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The Rocky Athas Group / Miracle Import
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Biographie de l'artiste
Texan Rocky Athas started playing guitar at school and performing at neighborhood gigs with good friend Stevie Ray Vaughan.
By age 23, Rocky Athas was honored as one of the ten best guitarists in Texas, as an inductee to Buddy Magazines Texas Tornadoes. Stevie Ray Vaughan would receive his induction two years later. Rocky holds this honor with such noted guitarists as ZZ Tops Billy Gibbons, Eric Johnson, Bugs Henderson, Johnny Winter and Jimmy Vaughan. Rocky grew up playing with pal Stevie Ray Vaughan, and shortly after swapped headliner chores in a series of shows with another friend, Eric Johnson. No Less than Billy Gibbons, Panteras "Dime-Bag" Darrell Abbott, and the New Bohemians Kenny Withrow are long-time admirers of the Oak Cliff guitarist.
Rocky wasnt only recognized by Texas musicians, the English rock band Thin Lizzy wrote the song Cocky Rocky after hearing Rocky play one night at Mother Blues, a local Dallas club. Queen guitarist Brian May was also on hand for those performances and was so floored by Rocky's finger tapping style that he incorporated it on the next Queen album. May later revealed that it was the guitarist from Mother Blues who first introduced him to the style, well before Eddie Van Halen became known for this.
In the late 70s and early 80s Rocky was the creative vortex behind Lightning, one of the biggest draws in Texas nightclub history. The band toured with the hottest arena acts of the time, including Ted Nugent, Pat Travers, The Kinks, Rick Derringer, Ritchie Blackmores Rainbow, and Peter Frampton. At that time Rockys fame was such that Guild introduced the Rocky Athas I guitar, and Gibson honored Rocky by making him the only non-record label endorsee in the companys history.
Rocky took a further step up and received a well-earned and more substantial taste of the big time when he signed on as lead guitarist for the legendary Black Oak Arkansas. Rocky also played on BOAs Ready As Hell LP, and his remarkable musical presence is indelibly etched into the grooves of this critically acclaimed album. Rocky once again joined Jim Dandy and BOA touring in 1996 through 2001. Rocky and the group recorded their latest CD The Wild Bunch which was released to great reviews in late 1999.
Rocky has also worked as a session guitarist for Polygram records out of Memphis Ardent Studios, and conducted a series of regional clinics in Dallas. He has co-written songs with former Deep Purple / Trapeze vocalist Glenn Hughes and released an album called Tommy Bolin: 1997 Tribute. This albums release was followed by a US tour.
You can open the pages of Stevie Ray Soul To Soul, by Kerri Leigh and read Rocky's recollection of childhood memories that he and Stevie Ray Vaughan shared. They were schoolmates and friends growing up in the Dallas suburb of Oak Cliff, Texas.
Rocky's most recent accomplishments have included a project called The Blues Berries with drummer Buddy Miles from Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsy's, and SRV's rhythm section of Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon.
Mega producer Jim Gaines was brought in for the current project by The Rocky Athas Group. He felt Rocky's talents should be showcased under his own name and that has resulted in Armadillos 2003 release Miracle.
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So I bought two Rocky Athas CDs - this one and Voodoo Moon - to check out his solo work. No regrets about buying either CD; both are really good albums. First rate blues guitar throughout both albums.
Rocky Athos is not very well known. His talents should have brought him far more recognition than he seems to have achieved but such are the unfortunate realities in the lives of musicians. Life's not fair sometimes.
But although Athas isn't a household name amongst blues fans, he is still a first rate guitar player who is worth the attention of anyone who likes blues or blues based music.
If you're a blues fan and you're not familiar with Rocky Athas' music, this is an album you should check out. Highly recommended.
My particular opinion about this 'MIRACLE' record is the same as i wrote for ATHAS's 'VOODOO MOON' CD, sensational record with very great songs all of them. To be just, you only have to listen to his CD's for realizing you are in front a great Blues and Blues-Rock music.
This CD 'MIRACLE' doesn't have one tune you'd want to skip over. In fact I think it gets better with every play. From the strong open track "Miracle" following by the second track the delightful 'You move me' going through the slows 'No more' and 'Bluesville', shuffles like 'Long run', an exceptional cover of Tommy Bolin's "Slow Driver" until the end of the record with another hypnotic Blues like 'Long time gone' in short an authentic amazing record.
If you are looking for an original and very good Blues -Rock CD this would be a fine choice. I give it 4,5 stars.