Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

ROD PIAZZA AND THE MIGHTY FLYERS

EMERGENCY SITUATION

2014-09-16

With a live show that has earned them four "Band of the Year" awards from the Blues Foundation, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers have been lighting up clubs and festivals for years. They also have a solid track record as recording artists with some 18 discs to their credit. While only Piazza and his piano pounding wife Miss Honey have been along for the entire ride, the band has always featured other top notch musicians including Jimi Bott, Alex Schultz, Rick Holmstrom, Bill Stuuve and the current line-up of Henry Carvajal on guitar, David Kida on drums and Norm Gonzales on bass. With Piazza's multi-faceted harmonica prowess and earnest vocals leading the way, the band has always featured a combination of gritty Chicago blues, West Coast jump blues and a bit of R & B. This new disc, which reunites the band with Blind Pig Records is no different. The title track is a low down slinky blues tour de force. A pair of James Wee Willie Wayne numbers, "Neighbor, Neighbor" and "Bad Weather Blues" swing from upbeat R & B to greasy blues while Amos Milburn's "Milk & Water" treads closer to jump blues. Big Walter's "Gambling Woman" is an upbeat number featuring not only ample doses of Miss Honey's rocking piano but also some wailing saxophone compliments of Ron Dziubla and Jim Jedikin. Piazza gives a nod to another harmonica legend, Sam Myers, with a cover of his "Sleeping In the Ground". "Frankenbop" and "Colored Salt" are harmonica-driven instrumental showcases revealing the wide breadth of Piazza's skill on his chosen instrument while "The Clock" is an end of the night, lights out, ballad. Guitarist Carvajal takes over the microphone for Lee Dorsey's "Ya-Ya" which gets an early rock and roll treatment with plenty of saxophone as well as Carvajal's own tasty guitar licks. Overall, another solid outing from this fine band that keeps pushing itself with new material. SMITTY

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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