Review: The Rocky Athas Band at the Harbourside Club, Liverpool – Tuesday, 13th March 2007

Posted on: Wednesday, Mar 14, 2007


The Rocky Athas Band had stormed The Harbourside Club in May 2006 with their high energy and consummate musical talents. Not surprisingly, a large crowd gathered to enjoy a repeat performance. There was just one change in the line-up of the Texas-based band, new drummer, Gonzy Trevino, joining guitarist Rocky Athas, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Larry Samford and bass guitarist Guthrie Kennard.

From the opening bars of the Texas shuffle, “Voodoo Moon”, the overpowering mood of blues-with-a-smile was created and maintained throughout the evening. The first set comprised country blues, blues rock and the excellent slow blues, “Bluesville”. There was also a superb rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” and the swamp-drenched shuffle, “Slow Driver” to end the session.

The second set opened in slow and bluesy mode. Then Guthrie Kennard provided the vocals for his own composition, “Ain’t Enough”, before swapping instruments with Larry Samford for the wonderful, Hendrix-influenced “Miracle”. The slow rocker, “You Move Me”, preceded another slow blues before the set was brought to a crescendo with a fast-moving shuffle and the upbeat rocker, “Long Run”. Two loudly demanded encores completed a breathtaking evening of brilliantly-played rocking blues.

All members of the band are richly talented. Larry Samford’s husky vocals are tremendous and the rhythm section is wonderfully tight, with Gonzy Trevino fitting seamlessly into the mix. However, the mesmerising guitar playing of Rocky Athas is undoubtedly the outstanding ingredient and his very evident enjoyment of performing is hugely infectious. It was a truly memorable performance.

Lionel Ross

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