German band leader, singer-songwriter, 5-octave vocalist, session guitarist and composer Zed Mitchell announces a new album ‘Route 69’.
It is his 8th solo album in the last 13 years, in a 50-year career spanning 21 albums in all.
Recorded over the last 12 months, ‘‘Route 69’ features a dozen tracks full of his sumptuous guitar tone, autobiographical tales and songs that drip with melodic nuance and a lifetime’s experience.
His nimble bends, nuanced use of sustain and pristine tones have a zen like quality. They create a seamless flow at the heart of an album on which he always serves the song first.
'By Sundown You'll Be Gone' has a groovy funky intro before growling vocals lead us on with some wonderful guitar work for company. A nice and well structured start, before we have
'I Like To Drive', which slows the pace down with a more sultry and controlled head bobbing beat. A bluesy burner for sure.
'I'm Still Waiting' has a slowed down Latino undertone throughout this groove laden track, again with some exquisite guitar work. Next up is 'The Girl That Broke Your Heart', and this is a slower ballad whilst still maintaining that bluesy vibe.
'Freedom Trail' is a much more chilled out and relaxed number, with a beautiful feel, before 'From My Dreams', which has a more melodic vibe both musically and vocally bringing us this uplifting track.
'Midnight Melody' takes me to an old smoke filled jazz bar, no sticks used for the drums, just brushes and a tone that will have you hanging on every hook. Beautiful saxophone solo really sets the vibe.
'Is This Life?' brings us back with a succulent blues guitar laying the foundation for this thought provoking number.
'Blue In Your Eyes' is just a poignant love song with again some beautiful guitar to set the scene, before 'Life Will Always Find You', which is a more funk filled bluesy track with a more mid tempo beat that lifts us nicely after a few slower tracks.
'I Don't Know' is the penultimate track on this latest release and again takes us on a slower more structured journey with hypnotic guitar and controlled vocals.
Last but not least we have 'Fake', which brings an end to 'Route 69' with a bouncy and upbeat number and seems a fitting finale to this very good release from a very accomplished musical maestro.
'Route 69' is a wonderful mix of musical styles all brought beautifully together by a master musician. Zed Mitchell is without doubt very talented and is still producing the goods after five decades and 21 albums later.
This is an album that you never knew you needed in your collection, and for that alone and the exquisite guitar playing, TFM gives 'Route 69' 7.5/10, a class collection of blues infused songs.