Mentone hosted Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers on Saturday night at Mill Creek Cattle Co. on State Route 38.
In blues circles, Piazza and the Flyers are known for their combination of boogie, jump, West Coast and Chicago styles. Saturday night they created authentic, raw sound appreciated by scores of diners and bar patrons, including Mentone residents and local bikers.
Harp blues veteran Piazza is a Riverside native. The Mighty Flyers include his wife Honey on keyboards, Henry Carvajal on guitar, Norm Gonzales on bass, Allen Ortiz on saxophone, and Dave Kida on drums.
In an interview between sets, Piazza said he's been playing blues harp since 1964. He'll be 65 in December.
"The Mighty Flyers started in 1980," Piazza said. "We've played all over the world. We've been to Europe. We're going to Norway, we will be in Canada later on, the Tampa Bay Blues Festival. We've been to Japan."
Piazza's been around long enough to be cited as an influence by other harp blues players. He said he's played with Mark Wenner and Jimmy Thackery of The Nighthawks from Washington, D.C., numerous times, beginning more than three decades ago. Wenner told Piazza he learned in part by listening to one of Piazza's first records.
"We play here in Mentone every couple months," Piazza said. "When you play the blues, man, you play them all."
For more information about Piazza and the Mighty Flyers visit www.themightyflyers.com.
Mill Creek Cattle Co. is at 1874 Mentone Blvd. For more information about upcoming events visit www.millcreekcattlecompany or call (909) 389-0706.
Mentone is in San Bernardino County, Calif., about 65 miles east of Los Angeles.