Rod Piazza

Vintage Live: 1975

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This medium to lo-fi live club recording (location and exact date unspecified) finds Piazza and a young, enthusiastic band playing it by the record collection as they mine their way through ten Chicago blues classics. With Hollywood Fats on guitar and former Canned Heat bassman Larry Taylor, the licks are suitably retro and blues-approved, as Piazza devotes over half the set to letter-perfect re-creations of Little Walter staples like "My Babe," "Oh Baby," "Key to the Highway," "Mellow Down Easy," "I Had My Fun," and "Mean Old World." Piazza extends the Walter approach to include like-minded versions of Muddy's "Standing Around Crying," "Take a Walk With Me," Eddie Boyd's "Third Degree," and Howlin' Wolf's "Rocking Daddy." What sounds still sounds pretty impressive (if somewhat derivative) some 20 years later must have seemed absolutely revelatory at the time.

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