Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

ROD PIAZZA AND THE ALL MIGHTY FLYERS

ALMIGHTY DOLLAR

2011-06-07

Ditching the Mighty Flyers Blues Quartet label used for the last two releases, Rod Piazza and crew emerge on this disc as the All Mighty Flyers. The change is more than cosmetic as the band is accompanied here by a whole cast of guests including Johnny Dyer on vocals, Rusty Zinn on guitars, Jonny Viau on tenor sax and Norm Gonzalez and Hank Van Sickle on bass. This expanded crew fits seamlessly with the core band (Rod Piazza on harmonica and vocals, Miss Honey Piazza on keys, Henry Carvajal on guitars and Dave Kida on drums) and pushes it in directions that it doesn’t often explore on its own. For example, the classic "Ain’t Nobody’s Business" gets a slow, moody, Kansas City piano twist from Miss Honey instead of the upbeat West Coast swing style normally employed by the band. The Muddy Waters classic, "Loving Man", features Dyer’s delta fueled vocals over a soundtrack that sounds straight from Rosa’s Lounge on the South Side of Chicago. "We Belong Together" and "What Makes You so Tough" have a 50’s doo-wop and early rock vibe while "Wine, Wine, Wine" prominently features Viau’s Saxophone on the track ending solo after Rod’s “Mississippi Saxophone” has set the tone, an honor not lightly given by most harp men. That’s not to say that Rod keeps his harp in his pocket. The Little Walter gems, "That’s It and Confessin’" The Blues as well as his own "Con-Vo-Looted" feature massive doses of his drop dead great harmonica work. "Baby Don’t Go" has some great fireworks between Carvajal and Zinn before Piazza takes the band home with another great solo. As always, Piazza’s assured vocals add sly charm to the proceedings. The title track features Piazza’s tale of how hard it is for a musician to make a buck while Jimmy Liggins’ "Move Out Baby" features everything fans have come to love about the instrumental fireworks that fly between Rod and Miss Honey as they take solo turns. Speaking of fireworks, while there are few of the show stopping solos featured in the band’s live sets Miss Honey plays a more prominent role on this disc than on the last couple of efforts as the addition of the bass players frees her from holding down the groove as she’s been forced to do since the departure of long time bassist Bill Stuve a few years back. Her work on "Blue Shadows", adds immeasurably to what otherwise could be just another blues guitar showcase. Overall, this is one of the better discs in the band’s long discography. Smitty

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