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Gulf Coast Records announces the signing of five-piece south Texas-based blues/rock band, Ole Lonesome, and will release the group’s label debut album, Tejas Motel, on July 14.


Born in the oil swamps of Beaumont, Texas, and raised on the blues, Ole Lonesome is a blue collar swamp rock band with its ear tuned to the past and boots to the future.  With their love of tone and electric live performances,  Zachary Feemster (vocals and guitar), J. Wesley Hardin (bass), Gregory Mosley (keys), Jimmy Devers (drums), and Greg Achord (guitar) look to recreate the colors of decades gone and take their music through the stratosphere. Ole Lonesome joined label head/co-producer Mike Zito at Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana, to record the new album.


“After a gig in Deep Ellum, something caught my eye just outside the city off of the highway, an old sign that read ‘Tejas Motel,” explains Zachary Feemster about the album’s title origin. “Instantly, I knew this was my inspiration for the album and I had to describe this place with the titles and lyrics. As we started writing, the songs were coming effortlessly and each one was becoming a player in the story of Tejas Motel. The riffs were tuff, the vibe was gritty, and they were sitting comfortably in that grungy motel chair. When you listen to the title track, I think you’ll really grasp the vision we were trying to convey. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a concept album, but I can definitely say that if each song was a character, they would be well acquainted with each other. The energy between the songs strengthens the vision and brings to life the story of Tejas Motel.”


"I have known Zach Feemster for 20 years,” said Mike Zito in announcing the signing. “He toured with me and my band in 2011 for my Greyhound album. This group he has put together is a serious rock ‘n’ roll blues machine. They have the fire of Southeast Texas in their hearts and the gritty sound to prove it. This album will be a big sound on the Roots/Blues scene - it's modern yet old school at the same time. A true band that plays with energy and purpose, and I am super proud to have Ole Lonesome on GCR."


“We are beyond ecstatic to announce the upcoming release of our debut album on Gulf Coast Records,” said Zachary Feemster, “and honored to have collaborated with some big names like Mike Zito and Kid Andersen. Recording at Dockside Studio was such an awesome experience for us all, and we are excited to share Tejas Motel with our fans and the world.”

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All songs written by Zachary Feemster, J. Wesley Hardin, Greg Achord, Gregory Mosley, Jimmy Devers



Gold Chevy

Steady Mistreater

Momma’s Worry

Easy Street

Lo Key (featuring Mike Zito)

Ain’t No Good

The Fool

Natural Fact

Tejas Motel



Zachary Feemster (Vocals & Guitar)

J. Wesley Hardin (Bass)

Gregory Mosley (Keys)

Jimmy Devers (Drums & Percussion) 

Greg Achord (Guitar)

Featured Artist: Mike Zito (Guitar) on Lo Key

Photo by Emily Martindale

✪ Albert Castiglia Wins Two Blues Music Awards in Memphis ✪

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Congratulations to  Gulf Coast Records recording artist Albert Castiglia who won two Blues Music Awards at the 44th Annual Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN. Albert received the BMAs for Blues Rock Artist and Blues Rock Album of the Year with "I Got Love".

✪ Gulf Coast Records Signs Blues Guitar Ace Monster Mike Welch
and Will Release His Label Debut Album,
Nothing But Time, on June 30th ✪


Gulf Coast Records announces the signing of Boston-based blues guitar ace Monster Mike Welch, and will release his label debut album, Nothing But Time, on June 30th, with the first single, ”I’ve Got Nothing But Time,”  due May 26th. 


The new album was produced and engineered by Kid Andersen (who also plays on the album) at Greaseland Studios, San Jose, California, during March, 2023. It features an all-star band including legendary bassist and two-time Grammy winner Jerry Jemmott (Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Gregg Allman).


“I have been a fan of Monster Mike Welch for 25 plus years,” said Gulf Coast head Mike Zito in making the announcement. “He is one of the absolute finest blues artists/guitarists of our time and I am thrilled to be working with him. I am hopeful for some free guitar lessons.” 


Welch, who battled the COVID-19 demon for over a year-and-a-half, had this to say about his signing and the recording of Nothing But Time:  “At its worst, Long Covid was completely debilitating, and I spent most of 2022 genuinely unsure whether I’d be able to play music full time ever again. Kid Andersen and Mike Zito inspired me to take a leap of faith and make a new start; they both had my back and gave me the support and freedom to make the most personal record of my career.”

With almost three decades of touring and recording under his belt, guitarist Monster Mike Welch is a seasoned veteran of the international blues scene. Given the nickname “Monster Mike” by actor/”Blues Brother” Dan Aykroyd at the tender age of 13, Welch has since carved out a niche as a highly accomplished and in-demand guitarist. To date, Welch has released several albums under his own name and in 2001, he joined the ranks of one of New England’s most beloved blues institutions, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, where he stayed until 2017, recording five albums and racking up multiple Blues Music Award nominations with the band in that time. In addition, Welch has recorded with Shemekia Copeland, Ronnie Earl, Danielle Nicole, Duke Robillard, Johnny Winter, Victor Wainwright, Nick Moss, the Mannish Boys and Sugaray Rayford, among others. Welch left the Bluetones in 2017 to focus on his partnership with Mike Ledbetter, which led to seven Blues Music Award nominations and the formation of the Welch Ledbetter Connection within the first year. They won Best Traditional album in 2018, and  Mike won the BMA for Guitar (and Band ) in 2019. Welch received three consecutive Blues Music Award nominations by the Blues Foundation for Instrumentalist-Guitar beginning in 2016, a Boston Music Award for Best Blues Act, and is an inductee of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. In 2023, Monster Mike Welch has embarked on the next phase of his career with his signing to Gulf Coast Records to make new music. 

Vocal/Guitar: Monster Mike Welch 

Bass: Jerry Jemmott (1, 3, 4, 7, 13); Kid Andersen (2, 5, 6, 8-12)

Piano: Bob Welsh

Organ/Misc. Keys: Kid Andersen

Drums: Fabrice Bessouat 

Tenor Saxophone: Eric Spaulding (1, 5, 6, 8-12); Mike Peloquin (3, 4, 7, 13)

Baritone Saxophone: Jack Sanford (1, 5, 8, 9); Dr. Aaron Lington (3, 4, 7)

Trumpet: John Halblieb (1, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13)

Trombone/horn arrangements: Mike Rinta (3, 4, 7, 13)

Percussion: Vicki Randle (2, 3, 7, 13)

Background Vocals: JQ Welch (4), Jeannette Ocampo Welch (3),

Lisa Leuschner Andersen (3)

Harmonica: Rick Estrin (2)

1.  Walking to You Baby - Mike Welch

2.  If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day - Robert Johnson

3.  I’ve Got Nothing But Time - Mike Welch

4.  I Me Mine - George Harrison

5.  Offswitch Blues - Mike Welch

6.  I Ain’t Sayin’ - Mike Welch

7.  In Case You Care - Mike Welch

8.  Time to Move - Mike Welch

9.  Losing Every Battle - Mike Welch

10. Hard to Get Along With - Mike Welch

11. Jump for Joy - Mike Welch

12. Ten Years Ago - Buddy Guy

13. Afraid of My Own Tears Parts 1 & 2 - Mike Welch/George Lewis

14. Kind Hearted Woman Blues - Robert Johnson

✪ Gulf Coast Records Signs Blues Guitar Slinger 
Popa Chubby With Label Debut Coming This Fall ✪

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Photo by Nelson G. Onofre

 Gulf Coast Records announces the signing of New York City-based blues guitar slinger Popa Chubby (aka “The Beast from the East”) and will release his label debut live double-CD in the Fall of 2023.


“I remember the first time I heard Popa Chubby on the radio in the 1990s in St. Louis on KSHE-95; it blew me away,!” said Gulf Coast main man Mike Zito in making the announcement.  “I am so excited to be working with my hero, Popa Chubby. This record will knock your frigging socks off!!” 


“I’ve been a fan of Mike Zito for a decade or more,” said Popa Chubby.” I watched him grow Gulf Coast from scratch and it impressed me a lot. When I recorded this double-live record I contacted Mike about aligning our energies. The result can only be spectacular.” 


The new album was recorded at G Bluey’s Juke Joint in Long Island City, New York, on October 24 and 25, 2022, and features Popa Chubby (guitar and vocals), backed by his all-star “Beast Band,” which consists of Mike Merritt - bass (Conan O’Brien, Billy Gibbons); Mike Dimeo - keyboards (Johnny Winter, Tommy James); and Stefano Giudici - drums.


“This record is a reunion in a lot of ways,” stated Popa Chubby. “Rejoining with my long-time ally and bassist extraordinaire Mike Merritt and recording in my old Manny’s Car Wash engineer Glen Forrest’s studio. The icing on the cake was Mike Dimeo on keys. Add the Centurion Stefano Giudici on drums and you’ve got some heavy blues rock! A live best of for the ages!” 

Born Ted Horowitz, Popa Chubby is a long-time, New York City veteran blues rocker, who also produced and mixed his upcoming new album.  He’s been hard-rocking the blues in his fierce and soulful way for more than 35 years. Over the course of his career, he has been a force to be reckoned with on the guitar, and his tempestuous, soulful playing has never been more powerful. An imposing figure with a shaven head, tattooed arms, a goatee and a performance style he describes as “the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motörhead meets Muddy Waters and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson,” Popa Chubby is an endearing character who has become one of the genre’s most popular figures.


His career has always been about moving forward and carving a place for himself in the imposing terrain of the music business, overcoming odds to continue growing and maturing as a creative force. He has built a constantly increasing base of fans across the world, where in many territories he is a star. A native New Yorker, his first gigs were in the NYC punk scene as a guitarist for what he reflects was a "crazy Japanese special effects performance artist in a kimono called ‘Screaming Mad George,’ who had a horror-movie inspired show.” Right from the start, he was immersed in rock ‘n’ roll as theater, and learned from George and others playing CBGB’s at the time that included the Ramones, the Cramps, Richard Hell, whose band -the Voidoids - he joined, that rock ‘n’ roll should be dangerous. He reflects, "Musicians like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols weren’t just bands. They were a threat to society."


The blues, however, was the foundation of his playing style. He recalls, "Since I’d grown up on Hendrix, Cream and Led Zeppelin, when I started playing blues in New York clubs I understood that the blues should be dangerous, too. It wasn’t just from playing in punk bands. Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters were dangerous men. They’d cut or shoot you if they thought it was necessary, and Little Walter packed a gun and wouldn’t hesitate to use it. That danger is a real part of the blues and I keep it alive in my music.”


Popa Chubby is his own man. "I’m living in a wild time, and that is where the inspiration is drawn from. There are my issues, but the picture is much bigger than me and my situation. Everything is breaking down in the world. The lines are being redefined. We all need something.”

✪ Blues Guitar Great Joanna Connor Brings Best of Me to Gulf Coast Records Debut Album, Releasing June 9th ✪


Gulf Coast Records announces a June 9th release date for Best of Me, the label debut from  acclaimed Chicago blues guitar great Joanna Connor. Joining Joanna (guitar and vocals) on the recording is her regular “Wrecking Crew” touring band: Shaun Gotti Calloway – bass; Dan Souvigny – guitar and keys; Curtis Moore Jr. – keys; and Jason J Roc Edwards - drums and vocals. Special guests include labelmates Eric Demmer – saxophone and Jason Ricci: - harmonica; and guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Josh Smith, Gary Hoey and Gulf Coast president Mike Zito: guitar; David Abbruzzese on drums and the Grooveline Horns. Best of Me was produced by Shaun Gotti Calloway, Jason J Roc Edwards, and Joanna Connor, and recorded at Studio2424 in Chicago.


“There are musicians that play together and may do it extremely well,” Joanna said about the Best of Me recording sessions. “Then, there are musicians that move as one, that share moments of creating music that is mystically telepathic. The group of musicians we assembled here created a free-flowing and fiery blend of soul, rock, funk and country, all rooted in the blues. Making this record with the go ahead from Mike Zito and Gulf Coast Records to have free reign was uplifting and inspiring. This recording definitely brought out the’ best of me,’ and solidified my band as a force to be reckoned with. Guitar power and nuance is evident on this record but so are convincing vocals, soul-stirring keyboard work, tighter than tight horns and a rhythm section that propels and compliments each song. The album touches on my maturing as a woman, facing mortality with grace and thanks, celebrating love won, love lost, lust and passion, the pain and pleasure of having this human experience. I hope the listener enjoys this record as much as we had making it.”

Joanna Connor – "Best of Me" Tracks 


1. House Rules - Shaun Calloway

2. Pain and Pleasure - Shaun Calloway and Joanna Connor

3. Best of Me - Shaun Calloway

4. Highway Child - Shaun Calloway and Joanna Connor

5. I Lost You - Joanna Connor

6. Two of a Kind - Shaun Calloway and Joanna Connor

7. All I Want Is You - Shaun Calloway and Joanna Connor

8. Mercury Blues -  Robert Geddins and KC Douglas

9. Shadow Lover - Shaun Calloway and Joanna Connor

10. Greatest of These -  Joanna Connor

11. Shine On -  Shaun Calloway and Joanna Connor



Joanna Connor - Guitar & Vocals 

Shaun Gotti Calloway - Bass 

Jason J Roc Edwards - Drums & Background Vocals 

Dan Souvigny - Rhythm Guitar & Keys on Mercury Blues, The Greatest of These, I Lost You 

Curtis Moore Jr - Organ, Wurlitzer, Synthesizer 

Grooveline Horns: Fernando Castillo - Trumpet & Flugelhorn; Carlos Sosa – Saxophones Flute; Raul Vallejo - Trombone on House Rules, Best of Me, Two of A Kind
Eric Demmer - Saxophone Solos - House Rules

Frank Pellegrino - Emcee


Featured Artists 

Joe Bonamassa: Guitar - Highway Child 

Josh Smith: Guitar - Pain and Pleasure, House Rules 

Gary Hoey: Guitar & Background Vocals - Shine On 

Jason Ricci: Harmonica - Shine On 

Mike Zito: Guitar - Shadow Lover

David Abbruzzese: Drums - Mercury Blues 






Blood Brothers merchandise also available!






𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 to Gulf Coast Records artists Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia! Their new release 𝐁𝐋𝐎𝐎𝐃 𝐁𝐑𝐎𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐒 debuted on the Billboard Top US Blues Albums chart at #𝟏. Thank you to all the fans who helped make it happen!!

Blood Brothers was produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith




✪  Gulf Coast Records Announces the Signing of Acclaimed 
St. Petersburg-Based Backtrack Blues Band, and Will Release Their Label Debut CD, A Day by the Bay – Live, on April 14th ✪

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Recorded live at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival on April 10, 2022, the new live album showcases the band that consists of Sonny Charles on harmonica and vocals, Kid Royal on lead guitar and vocals, Little Johnny Walter on rhythm guitar, Joe Bencomo on drums and Stick Davis on bass. On larger shows, the band is joined by Wayne Sharp on B3 organ and the Backtrack Angels on backing vocals. These seasoned musicians combined have garnered a Grammy Award, two Blues Music Awards, a Keeping the Blues Alive Award, and three Tampa Bay Music Awards for “Best Blues Band. “ 

“I have been a friend and fan of Sonny Charles for years,” says Gulf Coast Records founder Mike Zito in announcing the signing. “His band has been a staple in the Florida Blues scene for 40 years. This live album is a wonderful culmination of his great band and love for the music.”


“A Day by The Bay captures the energy and excitement of the band performing live at a major festival,” adds Sonny Charles. “Lots of guitar, harp and B3 organ on these original tunes to please Blues music fans.  We think blues music is best when it’s experienced live. This album represents our decades of performing together, and the band’s longevity is reflected in the strong guitar, harp and B3 organ that really shine here. “

The Backtrack Blues Band was formed in St Petersburg, Florida in 1980, and is one of the longest-running blues bands in America. This high-energy quintet features Chicago- style blues, with Texas influences. Exceptional guitar, harp, and vocals have made this band a favorite on the American and international festival circuit. 

Backtrack Blues Band has performed in concert with the world’s greatest blues artists, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Robert Cray, Johnny Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Koko Taylor, John Lee Hooker, and many more. The group has released eight albums of original music, including this latest album on Gulf Coast Records. 

The group’s members are serious students of blues music, and their influences include Little Walter, Albert King, Ronnie Earl, Paul Butterfield, and Sonny Boy Williamson. Sonny Charles is an accomplished harp player in the mold of the great Chicago blues harmonica legends. Kid Royal is influenced by the Texas blues sounds of Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, and Jimmie Vaughan.


Together, they comprise one of Florida’s longest-running and most accomplished blues bands, displaying original, electric blues music with honesty and panache!  

Backtrack Blues Band

Photo by Art Becker

L to R: Joe Bencomo, Kid Royal, Sonny Charles, Little Johnny Walter and Stick Davis 

✪  Gulf  Coast  Records’  Blues  Music  Award - Winners  Mike  Zito  and Albert  Castiglia 
Are  Blood  Brothers  on  New  CD  Coming  March 17  ✪

New  Disc  Produced  by  Joe  Bonamassa  and  Josh  Smith

Gulf Coast Records announces a March 17 release date for one of the most-anticipated albums of the year, the upcoming Blood Brothers disc featuring multi-Blues Music Award-winners Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia. The duo concluded a highly-successful string of “Blood Brothers” shows in the spring/summer of 2022 with new tour dates already announced beginning in February and running through the summer, culminating with a special appearance at the Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas in September. Blood Brothers was produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith and recorded at Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana. “Sweet Mama,” the album’s first single/video, drops February 10th. 


"This album was a blast to make and I am even more excited to take this music out on the road and perform for the people,” says Mike Zito. “It's just a bit more complex with an overall band dynamic that I think sets apart from what Albert and I normally do."


“The making of this album was a ‘brotherhood’ in every sense of the word,” adds Albert Castiglia. “The production team of Josh Smith and Joe Bonamassa, along with Mike and I created something incredibly special. I hope our fans enjoy this collaboration as much as we did.”

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."


For the Blood Brothers album, Mike Zito: vocals/guitars; Albert Castiglia: vocals/guitars – brought together their two powerhouse bands, featuring Matt Johnson: drums; Ephraim Lowell: drums; Doug Byrkit: bass; Lewis Stephens: piano/organ.  Josh Smith provided his additional talents on guitar to the sound, and Joe Bonamassa stepped up to be featured on the new song, “A Thousand Heartaches.” 


"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!"

Of the many insights into the songs on Blood Brothers, Mike Zito offered these two about “‘In My Soul’ and “One Step Ahead of the Blues”: “In the summer of 2022, my wife Laura was diagnosed with cancer. It was a surreal shock. Albert suggested I write songs about how I felt, but I said no. I just couldn't bring myself to that place yet. ‘In My Soul’ is the only song that came out of what I was feeling at that time. I didn't think about it or analyze it, I just started singing.


“For ‘One Step Ahead of the Blues’: I am a JJ Cale fanatic. I love his voice and his style. Although JJ did not write this song, his recording has always been on my playlist. It just fits this band and album with Albert. It turned into a great duet that makes for a strong bond.”

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Photo by: Norma Touchette

Albert Castiglia ventured inspirations for “A Thousand Heartaches” and “Tooth and Nail”:   “In March of 2022, while on tour in Delaware with The Blood Brothers, Mike asked me to write a ballad for the new album, because we were well-stocked with up tempo numbers and needed to change the pace a little. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to write an unrequited love song like ‘Bell Bottom Blues’ by Derek & The Dominos or ‘We’ve Got Tonight’ by Bob Seger. I’ve been through unreciprocated and forbidden love in my life, but never had the songwriting chops to express how I felt in the midst of it. Most of my songs of love gone bad or love never meant to be usually had me coming off as bitter. I wanted to change that, dig into my past and write something that had me taking the high road and coming off a little more dignified.  I think my songwriting has come a long way and ‘A Thousand Heartaches’ is a result of that progression. 


“And when Tinsley Ellis writes a song for you, you listen! Tinsley came to our Blood Brothers show in Atlanta last summer and told us he had a few songs that he had written for us. ‘Tooth and Nail’ grabbed my attention right away. It has all the elements that appeal to a blues-rock guy who grew up in Florida. To me, it’s the ultimate southern rock, Florida/Georgia blues tune. It’s signature Tinsley. It was an honor to sing and play on this one.”

Mike and Albert will be hitting the road again in support of the new Blood Brothers album, with dates booked by Intrepid Artists. With over 45 years combined in the music business, Zito and Castiglia have toured the world spreading joy and bringing the music to the people. For the upcoming “Blood Brothers” tour, 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. 

✪ Gulf  Coast  Records  Announces  the  Signing  of  Rock  and Roll  Band  Ole  Lonesome ✪


Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of rock and roll band Ole Lonesome and will release their label debut album later this year. Born in the oil swamps of Beaumont, TX, and raised on the blues, Ole Lonesome is a swamp rock band with its ear tuned to the past and boots to the future. With their love of tone and electric live performances, Zachary Feemster (Vocals & Guitar), J. Wesley Hardin (Bass), Gregory Mosley (Keys), Jimmy Devers (Drums), and Greg Achord (Guitar) look to recreate the colors of decades gone and take their music through the stratosphere. Ole Lonesome is joining producer Mike Zito at Dockside Studio this week to record their upcoming album.

✪ Gulf  Coast  Records  Announces  the  Signing  of  Blues  Guitar  Wizard  Joanna  Connor and  Will  Release  Her  Label  Debut  CD  in  Spring,  2023 ✪

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NEDERLAND, TX – Gulf Coast Records announces the signing of acclaimed Chicago blues guitar great Joanna Connor, and will release her label debut CD in the Spring of 2023. Connor will be going into the studio in December to record the new album.  She’ll be recording with her “Wrecking Crew 22” band that includes: Joanna Connor - guitar and vocals; Shaun Gotti Calloway – bass; Dan Souvigny – guitar and keys; Curtis Moore Jr. – keys; and Jason J Roc Edwards - drums and vocals. Several special guests on the sessions will be announced at a later date. 


“I’ve been a fan of Joanna Connor for a long time and it’s just incredible that she’s working with our label,” Gulf Coast label head Mike Zito said in making the announcement. “Joanna Connor is one of the greats in contemporary blues and has been for over thirty years. She has a sound and a feel that is immediately recognizable and magical.”


“I’ve had some wonderful labels in the past, but signing with Gulf Coast feels like I’m joining a family,” said Joanna Connor. “I’m also extremely excited for my new band to bring our music to the world. Now we have found the home base to launch it from.”


Looking more in-person like a woman who could be your next door neighbor rather than the scorching blues rock guitar goddess that she is, Joanna Connor is an atypical and unassuming guitar heroine who absolutely shreds or tenderly caresses notes out of a Gibson Les Paul. Those who are in the know rave about a musician who has played behind Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Otis Rush and Luther Allison; and shared stages with the likes of Jimmy Page, Robben Ford, Robert Cray, the Doobie Brothers, Etta James and numerous other legends. Having her performances passed along on social media by heavy hitters Slash, Bootsy Collins, Vernon Reed and others only gives credence to her immense and intriguing talents.

Photo by: Maryam Wilcher

Joanna Connor was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, and after beginning her career there at the age of 17, packed a suitcase, a Fender Twin Amp, a guitar and bought a bus ticket to the Blues Mecca of Chicago, where her goal was to be in a cracking blues band learning from the best . A mere month after moving to the Windy City, Delta blues heavyweight Johnny Littlejohn hired her. A few months after that, Dion Payton enlisted her to be a part of his 43rd Street Blues Band, where they held residencies at the hallowed Checkerboard Lounge and the Kingston Mines blues clubs, and were the backing band behind every major talent in the city. Joanna went on to tour with sax great AC Reed before starting her own band at the urging of the Kingston Mines owner. Blind Pig Records signed Joanna in 1989 and released several records on her before she went on to become the second artist to sign with Ruf Records; subsequently releasing many records for the German-based label, which led to a decade of touring throughout Europe.


In 2002, The House of Blues in Chicago offered Joanna and her band a weekly residency, and with her additional residency at the Kingston Mines, Connor made the decision to come off the road touring grind for a while and work locally four nights per week, while raising her two children as a single mom. Joanna also recorded several albums for the highly-respected MC Records during that decade. 

In 2019, one of the videos of her fierce guitar work caught the eyes and ears of one of the most prominent guitarists of the modern era -Joe Bonamassa - as well as director Adrian Lynne (Flash Dance, Fatal Attraction). Lynne offered her a scene performing in the movie, Deep Water, starring Ben Affleck. At the same time, Joe Bonamassa and his KTBA Records label gave her the opportunity to make a studio album. Both projects happened right before the COVID 19 epidemic and subsequent lockdown. The KTBA album, 4801 South Indiana, was released in February of 2021 to immense critical acclaim and a number one spot on the Billboard blues chart. The Deep Water film was released on Hulu in March, 2022. 


Joanna and her band went right back to work in April of 2021. With a band of young virtuoso musicians she dubbed the “Wrecking Crew 22,” fires were started worldwide on stages everywhere. Joanna reached out to one of her most beloved musicians, Mike Zito and Gulf Coast Records in hopes that this tsunami of musical energy and passion could be unleashed on record, and soon everyone will hear what all the excitement is about.


𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 Eric Demmer! Eric's new release 𝐒𝐎 𝐅𝐈𝐍𝐄 debuted on the Billboard Top US Blues Albums chart at #5. Thank you to all the fans who helped make it happen!!

✪ Gulf  Coast  Records’  Blues  Music  Award - Winners  Mike  Zito  and  Albert  Castiglia Bond  as  Blood  Brothers  on  New  CD  Coming  Early  2023 ✪

New  Disc  Produced  by  Joe  Bonamassa  and  Josh  Smith

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“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."


For the Blood Brothers album, Mike Zito: vocals/guitars; Albert Castiglia: vocals/guitars – brought together their two powerhouse bands, featuring Matt Johnson: drums; Ephraim Lowell: drums; Doug Byrkit: bass; Lewis Stephens: piano/organ.  Josh Smith provided his additional talents on guitar to the sound, and Joe Bonamassa stepped up to be featured on the new song, “A Thousand Heartaches.” 

NEDERLAND, TX – Gulf Coast Records announces a first quarter, 2023, release for one of the most-anticipated albums of the New Year, with the upcoming Blood Brothers disc featuring multi-Blues Music Award-winners Mike Zito and Albert Castiglia. The duo recently concluded a highly-successful string of “Blood Brothers” shows in the spring/summer, with new tour dates to be announced shortly.


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.

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"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 and Albert will be hitting the road again in support of the new Blood Brothers album, with dates booked by Intrepid Artists. With over 45 years combined in the music business, Zito and Castiglia have toured the world spreading joy and bringing the music to the people. For the upcoming “Blood Brothers” tour, 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.  

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✪ Everything Is So Fine on Saxman Eric Demmer’s Debut CD from Gulf Coast Records, Coming on November 18 


Gulf Coast Records announces the signing of Texas-based sax great Eric Demmer, and will release his label debut CD, So Fine, on November 18. Backing the sax work and vocals of the blues/soul/rock veteran are a cadre of solid all-star players, along with such special guest as Gulf Coast Records main man Mike Zito, plus guitarists Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Mark May, and The Funky Rick Marcel; the Grooveline Horns; with added vocals by Melanie Covington, Darrell Lacy and Eric’s daughter, Danielle, whose funky vocals show this apple did not fall far away from the Demmer tree. So Fine was produced by Mike Zito and Eric Demmer, with mixing and mastering done by Ernie Wells of Eighth Note Productions. 


Eric’s soulful, soaring saxophone and well-worn vocals punctuate the delivery on all dozen tracks of So Fine. “I try to insert humor into some of the songs I write like ‘Don’t Talk to Me’ and ‘What Was I Thinking,” he says. “After all the years of playing sax with famous guitar players, I realize that, ‘I’m a Guitar Player’…I just don’t play guitar. On a more serious note, the song ‘Will It Ever Be the Same’ was inspired from one of our darkest times in history. All the loss of life and destruction happening at the same time really hurt my soul and it made me wonder if it ever will be the same. “

Eric Demmer began his professional career in the early 1980s as a roadie for a Texas dancehall band. “During that time, I became a sound engineer working for sound companies; and in 1989, I was the sound engineer on Clint Black’s ‘Killing Time’ tour,” he recalls.  After I left the tour, I decided to devote my time to playing sax full-time.  In 1993, I got the call to play with the legendary guitarist, Clarence ‘Gatemouth Brown,’ and was a member of ‘Gate’s’ band until his death in 2005.  One of my career highlights while playing with ‘Gate’ was performing on Eric Clapton’s, ‘From the Cradle’ Tour.  Also, I was invited by Dickey Betts to perform with The Allman Brothers Band, and I had the privilege of performing with many world-class artists such as Johnny Clyde Copeland, B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, Johnnie Johnson, Les Paul, Billy Gibbons, and many more.  In 2016, I played shows with Mike Zito; and in 2018, I started performing with guitarist Mike Zito’s Big Blues Band.  After playing with Mike and so many other great artists, I had the yearning to put out my own album and share my heartfelt experiences.  The album, So Fine, tells the story of my relationships throughout my personal and musical experiences. “ 


In recent years, in addition to playing with award-winning blues guitarist, Mike Zito, Eric’s horn work graced albums by The BB King Blues Band, featuring Tito Jackson of the Jackson 5. In addition to playing saxophone, Eric produced a CD for The BB King Blues Band that was released in 2019; also performed on Mike Zito’s Resurrection album and Tito Jackson’s recent CD, Under Your Spell, which were both released in 2021 on Gulf Coast Records. When he’s not touring with other artists, Eric also tours with his own band. He describes his sound as “high-energy blues with a mix of funk and rock-n-roll.” Eric combines a variety of musical styles and influences while reminding everyone that “…the real thing comes from the heart and soul.”

Track Listing

1. Don’t Talk to Me

2. She’s So Fine

3. Will It Ever Be the Same

4. What Was I Thinking

5. I’m A Guitar Player

6. I’m Alright

7. Start It All Again

8. Get Out of Town

9. Let Me Go

10. Just Can’t Wait

11. Any Day Get Away

12. Have You Ever Loved A Woman

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Blues Blast Magazine has announced the winners for the 2022 Blues Blast Awards!

Congratulations to Jason Ricci for winning the award for Harmonica and Mike Zito for Producer! Thanks to all the fans that voted and helped make it happen.

✪ 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐 Blues Music Award - Winning Sax Player Jimmy Carpenter Explores His Crescent City Roots On "The Louisiana Record", Due September 16
From Gulf Coast Records 


Two-time Blues Music Award-winning sax player Jimmy Carpenter (2021/2022), who’s also been nominated recently for a Blues Blast Magazine award for best horn player, has something special in-store for his fans with the release of his new CD, The Louisiana Record, due September 16 from Gulf Coast Records. 

“When Mike Zito, my old friend and co-owner of Gulf Coast Records, called to say it was time for me to make another record, I was super excited,” Carpenter recalls. “When he told me about his idea for a Louisiana-themed cover album, I admit I was skeptical; but the longer I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. As Mike pointed out, there is no doubt that my time in New Orleans redefined me as a musician, and changed me forever on many levels. When he suggested we go down to Dockside Studio, situated on the lazy Vermilion River south of Lafayette, Louisiana, record with iconic New Orleans engineer, Mr. David Farrell, AND work with some of my dearest friends and finest musicians in the Crescent City, I was absolutely sold. From a very long and amazing list, we chose songs by some of the most important songwriters in American music, artists like Allen Toussaint, Fats Domino, and Dr. John. The Louisiana Record is my tribute to the mash-up of Blues, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, and Rock-n-roll that is New Orleans Music.”

Joining Jimmy Carpenter (sax and vocals) for the red beans and rice run of 11 songs on The Louisiana Record are: Mike Zito – guitars; Casandra Faulconer - bass guitar; John Gros - piano/organ; and Wayne Maureau – drums.

Now based in Las Vegas, Jimmy Carpenter lived and performed in New Orleans from early 2004 until 2016, and his time there clearly influenced his music.“Without question, New Orleans and the music that flows out of that great city have had a huge impact on me, musically and personally,” Carpenter says. “These are songs by iconic American songwriters, just a few of my favorites that helped shape me and my approach to writing, playing, and living. It is impossible to overstate the influence New Orleans, its music and its musicians have had on me, as player, songwriter, and performer.

"The musical bar in New Orleans is set very high, and it's both terrifying and inspiring. I got used to being in over my head, and hanging on for dear life. But as daunting as the music can be, I was welcomed and encouraged by the musicians and the community. My friends that recorded this album with me were all huge parts of my ‘upbringing” in that scene, and I'm so happy we came together again to record these songs. "There are so many songs that I've come across in my life that originated in Nola. I did ‘I Hear You Knocking’ and ‘Travelin' Mood’ years ago, but hearing Fats Domino and Dr. John do them - right in front of me - really gave them new meaning.

"As I searched for songs for this record, the one that I was sure I wanted to do was the beautiful ballad, ‘All These Things. Written by one of the world's greatest songwriters, Mr. Allen Toussaint, and recorded originally by Art ‘Poppa Funk’ Neville, it is the epitome of New Orleans soul: simple, melodic, grooving and a great song for some pretty sax.

"‘Something You Got,’ by Chris Kenner, is a standard in New Orleans, but I did not realize how many artists, from all over the world, have recorded it. I think we put a very cool, funky, greasy spin on it, and it's definitely gonna’ be in my regular set henceforth.

"This record is very different for me, recorded almost completely live, with simple instrumentation, and no frills. Strong melodies, laid back, grooving, iconic songs that were a real pleasure to play and sing, especially with this group of musicians, and literally on the bayou at Dockside Studios."

The Louisiana Record Track Listing

• I Hear You Knocking

• I Got Loaded

• Something You Got

• Barefootin’

• All These Things

• Travelin’ Mood

• Cry to Me

• Those Lonely Lonely Nights

• Pouring Water on a Drowning Man

• Bringing It On Home to Me

• Rockin’ at Cosimo’s

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𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 to our Gulf Coast Records artists for their nominations in the Blues Blast Music Awards!

Sean Costello Rising Star Award - Kat Riggins

Producer - Mike Zito

Electric Guitar - Albert Castiglia

Harmonica - Jason Ricci

Horn - Jimmy Carpenter

Fan voting to determine the winners begins begins July 12, 2022 and continues until August 19, 2022 We would greatly appreciate it if you would consider voting for our Gulf Coast nominees. -Thank you -

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𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 Kat Riggins!! Kat's new release 𝐏𝐑𝐎𝐆𝐄𝐍𝐘 debuted on the Billboard Top US Blues Albums chart at #13. Thank you to all the fans who helped make it happen!!


Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce new album PROGENY by Kat Riggins is NOW AVAILABLE!!

𝐍𝐄𝐖 𝐒𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐋𝐄: WALK ON from the upcoming album PROGENY by Kat Riggins is 𝐍𝐎𝐖 𝐀𝐕𝐀𝐈𝐋𝐀𝐁𝐋𝐄!

Pre-order the album and get the track WALK ON instantly with your digital pre-order! 

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𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 to our Gulf Coast artists that received a Blues Music Award from the The Blues Foundation!

⭒Mike Zito - Blues Rock Album - "Resurrection"

⭒Albert Castiglia - Blues Rock Artist

Jimmy Carpenter - Instrumentalist - Horn

Jason Ricci - Instrumentalist - Harmonica

✪ Contemporary Blues/Soul Singer Kat Riggins Brings Her Progeny to Life on New CD Coming June 24 from Gulf Coast Records

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“When it came to this record, the key words were ‘ACKNOWLEDGE’ and ‘HONOR,’” contemporary blues/soul singer Kat Riggins proclaims about her new CD, Progeny, releasing June 24th on Gulf Coast Records.  “I have always tried to share music in a very transparent and vulnerable way and I’ve learned that I do this most successfully when I connect that little girl that I used to be to the woman that I’m becoming. I mean, when I remember things like how my Mama spoke her heart or how my Daddy’s voice made me feel when he sang Sam Cooke, it empowers me to be wide open and still feel safe. THAT sentiment is what I needed to acknowledge and honor with this project!”


To bring Kat Riggins’ musical vision to life on the new album, Gulf Coast Records founder/guitarist Mike Zito assembled a sparkling list of talented musicians to back Kat’s powerful, sassy vocals, including Zito, himself, on guitars, Matthew Johnson on drums, Doug Byrkit on bass guitar, and Lewis Stephens on keyboards, augmented with special guests Melody Angel on guitar (“Woahman”),  Albert Castiglia on guitar (“My City”) and Busta Free on rap break (“My City”).

Dr. Maya Angelou said, “You can't really know where you are going until you know where you have been.” With this album, Kat Riggins chose to honor that belief by paying tribute to her upbringing. In 12 original songs and a single a cappella gospel interlude, Kat kept with that theme and allowed her Spirit and spirit guides to have complete control when writing these songs. Progeny is compiled of songs about love, pain, passion and anger. It's Kat’s personal testimony of strength, peace, joy, God and so much more!   

These songs run the gamut between sweet soul-blues ballads to high-energy blues- rockers, with Kat's M.O. the same throughout. Whether it's a blues-funk party scene that moves your booty or a heart- breaking soul stirrer that moves your spirit, Kat wrote these songs to move the listener from a place of truth! 

Kat says the fact that by definition, “Progeny” means, “a descendent or descendants of” made it the perfect one word synopsis of the album. Songs like, “In My Blood” and “Warriors” are prime examples of this homage. In “Warriors,” the statement is that no matter what we might face in this life, we won’t face it alone. There are songs about hindsight, about greed and about faith. There’s something for the sweet, sultry, ballad lover who craves a soft, slow groove. Then, there are the high energy movin’ and groovin’ numbers like, “My City” and “Espresso,” a hip-shakin’ song about how the singer’s Love keeps her heart skipping beats.


Mrs. Riggins explains, “Overall, Progeny is an acknowledgement of my human existence so far, and with it I hope to honor ancestors like my mother and elders like my father. Now that I’m in my 40s it seems that those two words come up a lot in my conversations with myself. Each time they do, I see a little more growth.”

✪ The Bennett Matteo Band Are Ready to Shake the Roots on Debut CD Coming May 20 from Gulf Coast Records 


Gulf Coast Records announces the signing of the Bennett Matteo Band to the label and the upcoming release of their debut CD, Shake the Roots, on May 20. The album is available for pre-order on April 8th.


“Shake the Roots is basically a mixtape of our influences with sounds that make us happy and stories about our life together,” says explosive guitarist Gino Matteo, one-half of the duo along with powerhouse singer Jade Bennett. “We wanted to make a record grounded in blues, soul and funk with zero restrictions and this is what came out when we ‘shook the roots.’ We call it ‘dirtfunk and desert soul.’ I feel blessed to be writing and playing music in this band with Jade. She can sing anything and her tone is my favorite sound."


Shake the Roots was produced by multi-Blues Music Award nominee Kid Andersen and Gino Matteo, with all songs written by Gino Matteo & Jade Bennett. The disc was recorded, mixed and mastered at Greaseland Studio in San Jose, California.


The musicians lineup for the recording sessions included Jade Bennett (lead vocals); Gino Matteo and Kid Andersen (guitars); Michael Burnham (bass); Carson Ford (drums); Jim Pugh and Kid Andersen (keyboards); Nic Clark (harmonica); and Dmar (percussion); with background vocals by Lisa Leuschner Andersen, The Sons of the Soul Revivers and Kid Andersen.



The Bennett Matteo Band (BMB) is extremely improvisational, and while having their feet planted in roots music, BMB is a breath of fresh air to the music world. BMB’s experimentation has made every show an experience.


Gino Matteo is carving the spot he deserves as a “force of nature” in the roots world. A sensational guitarist, songwriter and powerfully emotional live performer, he empowered the Sugaray Rayford hit machine for nearly a decade. Gino has destroyed countless audiences in the US and abroad with his powerful wit, gut ripping playing, and incredibly gifted musicianship.


His explosive, spontaneous, and original live show stands with the most legendary of blues players. Gino, along with the gutsy soul-power vocals of his lovely and talented wife Jade Bennett, have been heating up the blues circuit across the western US and internationally. This hard charging dream team brings a raw and soulful interpretation to roots music, moving it forward progressively and creatively.

Bennett and Matteo met in 2010 in Southern California at a gig. Gino ended up sitting in with Jade and once she started singing, he knew they had to play together. They almost immediately moved in together and started writing music while Gino toured with Sugaray Rayford, all the while keeping a catalog of music going with Jade. BMB wouldn't be formed for nearly a decade, as Gino's tour schedule became more hectic. 


They played shows together anytime Gino was in town and Jade joined the Sugaray Rayford Band on tour as a backup singer a number of times. Over time, through touring and home life, Jade and Gino decided to go nomad and live full time off-grid. They decided the only thing they wanted to do was play music and live on their own terms. That dream became a reality as COVID swept the world. 


In 2020, just before the pandemic hit, they had an album done, but it went on the shelf as the initial label they were signed to deemed it not bluesy enough and that they didn't know where to put it.  That's when the record's co-producer and BMB confidant Kid Andersen decided to pitch BMB to Mike Zito's Gulf Coast Records, who loved the album and are releasing it.  It not being standard blues became a selling point and not a hindrance.  The album is a collective of their experiences. 


BMB's core principle is authenticity and lack of pretentiousness whenever possible.


Check out the latest issue of Blues Blast Magazine! Thank you for the featured cover story on Mike Zito! In the interview with Mike, he talks about stretching out in his Blues playing, his label Gulf Coast Records, and more!

Read interview:

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Congratulations Mike Zito!  Zito's new release BLUES FOR THE SOUTHSIDE debuted on the Billboard Blues Albums chart at #1! We are very grateful to all the fans who helped make it happen! Special thanks to his incredible band and guest artists Tony Campanella, Dave Kalz, and Eric Gales! 


𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 to our Gulf Coast Records Artists who have been nominated for the 43rd Blues Music Awards!

To VOTE for your favorite artist, you must be a current member of the Blues Foundation. The ballot will be open for voting until 11:59 pm CST on Friday, March 18th.

Visit to join or renew today.


𝐀𝐋𝐁𝐄𝐑𝐓 𝐂𝐀𝐒𝐓𝐈𝐆𝐋𝐈𝐀 - Blues Rock Artist

𝐊𝐀𝐓 𝐑𝐈𝐆𝐆𝐈𝐍𝐒 - Soul Blues Female Artist

𝐊𝐄𝐕𝐈𝐍 𝐁𝐔𝐑𝐓 - Acoustic Blues Artist

𝐉𝐀𝐒𝐎𝐍 𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐂𝐈 - Instrumentalist / Harmonica

𝐉𝐈𝐌𝐌𝐘 𝐂𝐀𝐑𝐏𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐑 - Instrumentalist / Horn

𝐂𝐇𝐑𝐈𝐒𝐓𝐎𝐅𝐅𝐄𝐑 "𝐊𝐈𝐃" 𝐀𝐍𝐃𝐄𝐑𝐒𝐄𝐍 - Instrumentalist / Guitar

𝐖𝐈𝐋𝐋𝐈𝐄 𝐉. 𝐂𝐀𝐌𝐏𝐁𝐄𝐋𝐋 - Instrumentalist / Bass

Acclaimed Blues-Rock Guitarist Albert Castiglia Declares I Got Love on New CD Coming March 25 from Gulf Coast Records


 Gulf Coast Records announces the new CD from acclaimed blues-rock guitarist Albert Castiglia, I Got Love, coming March 25. I Got Love was produced by Gulf Coast Records guitarist and co-owner Mike Zito and features a stellar cast of musicians backing Albert Castiglia (guitar and vocals): Justine Tompkins (bass and vocals); Ephraim Lowell (drums and vocals) and Lewis Stephens (Hammond B3 organ and piano).


The new album, which showcases 11 blistering, blues-drenched tracks, is a personal and powerful statement from Castiglia. “I Got Love is a musical essay documenting the last two years of my life: two years of many highs and lows,” Castiglia offers. “It’s about falling, failing, adapting, reinventing, surviving and becoming triumphant. It contains musings of an unemployed man, a covid-stricken idiot and getting through it like Andy Dufresne in ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’  The blues and blues-infused music is rooted in truth. This album is my truth. To ignore the events of the past two years (the covid era) and write about anything else would not be my truth. I went through it all - loss, depression, illness, fear of the unknown. I know I couldn’t have been the only one that went through it. This collection of songs is for those who felt like I did. It’s for those who went down fighting and those who keep on fighting. For many of us in my profession and in the gig economy, this was our great depression. Some of us are doing well and some of us are still trying to find solid ground. 

“This album is for everyone. It’s also a thank you to those who helped keep us alive; the folks that contributed to my virtual shows and took guitar lessons from me. This album’s also for Rick Lusher, who retired from the radio promotions business and handed the keys over to my wife at a time when we really needed it. It’s about love, gratitude and becoming a better person from the shittiest of circumstances. It’s my blues in its truest form.

“I Got Love is the most thematic album I’ve done since Masterpiece,” Castiglia declares. “My daughter and grandchildren were my muse for Masterpiece. With I Got Love, it was the deepest darkness and the brightest light, two extremes that tested every fiber in my being. I’m glad I lived to tell the tale!”

✪ 𝐌𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢-𝐁𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐬 𝐌𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐜 𝐀𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐆𝐮𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐌𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐙𝐢𝐭𝐨 𝐁𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐎𝐟𝐟 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐃𝐨𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐂𝐃 𝐒𝐞𝐭 𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐒𝐭. 𝐋𝐨𝐮𝐢𝐬, 𝐁𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞, 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐅𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟏𝟖𝐭𝐡 ✪ 


With numerous Blues Music Award honors under his belt, Mike Zito, co-owner of Texas-based Gulf Coast Records (which has birthed a number of critically-acclaimed blues/rock albums since its 2018 inception), announces a February 18th release date for his new double live album set, Blues for the Southside.


Recorded on November 26, 2021 at the Old Rock House in St. Louis, Missouri, and produced by Mike Zito, Blues for the Southside showcases Zito (guitar and vocals) and his stellar band in full fury: Matthew Johnson - vocals/drums; Lewis Stephens - piano/organ; Doug Byrkit – vocals/ bass, with special guests including label mate guitarists Tony Campanella and Dave Kalz, plus guitar wizard Eric Gales.  


The song list for that special night included tunes from Mike’s earlier albums such as First Class Life, Gone to Texas, Make Blues Not War and his Tribute to Chuck Berry, plus his takes on songs popularized by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Tampa Red, as well as a new song, the album’s title track.

Now based in Nederland, Texas, Mike Zito states that "Blues for the Southside is a special album for me. I have wanted to do a live blues album playing songs from my catalog with my current band for a while now. I wanted to go back to my old neighborhood in South St. Louis to make the recording. That's where it all began for me, where I fell in love with music. I knew friends and family would fill the Old Rock House and bring the energy I was looking for in this recording.  I wanted Tony Campanella and Dave Kalz to join me as guests. I grew up with both of these guys playing in the scene in St. Louis in the 1990s. They are also both Gulf Coast Records artists. I was surprised by my dear friend Eric Gales who happened to be in town for a rehearsal. He showed up and I got him onstage to do an impromptu version of the original ‘Voodoo Chile,’ which turned out to be 12 minutes of pure guitar bliss. I am proud of this album and my band. I’m most proud of my hometown and my neighborhood, South St. Louis."

Intrepid Artists International and Gulf Coast Records Proudly Present: "𝐁𝐋𝐎𝐎𝐃 𝐁𝐑𝐎𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐒" 𝐅𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐌𝐈𝐊𝐄 𝐙𝐈𝐓𝐎 & 𝐀𝐋𝐁𝐄𝐑𝐓 𝐂𝐀𝐒𝐓𝐈𝐆𝐋𝐈𝐀

This high-energy 𝐁𝐋𝐎𝐎𝐃 𝐁𝐑𝐎𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐒 𝐓𝐎𝐔𝐑 will showcase each band (Mike Zito Band and Albert Castiglia Band) for a set and then will culminate with both bands together on stage creating a sound of classic Southern Rock, Blues, and American Roots Music! Albert and Mike come together in 2022 to bring you the most awaited tour in years, 𝐁𝐋𝐎𝐎𝐃 𝐁𝐑𝐎𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐒.

🎥 Mike Zito goes "Married With Children" in a sitcom-style music video for "You Don't Have Me." The track is featured on Zito’s latest Gulf Coast Records release, Resurrection.


“We had so much fun making this video! The song is about how dumb guys are (me included) when it comes to women,” says Zito. “I’m super proud both my sons worked on this project: Sam Zito and my son, Zach Zito directed and edited the video. Big shout out to my partner in crime, Carrie Wenos for rocking the ‘Married with Children’ vibe with me!”

💥 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐔𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 Jason Ricci & Joe Krown! Ricci/Krown's new release 𝐂𝐈𝐓𝐘 𝐂𝐎𝐔𝐍𝐓𝐑𝐘 𝐂𝐈𝐓𝐘 debuted on the Billboard Top US Blues Albums chart at #9. Thank you to all the fans who helped make it happen. 💙 🎹🎤🎶

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✪ Gulf Coast Records Signs Jason Ricci and Joe Krown, and Will Release Their
Debut Duo CD, City Country City, On October 22 

Pre-Order City Country City Now Available!



NEDERLAND, TX – Gulf Coast Records announces the signing of New Orleans-based artists Jason Ricci and Joe Krown, and will release their debut duo album, City Country City, on October 22. Harmonica player/singer Jason Ricci is a multiple Blues Music Award-winner, while organ/piano player Joe Krown has legendary Crescent City credentials and is currently the keyboardist in Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band. Together, they team up as Ricci/Krown on their new CD, City Country City, a retro soul-infused outing that features Jason’s gutsy vocals and stellar harmonica, overlaid with Joe’s melodic and earthy organ playing. City Country City brings back the sound and feel of early 1960s jazz/blues with an original sound all its own.


“I first met Joe Krown as the organist of the Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown band,” recalls Gulf Coast co-owner/artist Mike Zito in announcing the signing. “Joe went on to become a staple first-call musician in New Orleans and a member of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd band. His style is very soulful and organic. Jason Ricci and I were signed to Eclecto Groove Records in the late 2000s in Los Angeles. Jason was touring full time with his band, winning awards and lighting the world on fire with his incendiary harmonica playing and deeply honest song writing. I had never seen anyone play the harmonica the way Jason plays. He is celebrated with BMA awards and nominations for best harmonica. I got a call from Jason last year and after catching up on things, Jason told me about a new project he was really excited about. He had been playing some shows with Joe Krown on organ and famed New Orleans drummer, Doug Belote. They were doing an ‘Organ Trio’ style group, but with harmonica, organ and drums. Jason was singing as well. He told me this is what he’s wanted to do for a long time and they were considering making an album. I got very excited, as I have been a fan of these gentlemen for some years now and the thought of them playing together sounded intriguing.


“The duo with Doug Belote on drums got into the studio in spring of 2021 in New Orleans and got to work recording fresh new original music and covering some classics as well. The sound is pure joy. The music has air and electricity all at once. It breathes and is urgent. Hearing the tracks for the first time was an experience all its own. It was like hearing music you have never heard before and something you have known all your life. The chemistry between Joe and Jason is obvious and they complement each other’s styles perfectly. I am so excited for everyone to hear this album, City Country City, wonderful music that is a listening pleasure to experience over and over. I am proud this album is released on Gulf Coast Records and I look forward to more music from Jason Ricci and Joe Krown.”


“Working with Joe Krown makes me feel like I’m finally beginning to be a musical grown-up,” says Jason Ricci about the new album. “But we still have as much fun as little kids! Being linked up with a New Orleanian with Joe’s heavyweight history is truly a dream come true.” 


“Jason and I quickly connected musically,” adds Joe Krown. “We're both blues musicians that have also extended into jazz and funk. Within a short period of time we started booking shows under both of our names regularly around New Orleans and beyond.  Our biggest hurdle is finding time that we can play together given both our busy schedules, but Jason and I have always made time and will continue to make time to perform together.”

Jason Ricci is one of the best and most imitated blues harmonica players of the 21st century. He picked up the instrument as a teenager when he started playing in a punk rock band. His journey started in earnest when he watched and later was mentored by legendary harmonica player Pat Ramsey in Memphis. As Ricci gigged and grew as a player he found work and support from the southern blues community. He lived and played with Junior and David Kimbrough in Mississippi and then worked as a sideman with Big Al and The Heavyweights for more than a year. In the late ‘90s, he formed Jason Ricci and New Blood, a band that toured around the world for more than a decade and released critically praised albums like Done with the Devil and Rocket Number 9. Ricci’s latest chapter is the New Orleans band Jason Ricci and The Bad Kind, which is influenced by the sounds of New Orleans and artists like The Meters and Doctor John.  What defines Jason Ricci as an artist is the fearlessness with which he approaches his instrument and music and translates the hardships we all face into unforgettable music. 


Joe Krown is a New Orleans-styled piano and Hammond-endorsed B-3 player. He held the keyboard chair with Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown & Gate’s Express from 1992 until Gatemouth's passing in the fall of 2005. Joe is featured on the chart topping Gatemouth albums The Man, Gate Swings, American Music Texas Style and Gate's final studio recording, Back to Bogalusa. Joe's played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival every year since 2001 and the French Quarter Festival every year since 1998. Along with touring all over the U.S. and the world as a solo artist or with one of his bands, he is currently performing as the organ/piano player for the multi-award-winning Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, and played on Shepherd’s The Traveler and Straight to You Live albums. Krown has also toured with Mavis Staples and Allen Toussaint, among many others, as well as recorded a dozen of his own albums. In addition, Krown has won multiple local New Orleans “Big Easy” and “Offbeat” awards. 


✪ New Singles from Tito and Zito! 

Tito Jackson's brand new single “Love One Another” is the perfect antidote for today’s times of doubt and trepidation and features his brother Marlon, his friends Kenny Neal and Bobby Rush and the sweet sound of his cousin Stevie Wonder’s signature harmonic style!  Pre-Save/Order:


Mike Zito says, “The song ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ is my anthem to social media and all of its yuck. It used to be fun, but now it’s all about politics, religion, political correctness, arguing, ads – Facebook is like the old mall now, nothing good anymore but I still go thinking I might see something I missed.

“My son, Zach Zito, is a killer video editor and creator and his girlfriend, Cassie Ferrick, is a wonderful young actress. Zach created the video and concept with the song in mind and Cassie is our lead actor suffering through “Fakebook” and all of its energy draining bullshit. It’s a fun, lighthearted look at what our life is like today in 2021 in the USA….and the world. Sitting around trying to find something hopeful on the social media, only to fail miserably…..hour in, hour out,” he adds.

Mike Zito's new single " Don't Bring Me Down" from his upcoming release Resurrection is now available on all digital media outlets. Resurrection drops July 16th via Gulf Coast Records / Hillside Global

✪ Gulf Coast Records/Hillside Global Signs Music Legend Tito Jackson
and Will Release His Label Debut Album, Under Your Spell, on August 6 

Special Guests Include George Benson, Joe Bonamassa, Eddie Levert, Marlon Jackson, Kenny Neal, Bobby Rush and Stevie Wonder


NEDERLAND, TX – Gulf Coast Records and Hillside Global announce the signing of music legend Tito Jackson and will release the singer/guitarist’s label debut album, Under Your Spell, on August 6. Under Your Spell will be available for pre-order on July 9, which is also the date the album’s first single, “Love One Another,” will be released.


The California-based Jackson is supported on his debut Blues album by an array of superlative special guests, including George Benson, Joe Bonamassa, Marlon Jackson, Eddie Levert, Kenny Neal, Bobby Rush and Stevie Wonder, who all add their special talents to the proceedings. Above it all though, Tito Jackson’s innate abilities as a singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and arranger shine through brilliantly, creating a spectacular record that is destined for airplay and rave reviews in a number of formats.


The debut single off the album, “Love One Another,” is the perfect antidote for today’s times of doubt and trepidation, as the vocals of Tito, along with Marlon Jackson, Bobby Rush and Kenny Neal soar above the musical bed of melodies that feature the sweet sound of Stevie Wonder’s signature harmonica style.    


Song-writing duo and Hall Of Famers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who penned worldwide hits for The Jacksons and The O’Jays, came out of retirement to write “All In The Family Blues” for Tito. The track features another Hall Of Fame legend, Eddie Levert.


As a friend and admirer of BB King, Tito pays tribute in his cover of King’s 1964 classic, “Rock Me Baby.” Tito is honored to be joined on the song by BB’s daughter, Claudette King.


Continuing on the path set for Jackson when he broke into the music business as a member of the legendary Jackson 5, Tito continues to grow as a musician and performer, with Under Your Spell as the extraordinary present he has bestowed on the listening public.

✪ Blues-Rock Guitar Master Mike Zito Delivers a Resurrection on New CD Coming July 16 from Gulf Coast Records/Hillside Global 

Nederland, TX – With numerous Blues Music Award honors under his belt, Mike Zito, co-owner of Texas-based Gulf Coast Records (which has birthed a number of critically-acclaimed blues/rock albums since its 2018 inception), will release his new album with Hillside Global, Resurrection, which is set to hit July 16. Resurrection will be available for pre-order on May 21st at


Producing the new disc is the celebrated Grammy-winner David Z, best known for his long-standing work with Prince, and who has contributed to albums by Etta James, Billy Idol, BoDeans, Buddy Guy and John Mayall, among many others. 


“I have songs in me and musical ideas all of the time,” volunteers Mike Zito about the new album’s genesis. “I write what I can, when I can and try to save it all for posterity. Some of the songs are just songs and they don’t always have meaning for me, and some of them become very personal. For me to sing songs and feel them with real emotion, they need to be somewhat personal. Even songs I did not write, I need to feel they explain a part of my thinking or how I am feeling about love, sex, life, death, the world…. Resurrection is an album of feelings, emotions, and is very personal. The title track is how I once almost lost my love, but it came back stronger than ever. I have had this song in me for years, but it only makes sense now to share it with the world. After the year we have had on planet Earth, I believe we all need a rebirth. This rebirth has given me an opportunity to be who I want to be musically and artistically.”



Joining Zito (vocals, guitar) on his new musical journey are many musicians who’ve played with him for the last several years, including: Matthew Johnson – drums; Doug Byrkit - bass guitar; Lewis Stephens – piano, organ; Zach Zito - acoustic guitar; Lisa Andersen - backing vocals; Eric Demmer - Saxophone; and Fernando Castillo - Trumpet.

The 11 tracks on Resurrection not only showcase Zito’s strengths as a composer, with eight original songs that sparkle, but also as an interpreter of other compositions, with scintillating and powerful takes on tunes from JJ Cale (“I’ll Make Love To You”), Eric Clapton (“Presence of the Lord”) and Willie Dixon (“Evil”). 


“I wrote and recorded the music I felt strongest about and I wanted to share it with the world,” Zito says.” I played my guitar the way I want to play my guitar, not the way anyone says I am supposed to play my guitar. I sang the way I wanted to sing - in my voice with my emotions. I had David Z produce for me again after a few years apart. We have now worked on seven albums together and I believe he understands my music and helped me to shape this album to be strong in the year 2021. This is an album that requires deep listening from beginning to end. The album cover art is an original painting by an amazing South Korean Artist, Yool Kim. She has captured the feeling of soul and light at the end of struggle. I am excited for people to hear this music. I believe it is a wonderful album of songs, stories, and sonic waves of electric guitar that convey darkness before the dawn. I am once again excited about love and life and music.”


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.  

✪ Dave Kalz Signs With Gulf Coast Records ✪

New Release "Relish" Drops Friday, June 25th

"I've known Dave Kalz for 30 years. He is an inspired guitarist and musician full of heart and soul." — Mike Zito

Gulf Coast Records is very excited to announce the signing of singer/songwriter and guitarist Dave Kalz.

Dave and Mike Zito met years ago in their hometown of St. Louis. So, it was only fitting for them to return to their roots and record Dave’s debut album on Gulf Coast Records at Sawhorse Studios in St. Louis. Dave Kalz’s new blues rock album “Relish” will be released on Friday, June 25th. 

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💥 Congratulations to our Gulf Coast Records artists who were nominated for a Blues Music Award!!
Kat Riggins - Cry Out : Contemporary Blues Album
Jimmy Carpenter : Instrumentalist - Horn
Mike Zito : Blues Rock Artist & Blues Rock Album (Ruf Records release)
Kid Andersen : Instrumentalist - Guitarist
Anthony Geraci (The Proven Ones) : Instrumentalist - Piano
Willie J Campbell (The Proven Ones) : Instrumentalist - Bass

🗳  Voting opens on January 28 and closes March 12 at 11:59 pm CT. Only members of The Blues Foundation can vote for the Blues Music Awards. Visit and click on “Join” to learn about membership.

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CONGRATULATIONS to all our Gulf Coast Records

artists as "A Gulf Coast Christmas" debuts on the

Billboard Blues Albums Chart at #2!

 Thank you to all our Gulf Coast Records fans who helped make this happen!

✪ All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues - Mike Zito ✪

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💥 CONGRATULATIONS to Kevin Burt and his new album "STONE CRAZY" as it debuts on the Billboard Blues Albums Chart at #3!! 

✪ Gulf Coast Records to Release Blues Christmas Album ✪


On November 13, 2020, Gulf Coast Records will release A Gulf Coast Christmas.  A Gulf Coast Christmas contains 16 tracks of beloved Christmas covers as well as original Christmas tunes by the label’s talented and diverse artists. This blues holiday album features 18 Gulf Coast Records artists including Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia, Kat Riggins, The Proven Ones, Mark May, Diana Rein, John "Blues' Boyd, Lisa and Kid Andersen, Kevin Burt, LeRoux, Jimmy Carpenter, Billy Price, Sayer & Joyce, Thomas Atlas, Tony Campanella, and Odds Lane.

A Gulf Coast Christmas will be your favorite holiday album for years to come!!

A Gulf Coast Christmas releases worldwide on Nov.13th, but if you pre-order here you will receive your copy EARLY. This cd will come signed by Mike Zito AND you will get a FREE copy of "Quarantine Blues"!!

✪ Kevin Burt's  ‘Stone Crazy’  To Be Released  October 16, 2020 ✪

"Kevin Burt has been a force for years and is finally getting the international recognition he so deeply deserves. His voice is commanding and soulful and his songs are honest and from the heart.” — Mike Zito


Kevin Burt will release his brand new album Stone Crazy on October 16, 2020, via Gulf Coast Records. The album was produced by musician/producer Mike Zito and was recorded at Marz Studios in Nederland, TX.  Stone Crazy, Kevin’s first album on the Gulf Coast Records label comprises of ten songs all written by Kevin Burt with the exception of the Bill Withers tune Better Off Dead. Burt describes songwriting as a journey in which he tells stories of observations he’s made along the way. The music on this album is his observations and experiences in life that have shaped how he views love and relationships. Kevin’s wife Nicole is his muse and biggest influencer and is the inspiration for many of the songs on this album. Stone Crazy is a glimpse into Burt’s journey.

For more than 25 years, Kevin Burt has been electrifying audiences throughout the Midwest dispelling the myth that true blues has no roots in Iowa. His soul-inspired presentation is unique which consistently gets him compared to a range of artists like Bill Withers and Aaron Neville, with the ability to build an audience rapport that has been compared to B.B. King. Kevin is a self-taught musician (vocals, harmonica, and guitar) whose smooth, warm vocal presentation sets a mood of relaxed exhilaration, with a welcome mixture of serious music and infectious humor audiences of all ages seem to enjoy. His voice and presence are powerful. His unique delivery ranges from the sweetest, fullest, juiciest come-on to the most playful growl.

Kevin Burt has won many awards and played many festivals both solo and with his band. In 2018,  Kevin “B.F.” Burt absolutely crushed it at the Blues Foundations 34th International Blues Challenge (IBC) taking home top honors in three categories. Kevin won first place Solo/Duo, the Cigar Box Guitar Award recognizing him as the best guitar player in the Solo/Duo category, and the Lee Oskar Award for Best Harmonica Player.  Kevin was among 235 bands & solo/duo acts from around the world entered into the 5-day event on Beale Street. In 2019, Kevin Burt was nominated for a Blues Music Award for his debut album Heartland And Soul (Best Emerging Artist Album) and was inducted in the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame.

💥 "The Song Goes On"

2nd Official Video Release from  LeRoux's  new album

"One Of Those Days”. 


💥 CONGRATULATIONS to Louisiana's LeRoux and their new album "ONE OF THOSE DAYS" as it debuts on the Billboard Blues Albums Chart at #2!! 

💥 The Song Goes On Part II - The Making of LeRoux's “One Of Those Days”. Scenes and interviews from the studio and includes Jeff Glixman, the producer of "One of Those Days". 🎥 Video by Daniel Boone

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💥 CONGRATULATIONS to the Mark May Band and their new album "DEEP DARK DEMON" as it debuts on the Billboard Blues Albums Chart at #2!! 

Mike Zito sits down with Blues Artist Mark May and talks Allman Brothers, Dickey Betts, and Mark's new Gulf Coast Records' release "Deep Dark Demon".

💥 DEEP DARK DEMON the new release from the Mark May Band is NOW AVAILABLE! 

"Mark May has been a serious player on the Blues Rock scene for over 20 years. I think he is one of the finest guitarists around and this new album is a sure sign of more success to come!" -- Mike Zito

💥 Louisiana's LeRoux releases the first single and title track off their upcoming release ONE OF THOSE DAYS! "One of Those Days" drops July 24th on Gulf Coast Records! Pre-Order NOW AVAILABLE!
📀 Special Pre-Order Pkgs available @

🎧 Digital / CD Pre-Order @
🎥 Video by Daniel Boone / Horizon South Media

💥 Mark May Band releases video of "Harvey's Dirty Side" from their upcoming release DEEP DARK DEMON. "Deep Dark Demon" will be released on July 17th on Gulf Coast Records. PRE-ORDER NOW AVAILABLE!!

📀 Autographed CD Pre-Order:

🎧 Digital / CD Pre-Order @


🎥 Video: Zach Zito

✫ Gulf Coast Records Releases Single "Got This Feeling" by Thomas Atlas  ✫

✪ Mark May To Release Deep Dark Demon on July 17, 2020 ✪


“Mark is one of the best blues-rock artists to come along in years. With great singing/songwriting and guitar playing, he reminds me of everyone from Albert Collins to Stevie Ray to Carlos Santana. Hell, I even heard a couple of my licks in there!” — Dickey Betts

Deep Dark Demon, the 7th cd from the Mark May Band drops on July 17, 2020 on Gulf Coast Records. 📀 Signed Pre-Orders are NOW AVAILABLE @

Mark’s last release the highly acclaimed album Blues Heaven hit #6 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart and remained there for 5 weeks. To describe some artist’s music with one word would be easy but to do that with Mark May’s music would be impossible. But there’s one thing for sure, it’s all dripping with his rich love for the blues. His astonishing live shows featuring dynamic twin leads and dual harmony guitar work are the perfect complement to Mark’s smooth vocals.

For over 20 years, Mark May has made a name for himself in the Texas blues scene and has been perfecting his craft performing at blues clubs, bars, and festivals. The Mark May Band has performed at numerous festivals across the country including Telluride Blues and Brews, Mississippi Valley Blues Fest, King Biscuit, Tremblant International Blues Festival, Dallas International Guitar Show, Chenango Blues Festival, and many more. Mark May also had the opportunity to be the opening act for The Allman Brothers Band on their 1997/98 Amphitheater tour and went on to join up with ABB guitarist Dickey Betts and his band Great Southern for several tours and an album. He has also been featured in Blues Review, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Vintage Guitar, Tone Quest and other major publications.

"Having LeRoux join us on Gulf Coast Records is a dream come true. From the hits of the 70s and 80s to the fantastic line up of 2020, Leroux have continued to be innovators of the Southern Louisiana Gulf Coast sound. The band is on fire and singer Jeff McCarty is without a doubt the perfect fit for this iconic musical force." -- Mike Zito

We are very excited to announce that Louisiana's LeRoux has signed with Gulf Coast Records. LeRoux's upcoming album "One of Those Days" will be released on July 24, 2020. A special pre-release purchase option will be available on June 14th on iTunes, Google Play, and One of the albums tracks can be downloaded with this pre-purchase option on iTunes.

Guitarist, Tony Haselden says, “It’s the best combination of LeRoux's musical palette and represents the abilities of the band better than any album we’ve probably ever done. It covers a wide spectrum of blues, southern rock, and zydeco.”

One of Those Days was produced and engineered by Jeff Glixman at Esplanade Studios in New Orleans, LA. Jeff infused the band's latest effort with his signature punchy sound, and brilliant musical guidance that can be heard on Kansas, Gary Moore, The Georgia Satellites, and many other classic albums.

Michael Doherty's Music Blog review: "The album opens with its title track, “One Of Those Days.” The exact moment this song had me was on the line “I put on a pair of jeans and Deadhead T,”...And, like a Dead song, this one has a good jam section, one you can dance to, and with a little nod to CCR on guitar. I seriously dig the percussion on this track. From the moment those drums start, there is no doubt that “Lucy Anna” is one of those great Louisiana songs designed to get us off our asses and dancing around. This is a song that effectively shouts New Orleans to us, and features some lively backing vocals and more delicious work on keys. But it is that groove that really grabs me. This is a ridiculously fun track."

FRP Radio, UK: "Lousiana's Leroux arrived today, thanks, Love the opening track , by the way !! great voice....makes you feel good !!"

Several videos featuring the new music will be released over the next month. Please be sure to follow LeRoux on their Facebook page - Louisiana's LeRoux  and visit them at their website


✪ Louisiana's LeRoux Signs With Gulf Coast Records ✪

  Coast Records is excited to announce the release of the single "CRY OUT" from the upcoming album by Kat Riggins. The album CRY OUT, produced by Mike Zito, will be Kat Riggins’ debut album on the label and will be released later this summer. On May 22, 2020, the single Cry Out will be available to download and stream on all major platforms.

“Cry Out is a call to action,” says Kat Riggins.“It's no secret that as a country we don't practice what we preach. America is still said to be one of the greatest nations in the world, but we ain't walkin' the walk. In writing it's, ‘The land of the free’ and ‘All men are created equal,’ when in actuality we still fear our differences, slight though they may be in comparison to all that we have in common! That fear turns to hate...the hate into greed or even violence. If you recognize the fact that the doctrines we've written and the principles that we live by are in complete contradiction to each other, this is your time to cry out. Don't be afraid to CRY OUT!”



Albert's Gulf Coast Records' release "Masterpiece" wins

Blues Music Award for Blues - Rock Album of the year!!

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GULF COAST RECORDS is extremely proud to announce that TWO of our new releases have entered the Billboard Blues Albums Chart at #1 and #2!

Congratulations to The Proven Ones and Albert Castiglia for their outstanding new albums....and thank you to all the loyal fans who purchased the albums to make this happen.

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"You Ain't Done" by The Proven Ones is now available!

Pick up a copy today!


or itunes.

✫ The Proven Ones - You Ain't Done To Be Released  April 17th ✫ 



It’s one thing to claim you are “proven,” it’s quite another to have the credentials to back it up. Comprised of five of the most formidable musicians on the blues scene today — guitarist Kid Ramos, vocalist Brian Templeton, keyboardist Anthony Geraci, bassist Willie J. Campbell and drummer Jimi Bott — the band has collectively amassed a slew of accomplishments; dozens of awards won, decades of years playing top-notch music, hundreds of recordings, thousands of hours on the road, and millions of fans worldwide. These five musicians have proven their worth to the world over decades of hard work.


The Proven Ones upcoming album, You Ain’t Done, expands the blues-rock template initially established with their debut effort, Wild Again. The latter garnered a 2019 Blues Music Award Nomination from the Blues Foundation for Best Contemporary Blues Recording and also brought Campbell, Geraci, and Bott individual nominations as well.


The upcoming album finds the band expanding their musical limits and making an even bolder statement. Produced, mixed, and engineered by Bott, and coproduced by the equally legendary Mike Zito, it was recorded at Dockside Studio in Maurice, LA (with additional recording at Roseleaf Recording in Portland, OR and Rear Window in Brookline, MA) and features songwriting contributions from each musician in the band. 


“We wanted to stretch the boundaries for this record” Templeton explains. “For the most part we are all known as blues musicians, and rightly so, but we love many styles and naturally want to indulge in them as well. I think we’ve accomplished that with this record. There’s rock, soul, country, some Latin influence, a bit of pop, and, dare I say a punk vibe in parts as well. I believe it’s going to break down a few walls.”


That’s evident at the outset, the album starts with a needle drop and a psychedelic preamble to the rockin’ and robust song “Get Love.”  The assertive stomp of “Gone to Stay,” “Already Gone,” and “You Ain’t Done” follow suit, with the latter recalling the rock steady groove of bands like Free and Bad Company. There are other, subtler, touches gracing the album as well: the heart-warming “Whom My Soul Loves,” which features a searing lead vocal from special guest Ruthie Foster, and the emphatic yet embracing ballad “Milinda.”  


Still, the most touching tune on the album, and the one that resonates in particular with its songwriter, Jimi Bott, is “She’ll Never Know.” Based on a poem written by his sister to her infant daughter, it reflects a very personal perspective. 


“When my sister died from substance abuse and mental illness in 2008, she and my niece had not spoken in years; they were estranged, and their rocky relationship was never resolved. The chorus I wrote was my hope of what my sister may have been feeling as she watched from the sidelines while her daughter grew up and became extremely successful. The song captures the melancholy that she was never able to share in or be a part of her daughter’s life. It is, for me, about a mother's love and regret but it can be about so many things to any parent who has been separated from their child for whatever reason.”


Members of TPO hail from bands such as The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Radio Kings, The Mannish Boys, and Sugar Ray and the Bluetones. The Proven Ones can claim credits on literally hundreds of recordings.  They have shared the spotlight with innumerable world class musicians at major music venues across the globe. Together, they make for a potent force all their own. Vivascene declared, “The familiarity between these musicians breeds a feeling of comfortability and a palpable camaraderie… that enhances each and every note they play.” Individually, their respective resumes place them in the upper echelon of contemporary blues players.

✫ Wild and Free - The Live Album That Castiglia Fans Have Been Waiting For ✫ 


“This record is for the Albert Castiglia hardcore fans. It captures Albert’s electricity and passion when he's with his people!"

— Mike Zito

The new album by the Albert Castiglia Band, Wild and Free, was recorded live at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, Florida. This in your face live performance captures the energy and guitar mastery that Castiglia shares with his audiences each time he takes the stage. With special guests Mike Zito, John Ginty, and Lewis Stephens this is THE live album Castiglia fans have been waiting for! Wild and Free has everything blues fans are looking for... great songs ...guitar virtuosity... and the raw power and emotion behind Castiglia’s live performances.

Release Date: April 3, 2020

✫ John Blues Boyd's new release "WHAT MY EYES HAVE SEEN..." will be released on CD on March 4th! ✫ 


✫ Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of Kevin Burt. ✫ 

✫ Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of Kat Riggins. ✫ 

✫  We are so very proud to announce the Gulf Coast Records nominees for the The Blues Foundation - 41st Annual Blues Music Awards! ✫ 

To VOTE, click on the button below and either log into your account or join the Blues Foundation. All members in good standing are eligible to vote!


The 41st Annual Blues Music Awards will be presented in Memphis on May 7, 2020 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. 
👉 Join today!

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✫ Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of Thomas Atlas. ✫ 

✫ Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of Kid Andersen to the label! Kid's GCR debut album is well underway and is set to be released this Spring. 
Mike Zito and Guy Hale, co-founders of Gulf Coast Records, are elated to be working with such an incredibly talented musician/producer.
💥 More info about the upcoming release coming soon!


✫ Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of John Blues Boyd.
  His new release "What My Eyes Have Seen..." is now available for pre-order ! ✫


I was first introduced to the music of John Blues Boyd by Kid Andersen when we were working together on Billy Price's new record back in February this year. I was immediately struck by the clarity of his diction and the magisterial tone of his voice. I am not religious but it sounded like how l would imagine the voice of God. Strong, commanding but calm. Filled with warm emotions, a palette with many colours and shades. I could see why Kid raved about John and l was converted in an instant. We had to make a record with John. Neither Kid or l wanted to do covers, John is a completely original artist and deserved songs written for him and him alone. Then Kid told me John's story. Born in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1945 he was picking cotton in the fields at the age of seven. At eighteen he was run out of town by racist forces for joining Martin Luther King's Freedom March at sixteen. It was obvious to us both that this record had to be about his life. A life that has witnessed the struggle and oppression of Afro Americans through the dark days of Jim Crow. The murders of many including Dr. King, Malcolm X, and John F Kennedy. John overcame all this and married and made a good life for himself and his lovely wife Donna Mae in California. 

The songs that Kid, John, and l have written here are snapshots from a life camera. Pivotal moments in a long life, well-lived and John has inhabited them with his body and soul. With the passion and sadness, anger and joy that he felt at the time the events he sings about happened. This record is not just John Blues Boyd’s story but stands as a testament to the struggle and contribution of the Afro American people who have contributed so much to make this country great. It also gives warning of what happens when racism and inequality are allowed to have a voice in society. Modern politics are indeed divided and dark. In John's songs and memories is a warning that we should all heed about what can happen when we allow evil to prosper.

This is a great record by a man who should be regarded as a National Treasure and hopefully, this record will go some way to addressing this but this magic could only happen with the musical brilliance of the great Kid Andersen. You send him lyrics he sends you back musical gold, sometimes within hours. The sweep of his imagination knows no bounds. He hears things that no other producer l have worked with hears and he plucks them from that fertile imagination and makes them come alive. He is the conduit that has pulled this record together and helped John Blues Boyd make what l believe will be one of the seminal Blues records of this or any century. Mike Zito and l are so proud to have this record on our label and have the privilege of working with two giants of the Blues. John Blues Boyd and Kid Andersen. 

~~ Guy Hale, Gulf Coast Records

✫ Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of

UK artists SAYER & JOYCE.

  Their new release MAKES YOU STRONGER is now available ! ✫

“Always dapper & powerful" - John Mayall

"One of the few guitar heroes I have" - Oli Brown 


Makes You Stronger is the third studio album from the award winning writing team of Ron Sayer Jr & Charlotte Joyce, and a continuation of their alternative blues style. The album follows on from Better Side (2011), Hard To Please (2013) and Live At The Little Theatre (2015). Containing a diverse selection of all out rockers, powerful blues ballads, country shuffles, haunting laments, fusionesque funk and roots rock, Makes You Stronger interweaves Charlotte’s soulful, dynamic vocal with Ron’s incendiary, yet classy guitar.


The album also marks a new phase in the Sayer & Joyce story as Charlotte provides lead vocal on all tracks, thus leaving Ron free to concentrate on delivering what he does best; guitar, guitar and more guitar! In fact the pair cover most duties between them on this album with Charlotte supplying vocals, Hammond B3 and piano while Ron contributes electric and double bass lines, percussion and additional keys as well as guitar. 


Long-standing drummer Paul Wooden lends his talents to the mix, and another first for the new album is the addition of a brass section (Dave Land, Clive Hitchcock) not to mention Charlotte’s own choir members joining in for the roots-rock of the song Life Is What Happens. 


Ron has many endorsements from the music industry and respected names such as Blackstar Amplification, Rotosound Strings, Bare Knuckle Pickups, Wampler Pedals, RealtoneFX and their cumulative talents and tone can be found in spades on Makes You Stronger.

Ron Sayer Jr.

Ron Sayer Jr. is the consummate ‘Guitarist’s guitarist. As a trained music teacher having influenced the learning curves of the likes of Oli Brown, Sol Philcox, The Sharps & Mark Howes of Dove & Boweevil he’s now a mainstay on the UK blues circuit. He was nominated for no less than four awards in the British Blues Awards in 2013 in the album ‘Better Side’, band, song ‘Don’t Make Me Stay’ and guitarist categories walking away with runner-up in band of the year, he also co-wrote Oli Brown’s third album ‘Here I Am’ and won another British Blues Award for co-writing the title track. He was voted Guitarist Of The Year by Guitarist Magazine, was voted 4th Best Bassist in Blues Matters Magazine and has a degree in classical music to boot. He has worked with/supported Buddy Guy, John Mayall, Matt Schofield, Nine Below Zero, Ten Years After, Robin Trower among others.

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Charlotte Joyce

Award winning Charlotte Joyce has been a professional singer for all her working life and is vocal coach and choir leader to many other professional singers. She has won awards for her songwriting & was inaugural winner of the Acoustic Guitarist Of The Year in Guitarist Magazine. Charlotte was also runner up in the keyboard category in the 2014 British Blues Awards. Holding professional qualifications, not to mention an unmistakable talent for both singing and keyboard, Charlotte had been Ron’s ‘right hand man’ for years in the Ron Sayer Band. She provided backing vocals on Better Side (2011) in addition to dueting with Ron on ‘My Mother In Law’ from the album. Charlotte also co-wrote the British Blues Award nominated album Hard To Please, taking vocal duties on half the album. She has worked with/supported the likes of Paul Jones, Dr. Feelgood, Clem Curtis, Jo Harman & Joanne Shaw Taylor.

✫ Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce that the new studio album from saxophonist/singer-songwriter Jimmy Carpenter, SOUL DOCTOR,

is NOW available! ✫

"I have been a Jimmy Carpenter fan for 20 years, from the first time I heard him play with Jimmy Thackery. He's always been one of the premier sax players around. But Jimmy is also a stellar songwriter and singer. His voice is at its best on ‘Soul Doctor’, Jimmy's best record to date.This album oozes cool and rocks hard with a classic sound that only Jimmy Carpenter can bring to the table.” — Mike Zito


On September 20th, Gulf Coast Records will release Soul Doctor, the new studio album from saxophonist/singer-songwriter Jimmy Carpenter. Jimmy was excited to be invited to record on Gulf Coast Records, founded by his long-time friend and frequent collaborator, Mike Zito, and new friend Guy Hale. Soul Doctor is Jimmy Carpenter’s fourth solo project and was recorded in Las Vegas at Nonebody Studio 1.

Jimmy assembled a first-class group of musicians on Soul Doctor which features Jimmy Carpenter on saxophone and vocals along with musicians Cameron Tyler (drums/percussion/background vocals), Jason Langley (bass), Trevor Johnson (guitar), Chris Tofield (guitar/background vocals), Red Young (keys), Carrie Stowers (background vocals), and Queen Aries (background vocals). Soul Doctor also features special guest appearances by guitarist Nick Schnebelen on the track Soul Doctor, The Bender Brass: Doug Woolverton on trumpet and Mark Earley on baritone saxophone, and Al Ek on harmonica on Wrong Turn. Musician and Gulf Coast Records co-founder, Mike Zito also contributed guitar & slide on Wild Streak.

💿 Special t-shirt/CD bundle available on

Soul Doctor contains 10 songs, 7 of which are original compositions that Jimmy wrote or co-wrote. He successfully collaborated for the first time with Guy Hale (co-founder of Gulf Coast Records) on the tunes Soul Doctor and Wrong Turn. Setting the tone for the album, the title track, Soul Doctor, is a straight-up blues with a soul twist on the chorus. Special guest Nick Schnebelen just happened to be in Las Vegas, and oined Jimmy in the studio for this tune, adding his guitar expertise to the track. When I Met You, originally written as a country bluegrass song, was revamped with a Memphis groove, complete with horns, soul guitar, and beautiful harmonies sung by Carrie Stowers, the inspiration for the song. Carrie also inspired Wild Streak, a blues shuffle which highlights Red Young on piano and Trevor Johnson and Mike Zito on contrasting rhythm guitars, and a great slide solo by Zito. Love It So Much, with it’s Bender Brass horns, funky guitar and organ, driving bass line and New Orleans 2nd line groove, is the perfect song to describe Jimmy’s love for Crescent City, and his continued internal conflict between being a road dog musician and having a “normal” home life. Need Your Love So Bad, by one of Jimmy’s favorite singers, Little Willie John,features Chris Tofield on guitar, and a beautiful, sultry tenor sax solo by Jimmy. Mike Zito once said to Jimmy, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” That question stuck with Jimmy, and was the inspiration behind the song Wanna Be Right.  A Coasters classic, One Mint Julep, which Jimmy enjoyed performing for years with Walter Wolfman Washington and The Roadmasters, was re-worked as a funky instrumental. Based on a guitar lick that Jimmy wrote, Gulf Coast Records co-founder Guy Hale provided the lyrics for Wrong Turn, on which Jimmy plays guitar, with Trevor Johnson on slide throughout, and a wild harp solo by Mr. Al Ek. Next on Soul Doctor comes LoFi Roulette, a noir-ish vibe the band took as “lo-fi” as they could, with Chris Tofield contributing a blistering guitar solo and spooky organ by Red Young. Finally, Jimmy has been a long-time fan of Muscle Shoals guitarist/singer/songwriter Eddie Hinton since they met in the early ’80s. Hinton’s Yeah Man, withits positive, encouraging message, seemed to Jimmy to be the perfect way to end his upbeat and (mostly) happy album, Soul Doctor.



Gulf Coast Records is proud to announce that all-star band The Proven Ones has signed with Gulf Coast Records. The Proven Ones will release their new album produced by Mike Zito in 2020! Welcome to the Gulf Coast Records family! The Proven Ones are Kid Ramos, Brian David Templeton, Anthony Geraci, Willie J. Campbell, and Jimi Bott. They are truly an All-star band to be reckoned with. 

Members of TPO hail from bands such as The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Radio Kings, The Mannish Boys, and Sugar Ray and the Bluetones. The Proven Ones can claim credits on literally hundreds of recordings.  They have shared the spotlight with innumerable world class musicians at major music venues across the globe. Together, they make for a potent force all their own. Vivascene declared, “The familiarity between these musicians breeds a feeling of comfortability and a palpable camaraderie… that enhances each and every note they play.” Individually, their respective resumes place them in the upper echelon of contemporary blues players.


  Kid Ramos is a recipient of The Orange County (CA) Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to 14 Blues Music Award nominations. He produced legendary pianist Floyd Dixon’s final recording as well as the accompanying documentary and has also appeared on numerous movie soundtracks. 


 ✫ Brian Templeton commands over 40 years as a stalwart presence as part of Boston’s formidable music scene. His credits include the legendary band the Radio Kings and the Original House of Blues Blue Monday Band, as well as collaborations with such notables as Jerry Portnoy, Sonny Rhodes, James Cotton, and Otis Grand. 


 ✫  Anthony Geraci is an original member of Sugar Ray and the Bluetones and Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters and has appeared on over 40 recordings. He received a Grammy Nomination for his album Super Harps. He also boasts numerous Blues Music Award nominations, including the Pinetop Perkins Piano Award five years in a row and an unprecedented 6 personal Blues Music Award Nominations in 2019. He was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2016 with Sugar Ray and the Bluetones. 


  Willie J. Campbell has performed with an all-star list of bands and individuals, among them The Fabulous Thunderbirds and The Mannish Boys and has recorded with such luminaries as Sugaray Rayford, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, and Cheech and Chong. He has been nominated by the Blues Foundation for Best Instrumentalist 6 times.


 ✫ Jimi Bott is widely known as one of the world’s best drummers. He has been nominated by the Blues Foundation for Best Instrumentalist an amazing 20 times - finally winning the Blues Music Award in 2015. He was also inducted into the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame in 2009 after winning the award for 12 consecutive years. The award is now named after him. He has been on over 100 recordings, lives in Portland, OR where he owns and operates Roseleaf Recording Studio.


 ✫Billy Price Releases His Latest Album Dog Eat Dog On Gulf Coast Records

“Billy Price is an outstanding singer and artist. He’s simultaneously steeped in the Soul tradition

and 100% original and instantly recognizable. He will make you believe anything he sings.” — Christoffer ‘Kid’ Andersen



















Dog Eat Dog contains 12 songs, 8 of which are original compositions. The album opens with “Working on Your Chain Gang,” co-written by Price and his longtime collaborator, keyboardist Jim Britton. Price and Britton also co-wrote the atmospheric “Lose My Number,” “All Night Long Café,” and “Toxicity” (with Executive Producer Guy Hale), and Britton wrote “Walk Back In.” Price teamed with another longtime collaborator, French guitarist Fred Chapéllier, to write “Remnants,” a great new blues song, and the tuneful sweet soul track, “More Than I Needed.” Price worked with Bill Troiani, writer of “Reckoning” for the last album, on a great new blues for this album titled, “You Gotta Leave.”

The covers, in addition to “Dog Eat Dog,” are Bobby Byrd’s “We’re in Love,” the Otis Rush blues classic “My Love Will Never Die,” and “Same Old Heartaches,” first recorded by the Impressions and written by Price’s friends, the songwriting team of Melvin and Mervin Steals, best known for writing “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” by the Spinners. The Otis Rush song, a staple in Price’s live repertoire, was added after Andersen saw a YouTube video of Price performing the song and suggested recording a new version of it. 

2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan's LPs, That's What I'm Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 17 albums, CDs, and DVDs. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony. Price’s album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2015. Billy’s last album, Reckoning, was released in June, 2018, and nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Soul Blues Album of the year.

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On August 2nd, Gulf Coast Records will release Dog Eat Dog, the new studio album from soul blues singer Billy Price. After the critically acclaimed success and Blues Music Award nomination of his last album, Reckoning, Billy was excited and eager to get back into Greaseland Studio in San José, California with producer Kid Andersen. Kid and Billy’s mutual love for the music and commitment to making an original contribution to the soul blues genre is evident in this new collection of recordings. 

Kid and Billy assembled a first-class group of musicians on Dog Eat Dog, which features Price on vocals along with Andersen (guitars and assorted instruments), Alex Pettersen (drums), Jerry Jemmott (bass), Jim Pugh (keys), Eric Spaulding (tenor sax), Jack Sanford (baritone sax), and John Halblieb (trumpet). Andersen added congas to most tracks, covered by Jon Otis (son of the great Johnny Otis) and Vicki Randle (Jay Leno Tonight Show Band, Mavis Staples). Randle also provided background vocals along with Lisa Leuschner Andersen, Charlie Owen, and the Sons of the Soul Revivers gospel group. Dog Eat Dog also features guest appearances by Rick Estrin, Alabama Mike, and Mike Zito. Estrin plays harmonica on the title track, which he wrote and recorded on one of his earlier albums. A big fan of Alabama Mike, Price was thrilled to share the lead vocals with Mike on “Dog Eat Dog.” Gulf Coast Records co-founder Mike Zito also contributed a scorching guitar solo on “All Night Long Cafe.”

Photo Credit: Christopher Myers

Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of Diana Rein! 

Her album QUEEN OF MY CASTLE to be released  June 21st.

"When you want something so bad it feels like a curse...Heading down a narrow path. Don't let them make you feel small and question your worth.” 
~ Lyrics from the song “Worth” off Diana’s forthcoming album "Queen of My Castle."

There’s nothing traditional about blues artist Diana Rein. Diana’s parents escaped communist Romania in 1981 when she was 3 years old. They arrived in Chicago, Il on Halloween with only $50 and a dream for a better life. Diana brought her family's strong Romanian work ethic to performing arts school, where her talents flourished, eventually leading her to a role in the classic American 90’s comedy "Home Alone”.

Diana's love of Blues started at 8, when her parents brought her to a Chicago Blues Club, arranging to have her perform some songs with the band. This was a defining moment. A blues artist was born. Over the years, Diana's music heroes and influences emerged: SRV, Prince, and Phillip Sayce to name a few. But it all started back in Chicago, the home of amazing Blues legends like Buddy Guy.

Diana followed her heart to California, where it would be broken repeatedly and made stronger each time. With experience came strength, self-reliance and plenty of songwriting material. At one point when hope was slipping away, Diana promised to make music her life's work and grabbed the reins on her songwriting and guitar playing.

Music never stopped knocking and Diana is glad she finally swung the door wide open and let it in. So are her fans. Today Diana calls Southern California home, where she continues to release original music and play what feels good for anyone who will listen. Her promise to her fans is that she will never stop making music and growing as an artist.



✬ Odds Lane to Release "Lost and Found"

June 7th on Gulf Coast Records! ✬

Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of Odds Lane . The band is the musical outlet of the songwriters Doug Byrkit and Brian Zielie. The duo worked together while in college studying music, subsequently touring both nationally and internationally with various artists. After recording at legendary Sun Studios, they released the first of several projects as independent songwriters in 2004. Their new release Lost and Found was recorded at MARZ Studio in Nederland, Texas with musician/producer Mike Zito.

"Doug Byrkit and Brian Zielie are more than great musicians. With songs and stories and deep grooves, Odds Lane is the real deal. Doug's singing is honest and he's got the band to back up his vision." -- Mike Zito

“Brilliant, and sometimes darkly humorous, it is impossible to categorize Odds Lane and we wouldn't have it any other way.”

-- American Blues Scene Magazine


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Gulf Coast Records is proud to announce that BMA nominee Jimmy Carpenter has signed with Gulf Coast Records. Jimmy will release a new album on Gulf Coast Records this September! Jimmy Carpenter saxophonist, singer-songwriter, and arranger began his musical journey over 35 years ago. In the '80s, he toured the east coast with the Alka-Phonics and later worked with the blues-rock band The Believers. Over the years, Jimmy has toured internationally with Tinsley Ellis, Jimmy Thackery, Walter Wolfman Washington, and Eric Lindell. In 2012 Jimmy joined Mike Zito, his long-time friend and musical cohort, and recorded and toured as a member of Mike Zito and the Wheel. In addition to touring nationally & internationally, Jimmy has written, arranged and recorded the horns for many artists and has gained a reputation as a master Blues, Rock-n-Roll and R&B saxophonist. Along with contributing to numerous recordings, Jimmy Carpenter has released three solo albums Toiling in Obscurity, Walk Away, and Jimmy Carpenter Plays the Blues. Gulf Coast Records is very excited to have Jimmy Carpenter as part of our Gulf Coast Records family. We look forward to releasing his newest album this September!

“Jimmy Carpenter has music bursting through his veins. He’s heart and soul!”
 ~Mike Zito 


✬ Contemporary Blues Artist Albert Castiglia Signs With Gulf Coast Records 

Albert Castiglia To Release Masterpiece in May
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Gulf Coast Records is excited to announce the signing of Contemporary Blues Artist Albert Castiglia. Albert’s new release MASTERPIECE was recorded at MARZ Studio in Nederland, Texas with musician/producer Mike Zito. “Albert Castiglia is pure emotion. He wears his heart on his sleeve and lets his guitar do the talking”, says Zito. Masterpiece is a raw, deeply personal album for Albert who recently lost his grandmother but simultaneously discovered he had a daughter. This significant life altering event was the springboard for Albert to hone his songwriting skills on Masterpiece with nine deeply meaningful original songs. Mike Zito and Guy Hale, founders of Gulf Coast Records, knew instantly that Masterpiece was exactly the type of record we wanted on our label. We are extremely proud to add Albert Castiglia on Gulf Coast Records’ growing roster of artists and look forward to releasing this ground-breaking new album.


“Masterpiece” is the pinnacle in a career that’s just taking form, it is his best and most personal work to date. I’m proud of this album and proud to call him one of my closest friends. — Mike Zito

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Albert Castiglia [pronounced ka - steel - ya] was born in New York City on August 12, 1969, the son of a Cuban mother and an Italian father. He moved with his family to Miami, when he was five years old and began learning the guitar seven years later. Fast forward to 1996 when Albert hit the international radar after meeting the legendary Junior Wells. Mentored by Junior Wells, he toured for several years alongside the iconic harp player right up until Wells' passing in 1998. "It was an incredible adventure," recalls Castiglia. "Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a Chicago bluesman. Junior opened the door for me to do that.” Albert then joined the great Atlanta vocalist Sandra Hall and toured nationally. In 2001, Albert returned to South Florida from Chicago to start his solo career. Since that time, Albert Castiglia has toured the US & Europe extensively, released 8 solo albums, and most recently in 2017 was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Rock Blues Album and Contemporary Blues Male Artist.


Pick up a Copy Today!

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When producer/musician Mike Zito and Guy Hale founded Gulf Coast Records, Tony Campanella was exactly the type of musician they wanted to sign. Mike Zito has known Tony Campanella nearly 30 years. Tony learned from the local greats: Tommy Bankhead, Marcel Strong, Big George Brock, Lonnie Johnson, Henry Townsend, Bennie Smith and many others.  A veteran rockin’ blues artist from the St. Louis area, Tony Campanella has been playing regularly for 25 years, making a name for himself as one of the best guitarists in the city. Tony has a new sense of purpose to his playing and a spark he felt when he was just a kid learning to play the guitar. Now is the time for Tony Campanella to shine, to bring his passion and soul to more people. St. Louis has know what a rare commodity it has in Tony for a long time but now it will share him with the world. Tony is a virtuoso level guitarist with a big voice full of fire. He brings years of experience in his debut recording for Gulf Coast Records and an album that will make Blues Rock fans swoon. Tony is ready and he is taking it to the street.


Tony’s debut album on Gulf Coast Records, Take It To The Street, was recorded at MARZ Studio with producer Mike Zito. MUSICIANS: Tony Campanella: Guitar, Vocals, Terry Dry: Bass Guitar, Matt Johnson: Drums, Lewis Stephens: Piano/Organ/Wurlitzer, and Mike Zito: Rhythm Guitar/Slide Guitar.

✬ Gulf Coast Records Is Proud To Welcome 

Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price 

Billy Price’s New Release On Gulf Coast Records 
 To Be Produced By Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios 

Nederland, Texas - Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price signs with newly established Gulf Coast Records. Soul Blues artist Billy Price will be going into Greaseland Studios in San Jose, California with award-winning producer/musician Christoffer “Kid” Andersen this week. The new album on Gulf Coast Records to be released this Spring. 

Guy Hale and Mike Zito, founders of Gulf Coast Records, have both been long-time fans of soul blues singer Billy Price. Needless to say, we jumped at the opportunity to sign Billy to our label and we are excited to add him to our growing roster of artists. 

2016 Blues Music Award Winner Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan's LPs, That's What I'm Here For and Live Stock. Since then, with the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 16 albums, CDs, and DVDs. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony.


Price’s album This Time for Real, with the late Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2015. His latest album Reckoning, produced by Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios has been nominated for a 2019 Blues Music Award in the category of Best Soul Blues Album of 2018.


Photo Credits: David Aschkenas

✬ Newly Launched Gulf Coast Records Signs St. Louis Blues Guitarist Tony Campanella  

Tony Campanella To Release Debut Album This Spring

“Tony Campanella is pure soul, one of the finest guitar players I know.” 

--- Mike Zito



NEDERLAND, TEXAS -  Newly established Gulf Coast Records is proud to welcome St. Louis native

Tony Campanella to their label.  Focusing on Regional Roots, Blues and Americana genres, Gulf Coast Records’ mission is to provide a supportive home for the working musician and get their music out to the world.  A veteran rockin’ blues artist from the St. Louis area, Tony Campanella will go into MARZ Studio this month with producer/musician Mike Zito.

An old Stella Harmony acoustic guitar and an old record Guitar Boogie inspired the young eleven year old Tony Campanella to start playing guitar. His uncles continued to feed him a steady diet of Albert Collins, Albert and Freddie King, Son Seals, Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Jeff Beck, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Jamming with local musicians whenever he could paid off with his first club gig at age twenty. In the early 90's, Tony performed in the LA West Blues Band with Tommy Bankhead and then later joined The Sliders in the mid to late 90's. He then branched off and started his own power trio The Tony Campanella Band. Best described as a heavy, rockin' blues band, The Tony Campanella Band has been working the St. Louis circuit for a lifetime. For twenty years, Tony Campanella has been a part of the well known Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Show in St. Louis, MO.  Talent and experience gained Tony the respect of fellow artists. Tony has had the honor of opening for Etta James, Robin Trower, Deep Purple, Bernard Allison, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Koko Taylor, and Shemekia Copeland. Tony Campanella was the perfect choice to be the first artist signed to the newly launched Gulf Coast Records.

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