Blues Bytes

Pick Hit

July 2014

an associate

Order this CD today

Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers
Emergency Situation
Blind Pig Records

Rod Piazza

Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers year in and year out have been one of the world’s best blues bands. For a number of years Rod, Honey, Henry and David Kida worked together without a bass player before adding Norm Gonzales to the mix. Their latest record, Emergency Situation, continues their usual high level of excellence while allowing Honey to do what she does best, pound the keys. I love the energy of the new record so let’s give it a listen.

The band starts out with “Neighbor, Neighbor” and here we find that Rod and Honey have nosy neighbors who want to get into their business. “Don’t put my business…all out in the street…if you leave it alone…everything would be alreet.” Rod’s a private individual by nature and he definitely doesn’t want everyone in the neighborhood deep in the middle of his affairs. We move on to “Emergency Situation” and here we find Rod contemplating the current state of the Blues business. “It’s an emergency situation…man…I got to change my occupation. Well…the clubs just ain’t paying…the festivals hurting, too…the only solid gig; man…is on the blues cruise.” It’s no secret the Blues is in a down cycle and Rod’s been around long to know that that it will come back. But it’s definitely getting harder to make a living on the road and that’s a fact.

I hear Honey’s piano on the intro of “Milk and Water” and the sounds of saxophones from Jim Jedeikin and Ron Dziubla are a welcome addition to the mix. “The doctor took me off scotch, bourbon and beer…good, good whiskey if I want to stay here…” The doctor is only going to get so much cooperation from Rod but at least for the moment he’s adhering to his regimen of “milk and water.” Rod’s harp fills my ears as the band take on the first of two instrumentals, “Frankenbop.” It’s a high spirited, high energy instrumental and I can hear Norms' bass just fine as Rod and the Mighty Flyers let it rip.

We move on to the slower-paced “Bad Weather Blues” and here we find Rod feeling down. “I feel just like bad weather…feel like I’m going to snow…yeah; no I can’t feel no better…since my baby broke up my happy home.” Rod’s woman as left him and his mood, like the weather, is going to stay stormy until a ray of sunshine comes back into his life. Henry echo’s Rod’s pain with a stirring guitar solo and I reminded that I haven’t seen the Mighty Flyers in awhile and I’m definitely due. The band moves on to a Big Walter tune, “Gambling Woman,” and Rod’s finding his wallet on the losing end of this one. “I’m going to let her go…go...go….she’s a losing all my money…she’s gambling all night long.” Sometimes you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do and letting this loose cannon go is a wise idea.

Up next is a Sam Myers tune, “Sleeping in the Ground,” and I’m loving Rod’s harp on this tune as he tells us about a woman who is putting him down and using him. “I gave you all my money…little girl, everything I own…well, one day…I’m going to get lucky…and down the road you’re going to go.” Rod’s hoping the day is soon that she’s gone and I’m thinking there’s no doubt it will happen sooner than later. Rod’s woman troubles continue on in “Tricky Woman” as he’s finding a one night fling is evolving into a gold-digging woman who wants into his pocket for some money. Honey’s piano is pounding away and I’m glad to hear her have an extended solo during this tune. “You told me last night baby…you were lonely for a man…I’m telling you right now baby…that’s one thing I can’t stand.” Rod’s quick to see through this needy woman’s agenda and isn’t shy about kicking her to the curb.

A pretty ballad, “The Clock,” is up next and I’m drawn to the slower tempo of the tune as Rod tells us about his loneliness. “I want to cry my heart out…for my baby...back with me…I’ve got nothing but time…but time means nothing to me…if you hear me…please come back real soon…the clock and I…are so lonely in this room.” More sax is in the background as Rod’s sadness and grief at missing this woman is very real and he’s really hoping for the best. “Ya-Ya” is a funky tune and I’m transported back to the ’50s as Rod seems to be so in love with the girl in question. “Sit here in La-La…waiting for my Ya-Ya…it may sound funny…but I don’t believe she’s coming…a-ooh..” More wicked sax is in the background and it’s a nice compliment to the Mighty Flyer’s arsenal on this tune.

Rod’s harp wails out the intro to the final cut and instrumental on the record, “Colored Salt.” Slightly down tempo from “Frankenbop,” “Colored Salt” has more texture to it and Rod’s harp is the overwhelming presence on another excellent instrumental from the band’s arsenal of tunes.

Emergency Situation marks the return to Blind Pig Records for Rod and the Mighty Flyers and it’s a welcomed addition to their discography for sure. I’ve not seen the band in awhile and that’s a situation that needs to be rectified here soon, given their iconic status as one of the great Blues bands of my generation.

This is a great disc from the band and I’m looking forward to relaying that thought to them in person and I’m hoping you do the same. Live music only exists in the venues that support it and showing up to hear the band is a responsibility incumbent on every Blues fan to acknowledge. Hopefully on the next disc we’ll hear Rod talking about an “excellent situation” as opposed to an Emergency Situation.

--- Kyle Deibler



[Pick Hit][What's New][Surprise][Flashback][Feedback][Back Issues][Home Page]


The Blues Bytes URL...
Revised: July 14, 2014 - Version 1.00
All contents Copyright © 2014, Blue Night Productions. All rights reserved.