By B. Noel Barr, Music Writer Dude
Blues harmonica titans Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers, along with James Harmon are headlining the Blues Benefit Concert at Warner Grand July 9. Expect to hear classics from the two harmonica giants vast catalogs.
Rod Piazza is an over the top performer who plays every note with intensity. The man is a musical force with albums dating back to 1967. Piazza continues to thrill music fans with his stage show and recordings.
Beginning his career in 1962, James Harmon has released albums for decades and continues touring the world. Harmon’s latest CD released last fall. The disc which is called Bonetime, is a tremendous album of blues originals. In the last few months, I have been to three different performances by Harmon. I consider Harmon’s performances so special because the love he shares for his music and his love the community that supports his music.
There is 90 years of blues history between these two artists who are supporting a benefit for youth sports and services for the San Pedro Community.
The indoor music festival brings together some of the best artists playing the blues in California. Opening the event is Big Jon Atkinson from San Francisco Bay area. Atkinson has a critically acclaimed CD out presently with Phoenix harmonica player Bob Corritore, House Party. Playing guitar, drums, harmonica, and vocals with a tremendous ability to channel the sound of Chess records to his music.
2000 lbs of Blues makes a weekly stand at The Gaslamp for a Sunday Brunch. The group has played venues around the world at some the major festivals and clubs on the blues circuit. Fronted by Mike “Pink” Arguello on vocals, and the internationally known Junior Watson is on lead guitar. Bill Stuve is the bass with drummer Ron Felton and Harmonica player Tex Nakumura (War-The 44’s) filling out the band.
The Mighty Mojo Prophets whose latest CD Record Shop is the quintessential ”West Coast Blues” CD. This band practices a straight ahead blues sound that is really unique to them. You can bet after this show you will be a lifetime fan of The Mighty Mojo Prophets.
Barry G’s Grease Fire band is one the better groups working the blues circuit. Who will have Jimmy Zolo (Red Lotus Revue) on guitar on this date. Barry G. who will be master of ceremonies of the event fronts his band as vocalist and harmonica player.
I asked Barry G about the event he said. “This is an historic venue which began when it opened in 1931 as a movie palace. If you have never been to Radio City Music Hall or large theater before where the room has been designed for the best quality sound, you will feel every note played from every musician on this date.”
The man behind the music is Juanito Ibarra who is producing this blues spectacular.In Ibarra’s youth he bought his 1st B.B. King record. His love blues music was only superseded by his love of sports. Once part of Oscar De La Hoya’s championship team, Ibarra is currently on The Olympic team heading to Rio De Janeiro this summer.
Ibarra has a dream of a youth center for sports and other services to enhance the lives of the youth in the harbor. This show as well as others are being planned to help develop a youth center here in San Pedro. Scholarships are part of the program for kids, along with a world class sports center. The idea of helping youth to live live’s of substance developing future leaders.
Outside of the festivals around California you are not going to see a lineup like this again in San Pedro. Tickets will be available till 3:00 pm Saturday, tickets will be sold at the door thereafter.