Tune in to 91.9 WNTI or wnti.org this Thursday evening March 19 to hear host Greg Lewis chat with extraordinary guitarist Rick Vito. Enjoy the spotlight on Rick's solo catalog and tracks from the new Mick Fleetwood's Blues Band featuring Rick Vito release ' Blue Again'. Rick Vito is one of America's most expressive guitarists. Influenced by the early years of rock 'n' roll, he was fascinated by guitarists like Scotty Moore of Elvis Presley's backing group or Rick Nelson's lead guitarist James Burton.
RICK VITO gained his first stage experience in his college band, which mainly played Rolling Stones covers. The Rolling Stones exercised a decisive influence on the early playing style of RICK VITO, and their orientation towards American blues and R & B roots, represented by such leading exponents as Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf, had a magical attraction for him.
RICK VITO got more deeply involved with the classic blues movement shaped by BB King, Elmore James and Earl Hooker. In the process he discovered the second blues generation, with Peter Green and his band Fleetwood Mac exerting a particular fascination on him.
RICK VITO began his professional musical career in New York, where he met the producer and guitarist TODD RUNDGREN. Todd made recordings with RICK VITO for Chicago blues man JAMES COTTON on his album "Takin Care Of Business". TODD RUNDGREN's own album "Something-Anything" - a classic among guitar albums - is notable for the contribution of RICK VITO.
Meanwhile, RICK VITO began touring in 1970 as sideman with DELANEY & BONNIE.
In 1974, he received an invitation from English blues pioneer JOHN MAYALL to join his new band. That was the start of four successful years with four studio albums. At the end of 1977, RICK VITO met up with ex Byrds leader ROGER McGUINN, with whom he founded the THUNDERBYRDS; the band recorded the album of the same name and toured the world with it, including a legendary gig on Germany's ROCKPALAST TV programme.
At the start of the '80s, RICK VITO worked for slide guitar queen BONNIE RAITT on her album "Green Light", and this led to a deep and continuing friendship and musical alliance. (RICK VITO accompanied Bonnie Raitt on her 1999 world tour, which in Europe included solo concerts and support for ERIC CLAPTON).
American singer/songwriter JACKSON BROWNE discovered RICK VITO in the mid-80s and together they recorded the standout albums "Lawyers In Love" and "Lives In The Balance".
US rocker BOB SEGER and RICK VITO teamed up in 1986 to make Bob's mega hit "Like A Rock", and since then, RICK VITO has been a regular member of BOB SEGER's studio and live band.
1987 marked a personal high point in the career of RICK VITO when he became a member of the band he had always admired, FLEETWOOD MAC, filling a gap left by LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM. Within the band, RICK VITO achieved a blend between the different guitar styles of PETER GREEN and LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM without losing his own individuality. Five successful years followed for FLEETWOOD MAC including two world tours, with the albums "Tango In The Night" and "Behind The Mask ". At that time, Fleetwood Mac also released a "BEST OF" album with new studio tracks featuring RICK VITO.
RICK VITO was also working on his first solo album "King Of Hearts" with the single "Desiree", a duet with the Fleetwood Mac singer STEVIE NICKS. This was followed by STEVIE NICKS's "Street Angel" solo world tour with RICK VITO.
At the end of 1998, RICK VITO released his second solo album "Pink and Black", a clear confession of his roots in the traditional blues and rhythm 'n' blues style.
RICK VITO continued this trend in his studio album "LUCKY DEVILS" and added a distinctive new accent to it. His PETER GREEN influenced guitar sounds are absolutely typical, and especially noticeable in the instrumentals.
RICK VITO has a quite exceptional approach to guitar playing. He seamlessly combines slide playing with separate clear notes. His singing, reminiscent of Robert Cray, is gentle, refined and melodious.
Alternating freely between blues - enriched with the sound of wind instruments - and rock, RICK VITO plays in a galaxy of guitar styles and achieves a unique combination of classic blues with modern rock elements, creating a third space between rock, pop and blues without losing the rootsy appeal.
His personal guitar style and his mastery of stylistic fusion make RICK VITO into one of the most innovative blues guitarists of the present day.
King Of Hearts CD Modern Records
Pink And Black CD Wild Cat
Lucky Devils CD HYP 0193
Crazy Cool CD HYP 1208
Band Box Boogie CD HYP 3221
Rattlesnake Shake CD HYP 4229
Talk That Talk CD HYP 6248
Lucky In Love The Best of Rick Vito CD HYP
Also, see Greg Lewis' bio.