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August 2005

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Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers
For The Chosen Who
  Delta Groove Productions

Rod PiazzaWonderfully conceived, beautifully executed, For the Chosen Who is easily one of the top ten blues albums you’ll hear this year. Influenced by producer Randy Chortkoff’s desire to explore Rod Piazza’s blues roots, For the Chosen Who takes you all the way back to the ’60s to Rod’s days in the band, Bacon Fat, with his mentor, George “Harmonica” Smith to the Chicago Flying Saucer Band era where Rod first met Honey and bassist Bill Stuve to the present day. This Delta Groove production also includes a session DVD filming the recording process to round out what will surely be a seminal work in the proud history of Rod and the Flyers.

Opening with the Jimmy Reed song, "I’m a Love You," Rod begins his journey back to his roots. His harmonica playing shines from the first note and the energy from "I’m a Love You" segues into the wonder gospel feel of "You Can Make It If You Try," the classic Ted Jarrett tune. Rod’s vocals are the focal point of the song and he’s ably supported by the background vocals of Amy Keys, Cynthia Manley, Jessica Williams and Robbyn Kirmsee. 

"Broken Hearted Blues" is the first of two songs inspired by Rod’s time spent with Muddy Waters guitarist Jimmy Rogers and along with "Trace of You" pays homage to the mid ’80s when Rod, Honey and Bill Stuve were the band backing Jimmy.

Flyers guitarist Henry Carvahal’s leads are simply scintillating on the Ike Turner Tune, "She Makes My Blood Run Cold," and leads into two classic harmonica performances by Rod. "Shoestring" is an instrumental by Rod and segues into an acoustic version of the Sonny Boy Williamson tune "Ground Hog Blues" that is featured on the DVD.

“Description of a Fool” is the first Piazza original on the disc and features inspired harp playing by Rod coupled with its straight to the point message, “a man ain’t been born yet who knows what a woman will and will not do.”  Coupled with some very hot guitar licks by Phil Guy, Rod ensures that all men should know better.

"Honey’s Blues" is just that --- a wonderfully expressive instrumental that allows Honey to shine; it’s a very beautiful piece. Phil Guy’s inspired guitar leads support Honey’s efforts and gives Rod a chance to just let his harp do the talking.

"Got to Find My Baby" finds Johnny Dyer sitting in with Rod and allows these two Blues legends to play off each other’s energy as they search to find their baby. Their interaction is a feature on the DVD and a wonderful piece of blues give and take.

Producer Chortkoff contributes the next song to the project, "Call Me Dangerous," and plays harp on the cut as well. Highlighted by Phil Guy’s leads, Rod portrays himself as a dangerous man out on the town. This inspired cut segues into the final Piazza original, "Blues Player," Rod’s anthem telling the world “I play the blues because my heart’s beating with a soulful mellow tone!” 

The hearts of all the Flyers beat with the same mellow tone and For the Chosen Who shares with us a band whose collective heart is bigger than the sum of its parts. The true blues fans will consider themselves amongst the "chosen who." 

After hearing this album you can’t help but have the ears to hear the music and the soul to appreciate its worth. And next time you see Rod, Honey & the Flyers….tell them you’re amongst "the chosen who." It’s a distinction of honor for everyone who hears this wonderful album.

--- Kyle Deibler


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