Monday, July 12, 2010

Pizza with Piazza

My friend Greg invited me to go hear Rod Piazza, a harp player. (Harp is jargon for a harmonica.) Rod Piazza plays the blues on his harmonica and is a legend among the blues community. We arrived at Midway, a little tavern in a residential section of Mishawaka, about 40 minutes prior to the music beginning. It was a $20 cover charge and by the time we arrived, it was standing room only. Already about 200 reservations for seats had been taken. Fortunately Greg and I were sitting with Johnny who had a table reserved. Johnny takes photos of the players for Midway. His fine work in black and white is displayed through out the establishment. Just before the music began we had another fellow join us. He had heard Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers in Kalamazoo the night before. He had driven down from Grand Rapids MI, a good three hour drive. He was so appreciative of being able to sit at our table with us that he bought us a couple of rounds throughout the night. Pretty cheap since we were all drinking pop.

The music began and the place became electric. Not only was Rod a fantastic harp player, the rest of the band was each fantastic in their own right. His wife Honey on the keyboards (I didn't know fingers could play so fast), Henri C on the guitar (I love the guitar riffs) and Dave on the drums. Not only did we get to hear Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, we had the pleasure of two additional individuals who joined the band for a song or two. One was Katie Wassenhove the aspiring granddaughter of Albertina the establishments owner. The other was 'Ole Harv' the local Blues DJ and member of Elwood Splinters Band. The granddaughter played the keyboards with Honey and 'Ole Harv' did some vocals.

Well, since my drinks were covered, I decided to buy a pizza to go with them. So, after drinking a few rounds of Diet Coke and eating some pizza, the break in between sets was welcome. I needed to visit the tiny toilet facilities; one urinal and one toilet in a closet. Who did I find myself sharing this refreshing break with other than Rod Piazza himself. A little banter with the man who was behind sunglasses all evening, made the time pass quickly.

I really enjoyed the time at Midway. I'm just wondering though when my ears will stop ringing.

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