Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers – Beyond The Source

Beyond The Source

There is no group more dedicated to the blues idiom then Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers. And they are a group. You can rest assured this it not some off-the-cuff aggregation. These riffs and arrangements are thought out and articulated to the nth degree, without contrivance or any loss of emotional edge.

Over 30 years of clubs and roadwork have done little to diminish Piazza and Co.’s passion. They continue to dig deep for source inspiration, and the title says it all. Past the wellspring of Texas, California, and Central Ave. blues, they reached the motherlode. There is nothing derivative about this music. It matters not which coast or delta they pay sonic respects to or what artist serves as inspiration, these 14 cuts are collectively representative of their respect to the past and their continuing quest to redefine the blues parameters for the millennium.

It’s tough to be critical of a band that has won multiple W.C. Handy awards and maintains a lineup of players each qualified to be a leader. Piazza long ago became aware of his strengths and limitations, being the self-realized stylist he is, he has successfully developed the former, and operates comfortably within the latter. The result is arguably the slickest, most finely tuned blues machine on the planet.

Whether it’s Piazza’s chromatic harp work, Rick Holstrom’s period-perfect guitar representations, or Honey Piazza’s ongoing musical love affair with Otis Spann, this is the band whose cohesiveness will define the category for years to come. See – DH

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Oct. ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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