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Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers Blues Quartet - Soul Monster

Delta Groove

From the passionate, fat-toned honks of the opening instrumental, to the remaining dozen cuts, this four-piece ensemble of Mighty Flyers have produced a solid, harp-fueled CD. Soul Monster is Rod Piazza’s 24th recording in a career that has spanned four and a half decades, and it features a nice mixture of covers and originals. Big Bill Broonzy’s “Key to the Highway” is slowed down just a touch, and “Sunbird” takes me right back to the classic harp lines of Rod’s mentor, George “Harmonica” Smith. “You Better Watch Yourself” honors the work of Little Walter just fine, too, and “Queen Bee” sets up Rod for some tasty solos. Standout cuts on Soul Monster for me are the originals: “Cheap Wine” (co-written with Honey Piazza, the title cut, and “Expression Session.”

Rod’s got Miss Honey on piano and bass guitar, Henry Caraval on guitar and vocals, and Dave Kida behind the drum kit. Henry’s vocals on “Talk to Me” and “Ko Ko Mo” are spot-on, and from beginning to end, Soul Monster is a CD worth celebrating. “Talk to Me” reminds me of classic AM radio hits of the 1960’s – a departure of sorts from more traditional blues, but it shows the versatility of the band. While it’s more Bill Haley than Big Big Broonzy, it’s a nice change of pace.

This summer, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers Blues Quartet will play Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago Independence Day weekend, followed by a show at the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival prior to crossing the pond for a couple of European festivals, including the aptly-named Piazza Blues Festival in Switzerland. Keep up with Rod, Honey, Henry and Dave online at, and sample their music. Better yet, pick up their latest Delta Groove CD – it’s a great blues party record!

Reviewer Eric Steiner is the President of the Washington Blues Society, a proud recipient of a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation. Please visit  for more information on the Washington Blues Society

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