From: John Frazer <;jfraz~wa.acusd.edu>;
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 21:08:59 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Battle summary

Greetings from sunny California!
Last night's Battle of the Blues Harps was a very nice event, as John
Thaden will attest. He was there with his wife sleeping on his shoulder
as the night wore on. We found each other in the lobby where I was
recruited by M&M Industries to demo their wooden harmonicas. JT is a
great player with good jamming technique and a real nice guy. It was a
pleasure to meet him.(Where were the rest of you?)
The show started on time and there was not a lot of wasted time
between acts. Just enough to go to the lobby to shop a boutique, go
potty, and get an autograph or two if you were into that.
The first band was Flattop Tom and the Jump Cats. They played
jump blues with a horn section and got the crowd dancing that blues
swing. Tom is a pretty good player and sings with feeling. He put on a
dancing demonstration as well. The MC (Doug McCleod)said he had been in
some films as a swing dancer.
The next act was my favorite of the evening. If you have not
heard Paul DeLay, you are missing out. This man plays chromatic like
nobody I have ever heard. Most blues guys learn the dminor scale and fool
around with that. Paul plays any key you want and can apparently play
anything he can imagine. Beautiful tone and phrasing. The only player I
have experienced that compares is Stevie Wonder. Paul play diatonic very
well also.
Johnny Dyers came out and put on his usual fine repertoire. Great
stage presence and understated harpin'. What I mean is he sang more than
he played and gave the guys in the band a chance to shine as well.
What can you say about Rod Piazza & the Mighty flyers? Miss Honey
was beating out a boogie, and the whole band is in sync as a driving
blues machine. Rod has some of the most original chops going today. He is
too cool with his sunglasses. (I understand his eyes are sensitive to the
bright lights- it isn't just for show) Rod's wireless would not come on
for him last night, so he stood on a chair in the front of the audience
for his "big solo". Miss Honey stood on her piano stool and stomped on
the keyboard with her foot as well. It was a good show.
James Harmon finished up the night with a soulful performance. he
puts everything into his singing and playing. That man can sure sweat!
Great tone and a tight band makes for a fun time.
I was disappointed in the Finale. Rod Piazza had left, and they
had James Harmon with first Paul Delay, then Johnny Dyer, and finally
Flattop Tom. I would have liked to see everyone out there at once. It
would also be great if there was a time for undiscovered talent ;^)
to show what they could do . I heard several good players in the lobby. I
kept going out and demonstrating the wooden harps and ended up with a
couple to take home with me for the effort. We talked about me doing that
with them again in the future, so we'll see if anything comes of that.
I got home about 5am so I guess I'll turn in early. I wish I could have
met a few more of you at this event. There is another similar show
December 30th in Huntington Beach, but I will probably have to miss it
since I will just be returning from Arkansas that day and will not be
unpacked yet.

HARMONICA JOHN San Diego PO Box 740613 SD CA 92174 (619)263-6826

God, family, music, fishing, work. Can blue men play the whites?


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