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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Showing posts with label Rod Piazza and the All Mighty Flyers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rod Piazza and the All Mighty Flyers. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Two-Day California Beer Festival Features Specialty Craft Beers, BBQ Contest, Big-Name Blues Acts

Are you kidding me! Take someone along to go on beer runs... you're not going to want to miss a minute! Look at this line up!

Big Two-Day California Beer Festival Features

Craft Beers, BBQ Contest, Big-Name Blues Acts

Saturday, September 15/Sunday, September 16 - Mission Park, Ventura, CA

(Ventura, Calif.) - California Beer Festival takes place Saturday, September 15 (12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and Sunday, September 16 (11 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.) in Ventura's Mission Park, 36 Figueroa St., in the downtown district. CBF is one of the year's biggest entertainment events featuring everyone's favorite three B's: Beer, Barbeque and the Blues!

Tickets for the California Beer Festival Craft Beer Heaven on Saturday are $50 for General Admission, $70 for a special Saturday-only "V.I.P. Meet The Brewer", or $25 for a Designated Driver Ticket. Sunday it's the CBF Blues, Brews & BBQ Blues Festival for $30 (children 5 and under are free on Sunday only). Ventura County Blues Society members receive a $5. discount with I.D. Advance tickets available at www.californiabeerfestival.com. CBF event proceeds benefit DARC (Dyslexia Awareness And Resource Center) and the Gen Giammaco Foundation. Space is limited! For more information call (805) 323-5691 or email: info@californiabeerfestival.com.

On Sunday, September 16, Kim Wilson (center) and the Fabulous Thunderbirds headline a star-studded Blues lineup at the two-day California Beer Festival in Mission Park, downtown Ventura.

Saturday, September 15: Craft Beer Festival Craft Beer Heaven. Over 150 varieties of specialty craft beers on tap along with 70 microbreweries, great food and live music by popular 14-piece Michael Jackson tribute group, Foreverland. "California Beer Festival's main goal is to shine a light on the Craft Beer Movement and celebrate great beer," says CBF promoter/organizer, Vincenzo Giammanco. There's also a 5K Run on Saturday that will have you running through the streets and along the oceanfront of Ventura, crossing the finish line right inside the Festival itself!

Sunday, September 16: Blues, Brews, & BBQ Blues Festival. Blue Moon Barbeque Cook-Off featuring barbeque teams competing for $3,000 in cash prize plus 15 craft beers on tap. Sunday also features non-stop music by some of the biggest names in the world of blues - Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds (known for their hits "Tuff Enuf," "Wrap It Up," and "She's Tuff," among others); a Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan with Crossfire; blues-rock guitarist extraordinaire, Walter Trout; longtime SoCal blues standout harpist-vocalist, Rod Piazza And the Mighty Flyers; Northern California guitar ace, Chris Cain; and Simi Valley's blues stalwarts, Michael John & The Bottom Line. There will be two stages adjacent to one another that day - when one band finishes their set on one stage, the next band immediately starts playing on the other stage!

www.californiabeerfestival.com

California Beer Festival - SOUTHLAND BLUES Feature
Q and A With CBF's Vincenzo Giammanco - ALL ACCESS MAGAZINE
California Beer Festival - BLUES E-NEWS Feature
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Jan. 2012 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise Part II - correspondent Stilladog


When we hit St. Croix, USVI, it was just in time for the St. Croix Blues Festival. This festival began at noon and was spread out across various bars all afternoon culminating in a huge gathering at the Verne I. Richards Memorial Park stage in Frederiksted at dusk where the featured artists were Coco Montoya, Shemekia Copeland, and the Low Rider Band (formerly known as WAR... the band can't legally market themselves as WAR, but I can say that).

After a hike of 1.25 miles through "the jungle," as my wife called it, I hit a place called Rhythms At Rainbow Beach. They had a local band called the St. Croix Blues Society playing. These guys jammed and played well beyond the 12-3 time frame. I ended up here due to a prior commitment to deliver some Tom Jenkins BBQ Sauce down from Ft. Lauderdale to the keyboard player of the St. Croix Blues Society, Tom Eimer. And what I discovered at Rhythms is that Harry Nilsson was right. You put de lime in de coconut and drink em bot togetta, put de lime in de coconut den you feel betta. The Lime In The Coconut is their signature drink and it alone was worth the hike!

By the time I got to the festival stage Coco Montoya was just starting up. He did an abbreviated set due to technical sound difficulties but it was very inspired. About half way through, a typical Caribbean rain squall hit the festival. But we all had so many Bushwhackers, Cruzan Confusions, and Voo Doo Juice in us (on top of the Lime In The Coconuts) it didn't really matter. Coco kept jamming and we absorbed it all.

I had never seen Coco Montoya play before and was surprised to find that he is a left handed picker using a right handed guitar, a la Jimi Hendrix.

After a brief respite from the rain, another squall hit and we headed back for the ship where we sat on our balcony and listened to Shemekia Copeland and Low Rider Band.

The next day in St. Maartens, N.V. was spent at the beach but was not without music. We were thoroughly entertained by The Might Dow, aka Isadore York, and his steel pan band. Well known as the Calypso King of St. Maartens, The Mighty Dow proved that what Etta James said is true, "It's all blues."

After his scheduled set, The Mighty Dow continued to jam with the Kenny Neal Band who laid down an awesome groove for a sunny day at the beach! Kenny Neal employs nearly all his family (brothers, sisters, children etc.) in the band. Most noteworthy being his brother Frederick on keys who also hosted late night jams in the Piano Bar along with Mitch Woods and Eden Brent. And you must see Kenny's twin sisters Charlene and Darlene shake their sizable bootays! Let me tell you the James Brown Dancers got nothin' on those girls!!

The next act for review is the Homemade Jamz Band. Another family band which consists of two brothers and their sister, Ryan (vocal and guitar), Kyle (bass) and Taya (drums) Perry. In addition to giving a blues "tutorial" of sorts to public school children on St. Croix, these youngsters really rock it out! They also appear to be very nice and talented young folks who are only going to get better. Again, the blues is in good hands with kids like this playing it! Of note is Ryan Perry's custom guitar made from a Ford muffler and replete with dual tailpipes!!

Also appearing and representing the artwork of the cruise was my old buddy, James "Super Chikan" Johnson. Clearly Super Chikan was by far the most accessible, funny, and generally congenial artist on the cruise as he was on my last Blues Cruise in Jan. of 2010. He takes the time to talk with anyone who strikes up a conversation with him and is more than happy to clown around during an impromptu photo request. His music was great but the man is greater than what he plays.

Also appearing was Rod Piazza & the All Mighty Flyers featuring Rod on harp and his wife, the incomparable Honey Piazza, on keyboards. Rod might have had the tightest band on the ship. Among some very very professional performances, The All Mighty Flyers stood out. Ran into the Piazzas in the elevator where Honey and I reminisced about the time we were backstage for Aretha Franklin's Chesapeake Blues Fest performance. Honey told me that Aretha is getting married. But by the time I was on the plane for home, People magazine informed me that the nuptials were off.

I tried to catch some of Bettye LaVette but something about her rubbed me the wrong way. I think it was her stage presence or personality. At one point she said she was going to sing all her "hits" and ask the audience why they never sold. Bettye's recordings are great but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see her live. To be fair, those who stayed said she did a stirring performance on her cover of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me."

I know Kenny Wayne Shepherd was the feature headliner of this cruise but I never bothered to go see him. I've seen KWS perform numerous times and he can really play. But he doesn't bring anything new to the table. I know Bman doesn't share this feeling but I can just as easily listen to my old Stevie Ray Vaughan records if that's what I want to hear. Word on the ship from those who did see him play was that his special guest, Buddy Flett, was the star of his show anyway. I tried to watch Kenny Wayne's last set from the TV in my stateroom as I packed to disembark, but after 4 tunes I switched over to the Weather Channel.

So that's about it in two nutshells. Bottom line here is that the Legendary Blues Cruise is first and foremost the best vacation you can ever have. And secondly, if you enjoy blues music the cruise is the place to be. They've got another one scheduled for October sailing out of San Juan, PR. If you can, get on it!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sad Hours - Rod Piazza


Rod Piazza (born December 18, 1947, Riverside, California) is an American blues harmonica player and singer. He has been playing with his band The Mighty Flyers since 1980 which he formed with his pianist wife Honey Piazza. Their boogie sound combines the styles of jump blues, West Coast blues and Chicago blues.
Piazza grew up in Southern California, where he studied blues records and perfected his harmonica work. He originally started on guitar, an instrument he began playing at the age of six or seven.

In the mid 1960s, Piazza formed his first band The House of DBS, which later changed its name to the Dirty Blues Band. The band signed with ABC-Bluesway and released two albums in 1967 and 1968. The band broke up in 1968, and Piazza formed Bacon Fat that year. Piazza's idol and mentor, George "Harmonica" Smith joined the band and they had a "dual harp" sound. Bacon Fat released two albums the following two years. Piazza left and worked in other bands before going solo in 1974.

He formed the Chicago Flying Saucer Band the following year, which later evolved into the Mighty Flyers. The band recorded their first album in 1980. Piazza started touring and recording as Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers Blues Quartet, after the departure of long-time bassist Bill Stuve in the early 2000s. Piazza has recorded twenty-four studio albums between 1967 and 2009, including the live concert DVD Big Blues Party in 2005 (recorded at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California). In addition, he has appeared as a guest performer on over twenty-one releases since 1968. Between 1995 and 2001, Rick Holmstrom played in the Mighty Flyers.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Update on Rod Piazza - Tour Schedule

ROD PIAZZA
This past June saw the release of Rod Piazza's 25th recording "Almighty Dollar" on Delta Groove Music and the response so far has been strong. The CD has been riding high on the charts since its release which already includes ten weeks on the Roots Music Report and four months on the Living Blues Radio Chart where the album hit #1 in July. Blues Revue magazine has an upcoming feature about Rod written by Tom Cullen III, tentatively scheduled for their 2012 January/February issue, and the band is already gearing up for another busy Spring/Summer touring season which will include making their first appearance at our very own 7th Annual Delta Groove All-Star Blues Revue at the Cajun & Blues Music Festival held in Simi Valley next Memorial Day weekend. Be sure to catch Rod Piazza and the All Mighty Flyers when they hit your town!

11/03/11: Las Vegas, NV – Boulder Station Hotel & Casino
11/05/11: Arcadia, CA – Arcadia Blues Club
11/23/11: Long Beach, CA – Golden Sails
12/11/11: Riverside, CA – American Legion
12/17/11: Phoenix, CA – The Rhythm Room
12/31/11: Arcadia, CA – Arcadia Blues Club
01/07/12: Atascadero, CA – House Concert
01/22/12: Fort Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
01/23/12: Fort Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
01/24/12: Fort Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
01/25/12: Fort Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
01/26/12: Fort Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
01/27/12: Fort Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
01/28/12: Fort Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
01/29/12: Fort Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
03/03/12: San Francisco, CA – Biscuits & Blues
03/16/12: San Juan Capistrano, CA – The Coach House
05/18/12: Charleston, WV – Charlie West Blues Fest
05/26-27/12: Simi Valley, CA – Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival07/14/12: Tuolumne, CA – Black Oak Casino08/17/12: Lebanon, OR – Harvest Moon Blues Festival

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Almighty Dollar - Rod Piazza New release review


Rod and the gang are known for solid quality blues recordings and this cd is no exception. This recording sees guest artists Rusty Zinn, Johnny Dyer, Hank Van Sickle, Norm Gonzales and Jonny Viau along with the All Mighty Flyers pumping out 12 good tunes including originals and covers for a well balanced released and that great harp tone that Rod is known for.
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