Here and Now, the name of Rod Piazza’s new Tone-Cool CD is an apt description of the band’s presence on today’s blues scene. Just returning from winning another of their many W.C. Handy Awards (for Best Blues Band of the year, 1999), Rod Piazza & The Might Flyers are in top form and are recognized around the world as one of the most entertaining and energetic blues bands on tour today.
Rod is joined by original Mighty Flyers’ Honey Piazza (keyboards) and Bill Stuve (bass), as well as Steve Mugalian (drums) and Rick "L.A. Holmes" Holmstrom (guitar). The Mighty Flyers feature the elite of the blues world, each a star in his or her own right. Honey Piazza on piano showcases her prodigious talents with a barrelhouse piano style along the lines of Otis Spann. She also plays a wicked boogie woogie and her duet performances with drummer Steve Mugalian always brings down the house when she plays the song, "Hang-Ten Boogie" (from their "Tough and Tender" album). Long time bassist Bill Stuve has released two solo records on his own and his popping bass lines hold the Flyers sound together. Guitarist Rick "L.A. Holmes" Holmstrom, whose own solo CD, Lookout! in 1996, established him as a modern day master in the mold of T-Bone Walker and Pee Wee Crayton, lights up the stage with his rocking lead guitar playing.
Bringing them all together is bandleader Rod Piazza whose unparalleled harmonica playing ranks him among the elite of blues harp players today. A legendary harmonica player and bluesman, Rod Piazza has been a powerful force in the blues since forming his first band in the 1960’s. Rod began his musical career in Los Angeles in 1965, when he formed the Dirty Blues Band at the age of 18. Two years later Rod joined his long-time mentor, George "Harmonica" Smith, Muddy Waters’ former harmonica player, to form the double harmonica band Bacon Fat. It was through George that Rod learned the power of a dynamic stage performance and developed his impressive harmonica talents. Bacon Fat released two albums and toured the country backing up and recording with such blues legends as Big Mama Thornton, T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner. During this time, a brief illness forced Rod to turn down the coveted harmonica chair in the Muddy Waters Band. After forming the Mighty Flyers in the 1970’s and touring constantly in the 80’s and 90’s, the group has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working bands who consistently push the boundaries of the blues while still staying vital and true to the spirit and soul of the music. Their ability to keep the blues vibrant, fresh and alive has led to countless accolades and awards as they continue to lead the blues in new musical directions and into the 21st Century.