues Rock Artist just last May. Both artists also have current releases. Tommy’s new album Stompin’ Ground is critically acclaimed. Elmore Magazine raves “Stompin’ Ground is an hour of Tommy Castro’s best entertainment ever. Absolutely irresistible and authentic.” Mike Zito’s new album First Class Life debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart after its release in May. Jazz Times proclaims about Mike Zito “His music flows into the veins and moves the body in ways that can only be described as free and wild… .” The show will feature vocal and guitar collaborations on Tommy Castro’s and Mike Zito’s favorite songs, creating something new and fresh when these acclaimed guitarists combine their individual styles of playing and singing. Backed by Tommy Castro’s band the Painkillers, this promises to be a high energy and very entertaining evening.

Jim Suhler and his band Monkey Beat have been on the music scene now for over twenty two years and have built a fanbase worldwide. The Dallas, Texas based group are known for their no holds barred approach to blues inspired rock ‘n roll and roots music. Their four Lucky Seven releases, two releases on Underworld Records and Jim’s solo acoustic CD ‘Dirt Road’ on Topcat records have shown an amazing depth of songwriting and playing, and their constant touring both in North America and Europe has garnered many admirers and accolades.

The band has worked in the past with noted producers Terry Manning (ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Stax records, etc.), and Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter Tom Hambridge. Jim is also well known as lead guitarist with George Thorogood & the Destroyers since 1999, and has had his songs used in feature films (Spun, Wallace & Grommit) and is a multiple nominee in the prestigious Dallas Observer Music Awards, plus he is a member of BUDDY, Texas’ oldest music magazine Texas Tornado Hall of Fame.

 

Born in South St. Louis, Mo. Mike Zito grew up in a working class home with a dire love of music. It was his escape and way out. After a decade working in a local guitar shop, Mike learned his craft from the ground up playing in clubs 7 nights a week. He fell in love with the Blues of St. Louis and the stories of the country singers. His first self released album “Blue Room” hit the streets in 1998 and he has made 12 albums total over the years. He signed and recorded with Eclecto Groove Records and Ruf Records. He is a founding member of the supergroup “Royal Southern Brotherhood” with Cyril Neville and Devon Allman. In 2012 he formed his own group, The Wheel. Mike has produced albums for Samantha Fish, Laurence Jones, Albert Castiglia and others. He tours extensively in the USA, Canada and Europe. He has been honored with multiple Blues Music Awards over the past 10 years. His love of life and pursuit of happiness is felt in every note he sings and plays.