Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers

Despite any clueless John Lee Hooker obits you’ve read recently, the blues is (mostly) about leaving your troubles behind, not about contemplating a Sylvia Plath exit versus a messier Jackson Pollock one. Blues can be life-affirming stuff, even if it is inherently a conservative musical genre that attracts more than its share of play-by-numbers types. The Flyers, a veteran L.A. blues combo, run the gamut here from transcendent party boogies, blues and jumps to the kind of half-smoked barbecue-music sides spun at parties by Caucasian professionals who swallow cheap cognac to dull the pain of living with that congenital melanin deficiency. Fortunately, there’s way more of the former—Rod Piazza is a decent vocalist but a bad-ass harp blower, his wife Honey is a blues-piano goddess, and what can you say about Rick Holmstrom except that he’s one of the coolest guitarists currently breathing? Thweet!