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.
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...
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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