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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Shakey Jake
Shakey Jake
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1605 posts
Nov 04, 2019
2:39 PM
I happened to hear Shakey Jake on a rather rough sounding live recording w/ Magic Sam, and found him, well, relatively OK. (Didn´t know about him.)
Then looked for stuff with him on Youtube and thought, Well ths is really quite good!
Upon closer inspection it turns out that it´s Rod Piazza.

54 posts
Nov 05, 2019
5:03 AM
I do think he's a better singer than a harp player, but hell he recorded with Magic Sam, and many others greats, that's a big thing.
2880 posts
Nov 07, 2019
9:02 AM
A person doesn't have to be a great technical harmonica player to make great music.
2027 posts
Nov 07, 2019
10:20 AM
@Joe L


I have believed this for a long time, but seldom have heard it said.

Doug S.
185 posts
Nov 07, 2019
1:37 PM
When I saw this I immediately thought of Shakey Jake of Ann Arbor MI. Back in the early 80’s
I used to ride around on the AATA busses in the winter trying not to freeze and he was always around with his guitar and happy to chat with a cold messed up kid...
57 posts
Nov 08, 2019
3:26 AM
@ Joe_L, I do agree with this. Bob Dylan is a living proof of this statment. The music is all that matters
499 posts
Nov 08, 2019
3:18 PM
I’ve always considered Rod to be one of the best.
2030 posts
Nov 08, 2019
3:48 PM
Piazza's playing, singing, and band is great.

However, I don't think of him as "a great technical harmonica player", though I believe he does, "make great music".

I like his music...

Doug S.
500 posts
Nov 09, 2019
5:37 PM
I guess I think of Rod as a pioneer of and master of the West Coast (Jump) blues sound, given his longevity and consistency.

It’s my observation that a master player is usually so within his ‘genre’. I think Rod is an absolute master of what he does, which is lead and front a mostly west coast jump blues group, hence, ‘makes great music’, within that style.

I think we could use our buddy, Mr. Ricci, as an example of a more technical player. To my mind, Jason is a master of ‘pushing the envelope of harmonica blues expression’. His style reflects not only innovations in playing, and harmonica tech, but also pulls from so many influences, including the same influences that Piazza possibly studied in his time, and many more. For instance, I think Jason could claim punk as an influence and Rod, not so much.

Anyway, both players have mastery of expression of a general field of music, the blues, but are stylistically very different.

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