Every now and then you just need a night of guitar heroes. Not the video game, but real life, in the flesh, masters of their instruments. On April 28th, those of us that headed to Count's Vamp'd were treated to two of the best.
The night started off with the John Zito Band. Zito may be better known for his work with Count's 77, featuring Vamp'd owner and star of "Count's Customs" TV show Danny Koker, but he has been a local favorite for over a decade now.
Zito's tone and soul in his playing, especially his slide use, makes local guitarists jaws drop in unison. He and his top notch band, featuring bassist Barry Barnes and Paul 'Paulie D" DiSibio on drums, tore through a blistering set featuring bluesy numbers from their CD Lonely, Broke and Wasted, including the title track and set staples "Moving On" and "Rain". Also included was a haunting take on Neil Young's classic "Needle and the Damage Done" that had the packed house stunned.
John Zito is a must see if you are a fan of rock and blues, and if you enjoy seeing someone who has mastered their instrument, check him and the band out every Wednesday Night at the John Zito Jam at Count's Vamp'd.
The next maestro of the evening, Richie Kotzen, took the stage and picked up where Zito left off. Starting his set with bluesy, mid tempo rockers, Kotzen set the tone for his set. Known mostly for being "the guy who was in Poison" Kotzen and has made himself a nice career as one of the most respected guitarist in the business.
His work with The Winery Dogs, featuring Billy Sheenan and Mike Portnoy, has brought him back to the forefront on stages across the world, and deservedly so. With his Jeff Beck inspired playing, (no pick for this guy, all fingers) he seemingly glides across the fret-board, stopping only to bend a note to a tone that only he could have imagined.
Playing songs such as "End of Earth", "Love is Blind", and "Doing What the Devil Says to Do", Kotzen showed that he is not just a guitar hero, but a damn fine vocalist as well. He even sat behind the keyboards for a spell and showed his proficiency there. There's not much this man can't do.
Check him out solo or at a Winery Dogs gig when you get the chance. You'll definitely be blown away.
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Stephy Hayward for ZRockR Magazine - ©ZRockR Entertainment, LLC - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED