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Rod Piazza

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:58 am
by blueswriter
Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers Blues Quartet
Soul Monster
Delta Groove (2009) DGPCD 134

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13 tracks, 52 minutes. Excellent. No matter how many records Rod Piazza puts out, he’s consistently solid at delivering a fine mix of blues. While his latest disc Soul Monster only boasts four originals, Rod and The Mighty Flyers, now pared to a quartet, still manage to rock the house a good bit. The stomping title track is a thick and greasy harp instrumental which owes its roots to George “Harmonica” Smith. Rod's and Honey‘s Cheap Wine rides on a nice New Orleans second line groove, but its lyrics seem more than a little forced and contrived. Tell Me About It Sam is a slightly updated version of Piazza’s earlier Blues in ’92 with an introduction recalling the late great Sam Myers. While both his harp and singing are at their usual top-shelf level here on this slow burner, Rod's over-rehearsed spoken affectations are getting more than a bit tiresome. Big Bill Broonzy's Key To The Highway, Little Walter's You Better Watch Yourself and George Smith's Sunbird are a few of the tight, well-done covers. Guitarist Henry Carvajal seems to have found his niche and offers stinging guitar throughout, with his two vocal efforts, Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So) and Talk To Me nicely done, especially the latter. Miss Honey is back doing double duty again, handling the bass pedal chores, while her piano playing also hits a few high points. Dave Kida’s drums are in-the-pocket and Johnny Viau’s sax spices things up occasionally. Soul Monster probably isn’t going to be remembered as the pinnacle in what's already been a successful, lengthy career for Rod Piazza, but it’s definitely got more than a small share of strengths.


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© 2010 by Craig Ruskey