Tito Jackson- Mike Zito- Dave Kalz

Tito Jackson - Under Your Spell

Here on his first blues album, Jackson clan member Tito Jackson works with lots of guest players but on opening cut "Wheels Keep Turning" it's just Tito and his band strutting along to a bluesy, horn-enhanced New Orleans bounce; the joyous track sets the tone for the rest of the record which is similarly positive. "Love One Another," with guests Marlon Jackson, Bobby Rush, Kenny Neal and Stevie Wonder on harmonica, sounds a little like something Lenny Kravitz might do while "Under Your Spell" features ubiquitous guitarist Joe Bonamassa. "Big Leg Woman" features a sassy sax line that you can just picture the big leg woman doing her thing to. A cover of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" sizzles with guitar from George Benson and vocals from Claudette King, B.B.'s daughter. "All in the Family Blues" is notable for a couple of reasons; it features Kenny Neal on guitar and was penned by the famed songwriting duo of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who actually came out of retirement to write the song for Tito. This nice set from the smooth-voiced Jackson wraps up with "I Got Caught (Loving in a Dream)," a cut about calling another woman's name while dreaming.

Mike Zito - Resurrection

Zito's last album, recorded during the early days of the pandemic, was called Quarantine Blues. It's only fitting then, now that things are progressing toward normalcy, that his newest is called Resurrection. A hot cover of JJ Cale's "I'll Make Love to You" opens the effort; besides a showcase for Zito's guitar work, the song also spotlights saxophone player Eric Demmer. Most of the cuts here are Zito originals though, with highlights including the eerie R&B of "In My Blood," the rocking "You Don't Have Me" and the slow and steamy "Damned if I Do." The other covers are a take on the Willie Dixon chestnut "Evil" and an interpretation of Eric Clapton's "Presence of the Lord." The set closes with the title cut; "Resurrection" is a downbeat blues that's newly-written but that instantly has the feel of a classic.

Dave Kalz - Relish

The Milwaukee-based Kalz, a singer, songwriter and guitarist, is known to fans as one of the founding members of Devon Allman's Honeytribe and cuts here like "Mexico" and "Werewolf Blues," with Mike Zito on slide guitar, hint at his southern rock heritage. But there's also ZZ Top-style blues rock here ("Route 666"), breezy jazz-tinged blues (instrumental "Coffee with Muffin") and "I Can't Quit You Baby," a slow, Kalz-penned cut that showcases his Randy Newman-recalling vocals. Zito returns for another guest spot as guitar player on the self-explanatory "Playing the Blues with My Friends," dueling with Kalz on the mid-tempo shuffle.

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