Review : Rocky Athas Band
Posted on: Saturday, May 27, 2006
The Harbourside Club, Liverpool
Tuesday, 16 May 2006
Texan guitarist Rocky Athas was a childhood friend of Stevie Ray Vaughan and had the distinction of being honoured by Buddy Magazineâ€™s Texas Tornadoes as one of the ten best guitarists in Texas â€“ two years before SRV was similarly lauded. As that accolade suggests, he is a phenomenal guitarist, and he has surrounded himself with top quality talent that fully complements his virtuosity, not least the classy vocals of Larry Samford.
The bandâ€™s performance is not for the faint-hearted, as was fully demonstrated by their delivery of three upbeat rockers to open the show. The slow blues, â€œBluesvilleâ€, then gave Rocky Athas the stage for a fabulous solo before the original tempo was resumed with â€œVoodoo Manâ€, a terrific, bouncing Texas shuffle. The medium-paced rocker, â€œTearing Me Upâ€, was beautifully underpinned by the excellent rhythm section of Guthrie Kennard on bass guitar and Bobby Baranowski on drums. A magnificent instrumental then led into â€œRoad Feverâ€, co-written by Athas with Jim Gaines, before a visit to the Louisiana swamps with â€œBayou Delta Bluesâ€ to end the first set.
The instrumental, â€œRickâ€™s Boogieâ€, brought the second set immediately to life with another display of prodigious fingering speed. After another Texas shuffle and â€œMiracleâ€, with its Hendrixesque guitar riffs, Guthrie Kennard delivered Mark Knofler-like vocals on the heavy rocking â€œAinâ€™t Enoughâ€. The superb Larry Samford reclaimed the mic for the slow and bluesy â€œNobodyâ€ and â€œNo Moreâ€, the latter embellished by yet more great guitar work from the maestro. The marvellous performance was brought to its climax by two fast-flowing shuffles, followed by two loudly demanded encores.
â€œThe best yet,â€ some of the punters were heard to declare at the end of the evening. Isnâ€™t that what they said last time â€“ and the time before that? The Stumble certainly has a tremendously high standard to maintain at The Harbourside when they appear in July, but I have no doubt whatsoever that they will not be found wanting.
- Comments Off on Review : Rocky Athas Band