Rod PIAZZA & The Mighty Flyers – Beyond the Source 2001

Rod PIAZZA & The Mighty Flyers – Beyond the Source 2001

Blues

This is a fine CD which I would have given five stars but for two reservations: their cover of Billy Emerson’s ‘Shim Sham Shimmy’ is so distorted (presumably at the mastering stage) that it is unlistenable, and the inclusion of two relatively weak songs, ‘Love To Spare’ and ‘Twist City’. The exclusion of these three tracks would have resulted in a stronger piece of work.
However, the remaining tracks are superb. This is a band which knows how to swing and how to inject pure passion into their performance. They are unfazed by the comparitively sterile recording studio situation (as opposed to the club or concert stage). They approach their performance with a strong ensemble ethic in the great tradition of Little Walter and any of his bands between 1952 and 1960, the Benny Goodman Sextet or the Count Basie Orchestra, all of whom influence this sound, while having three first-rate soloists: Rod Piazza, arguably the premier harpist currently playing, his wife Honey on piano and Rick Holmstrom on guitar.
Standout tracks for me are ‘Easy Baby’, (where Rod Piazza waits until almost two minutes into the instrumental track and then enters with supreme authority and control, as he always does) ‘This Time, This Time’, ‘Shakin’ Hands With The Blues’ ‘If It Is’ and ‘Who Knows What’s Goin’ on?’.
I recommend this CD (and all of Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers’ recordings) highly to those who appreciate the finer points of blues band performance, stellar solos and passionate delivery of a classic style of music – the blues.
By Keith Randall.
**
Despite any clueless John Lee Hooker obits you’ve read recently, the blues is (mostly) about leaving your troubles behind, not about contemplating a Sylvia Plath exit versus a messier Jackson Pollock one. Blues can be life-affirming stuff, even if it is inherently a conservative musical genre that attracts more than its share of play-by-numbers types. The Flyers, a veteran L.A. blues combo, run the gamut here from transcendent party boogies, blues and jumps to the kind of half-smoked barbecue-music sides spun at parties by Caucasian professionals who swallow cheap cognac to dull the pain of living with that congenital melanin deficiency. Fortunately, there’s way more of the former—Rod Piazza is a decent vocalist but a bad-ass harp blower, his wife Honey is a blues-piano goddess, and what can you say about Rick Holmstrom except that he’s one of the coolest guitarists currently breathing? Thweet!
By Jackson Griffith.
**
Rod Piazza- (Harmonica,Vocals),
Kal David, Lauri Bono- (Background Vocals),
Rick Holmstrom- (Guitar),
Jim Spake- (Horn),
Bill Stuve- (Bass),
Honey Piazza- (Piano),
Steve Mugalian- (Drums).
**
01. Who Knows What’s Goin’ On? 4:32
02. Love to Spare  2:25
03. Twist City 3:34
04. Shim Sham Shimmy 3:23
05. Lovin’ Daddy Blues 3:35
06. If It Is 3:03
07. Shakin’ Hands With the Blues 4:00
08. High Flyin’ Baby  6:26
09. In a Wrong World 4:01
10. East Baby 4:08
11. Reece’s Boogie 3:19
12. This Time, This Time 3:03
13. Ghosting 3:58
14. Miss Bee-Havin’ 5:51
**


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