Texan Rocky Athas started playing guitar and performing at neighbourhood gigs with school friend Stevie Ray Vaughan. By 23, Rocky Athas was honoured an inductee to Buddy Magazine's Texas Tornadoes as one of the ten best guitarists in Texas. The English rock band 'Thin Lizzy' wrote the song 'Cocky Rocky' after hearing Rocky play at Mother Blues in Dallas. Queen guitarist Brian May was so floored by Rocky's finger tapping style that he incorporated it on the next Queen album, revealing that it was the guitarist from Mother Blues who first introduced him to the style.
In the late 70's and early 80's Rocky was the creative vortex behind Lightning. Rocky then joined the legendary Black Oak Arkansas playing on the Ready As Hell and The Wild Bunch LPs. Rocky also worked as a session guitarist for Polygram records at Memphis Ardent Studios.
In 2002 Rocky recorded The Blues Berries with 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 produced The Rocky Athas Groups 2003 CD Miracle. Jim felt Rocky's talents should be showcased under his own name and Rocky formed his Texan band, The Rocky Athas Group, featuring vocalist Larry Samford. In 2005 Rocky recorded Voodoo Moon, again produced by Jim Gaines. The Rocky Athas retrospective CD Lightning Strikes Twice was released in 2007. Currently Rocky is touring the world as lead guitarist for The John Mayall band.
Texas veteran and smoking gun guitarist Rocky Athas fits easily in the same league of guitar gods as his long-time friends Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Johnson.
- BluesWax Ezine