Exclusive Interview with Rod Piazza

Rod Piazza How did you discover the bluesharp ?
~ In 1957 or 1958 my brother took me to see Jimmy Reed and got me backstage. He told Jimmy I was playing guitar and Jimmy said, "Well, he needs a harp to go with it." So he gave me one of his harps. I was 10 or 11 years old.

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which bluesharp player would you invite for a jam session?
~ Little Walter

What is your favorite bluesharp brand / type and tell us why?
~ 10 hole Marine Band, 12 hole Chromatic from Hering, and the 64 Chromatic from Hering. Because they last and they sound sooo good!

What are the most important tips you can give to someone who wants to learn to play the bluesharp?
~ Practice correctly, don't just jam. Learn what others have done and then create your own style.

Whisky wine beer or ...?
~ Coors Light beer and BBQ

How do you clean your harps?
~ I never clean them.

What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Haven't they asked them all in my 50 year career?

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ When the sound is good and so is the engineer, that makes the ultimate recording studio. Then, let me take it from there. I'll do the rest.

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ No nerves now. Maybe in the 60's when I opened for the likes of Wolf or Muddy. But to sum it up, just knowing your instrument puts you at ease.

What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ When George Harmonica Smith called me and said Muddy Waters had called him to see if I would join his band.

Rod Piazza

Photos: Franky Bruneel - Back To The Roots

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Answers given on January 7, 2016