Soul Monster

Soul Monster

by Rod Piazza


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Rod Piazza has been leading the Mighty Flyers since the early '80s, and on this, his fourth album, he's still doing what he does best, making down-and-dirty music that pays tribute to the bluesmen of the past while delivering choice originals that may one day be considered as highly as the standards they tackle. Case in point, "Cheap Wine," by Rod and his wife, pianist Honey, is a second-line stomp that pays tribute to low-rent thrills. Honey's strutting piano and Rod's harp complement the polyrhythmic groove of drummer Dave Kida, while Rod turns in a loose, boozy vocal. "Tell Me About It Sam" is a remake of a tune called "Blues in 92" played as a tribute to Rod's pal Sam Meyers who passed in 2006. Its lyric about the inevitability of hard times and tight money sounds even more timely in 2009; Rod's harp solo is big, bold, and blue, and his singing's full of anger and anguish. Honey's piano work is just as dazzling, with fast right-hand runs tossing of sparks to highlight her husband's deep blue tone. Two instrumentals let the band show off their considerable chops: "Expression Session" is a shuffle that displays Rod's playful side, with Henry Carvajal's guitar trading phrases with Rod as the tune closes, while the title track is a slow, grinding, gritty blues marked by Rod's gruff harp and Carvajal's clanging, chattering guitar. The covers span the entire history of the blues starting with Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway," a secular spiritual that's played here as a slow shuffle marked by Rod's weary vocal, Honey's late-night piano arpeggios, and Carvajal's measured rhythm work. Jimmy Liggins' "That's What's Knockin' Me Out" is given a gentle swing treatment while the Piazzas duet on the early rock & roll standard "Ko Ko Mo." Carvajal sings lead on "Talk to Me," a hit for Little Willie John in 1958, bringing the same soulful, tear-drenched tone to his performance that made the original so affecting.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/16/2009
Label: Delta Groove Prod
UPC: 0850021001384
catalogNumber: 134
Rank: 154472

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rod Piazza   Primary Artist,Harp,Vocals
Miss Honey   Bass,Piano
Jonny Viau   Tenor Saxophone
Dave Kida   Percussion,Drums
Henry Carvajal   Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Rod Piazza   Composer,Liner Notes
Jimmy Reed   Composer
Jimmy Liggins   Composer
Randy Chortkoff   Executive Producer
Honey Piazza   Composer
Joe Seneca   Composer
William Lee Conley Broonzy   Composer
Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers   Producer,Audio Production
Jake "Vernon" Porter   Composer
Walter Jacobs   Composer
Eunice Levy   Composer
Forest Wilson   Composer
G. Preston Boebel   Engineer
Joshua Temkin   Artwork
Segar Charles   Composer
Robert L. Ragan   Composer
Marion Charles Miller   Composer
George Allen Smith   Composer
Forest Wilson   Composer
James H. Moore   Composer

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