At age nineteen, Duke Robillard recruited Greg as one of the earliest members of what became the Rhode Island based powerhouse, Roomful of Blues. The unifying magnet within the group in its early years, 1969 -1971, was focused on the rootsy, retro, danceable, swing sound of the ‘40s and ‘50s. This “new” sound to teenage ears and the recall of this music to the older folks, filled dance floors all over the band’s New England home-base and eventually on the global stage.
For the next twenty-four years, Greg Piccolo had amazing experiences playing with and/or recording with such music legends as Big Joe Turner, Earl King, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson”, Pat Benetar, Red Prysock, Stevie Ray Vaughan, to mention only a few.
As Roomful players would come and go, Greg’s twenty-five year contribution evolved to lead singer and bandleader, all the while being noticed world-wide for his signature “fat” tenor sound, unique sax style, and distinguishable vocals.
After nearly twenty-five years with Roomful of Blues, Greg sensed a calling to go back to his roots and develop his “heavy juice” sound. This “less is more” approach gave him the freedom to cover the gamut of his musical longings, which include traditional jazz, r & b, and rock’n roll. He had compiled a well of songs which demanded their own arrangements and band configurations outside of the classic “Roomful sound.” In 1994 he stepped away and officially formed his own band, Heavy Juice, which led to his first solo release, self-titled, “Greg Piccolo Heavy Juice,” on the legendary Louisiana-based Black Top label.
Following were two releases, Red Lights and Acid Blue, on the famous California-based Fantasy Label (now Concord), and his first all instrumental tenor sax release titled “Homage” on the Pennsylvania-based Emit Doog label.
His most recent release, “Who Did This?” is a tribute to his favorite sax recordings and includes an original recorded tenor instrumental.
Now at seventy years of age, Greg Piccolo is still practicing his horn every day, writing his own material, and traveling the world with Heavy Juice.
Piccolo is an example of someone who has always played from his heart.
"When I ordered gelato, I noticed that the smallest size was the piccolo. There is nothing small about the sax sound of Greg Piccolo. His tone is big and round like Gene Ammons or Arnett Cobb, and he plays long intricate lines interspersed with rhythmic honks and explosive bursts. We had Greg Piccolo on board in Bellinzona and it really added to the power of the show. We had a long sound check where we went over a bunch of tunes, and then barely played any of those on the gig. When you play with guys like Sugar, Duke and Pic’ - well they don’t work off of lists. It’s all about how they feel in the moment."
"Piccolo wails with wild abandon... resurrecting the sound and spirit of the legendary R&B sax hero's of the 50s."
"...the best songwriter in the jump blues style since the genres heyday in the 30s and 40s"
Jay N. Miller
"...Piccolo has a passel of original music that molds modern funk, rock, soul, and rhythm and blues into a sizzling contemporary blend."
"From the opening noes, the band burns with a subtle intensity that showcases Piccolo's strengths."