Monday, September 20, 2004

The mighty mighty Rod Piazza

I declare Rod Piazza the best blues harp player in the world, and his band The Mighty Flyers the best blues band I've seen yet. And trust me guys, I've seen a lot of blues in my lifetime. This is it! The groove of the band was incredible, and it still retained that vintage Chess sound. Well, the band rocked Ram's Head on Friday night. All in all it was both an inspiring and humbling experience for me.

Rod's chops made me realize I'm grossly inadequate as a harp player and his tone is both sweet and fiery when needed. Most of all, he has such command of the instrument and he can manipulate it with ease and conviction. Seeing Rod play the wireless harp on a table was itself an eye-popping experience. The rest of the band was great as usual. Rod's wife, Honey Piazza, was very capable on the boogie-woogie piano. She is not as versatile as Bill Heid, but she has mastered the blues scale and chord changes and can surely kick most alleged blues piano players' asses. Also on the band stand was Rod's longtime acoustic bassist Bill Stuve and newbies Henry C. (with a Los Lobos flavor) on guitar and Paul on drums (replacing the metronome Jimi Bott).

While everyone was a dynamite musician, they let the music take charge. So it's not hard to hear the band swinging and grooving. When the groove is laid down, Rod gives the band members ample opportunity and time to show off. Also, there were two commenable things the band did. These days most bands only do a set and then charge you thirty-some dollars without feeling guilty. Rod did two full sets and each set was more than an hour each and it turned out to be a wonderful three-hour concert. Second, Rod and Honey and his band members chatted and socialized with their fans during the intermission. Honey was especially nice and chatty. I took some photos with the couple too (coming real soon).

So the weekend was good. Went to my brother's birthday celebration afterwards and played cards til late. Sunday was relaxed and had a nice dinner at Outback. Got a couple of encouraging e-mails from Ed. Planning my California/Las Vegas trip in December and hoping to get in time to vote in November.

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