Check out this month's edition of Blues Matters! They are celebrating their landmark 100th issue and a glowing, insightful review of Shakin' The Dust written by Clive Rawlings is included. The staff and writers at Blues Matters have always been so supportive of my work and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for everything and congratulate them on hitting this milestone. Click the link and subscribe! Their name says it all!
Shakin' The Dust Review ~ by Clive Rawlings
For the uninitiated, Rocky is a Texas guitarist who has been around a good few years, coming to prominence firstly with Black Oak Arkansas, then Buddy Miles BluesBerries and latterly as the last guitarist employed by John Mayall in his Bluesbreakers. He also released solo albums with the late Larry Samford on vocals to great acclaim. So, you will gather he's no slouch and it has given me great pleasure to review this new album. Together with legendary producer, Jim Gaines, this is a cracker from the opening Texas rock of Dictator and the blues rocker, You Pushed Me Too Far, one of many originals with many blues licks. I should give credit here to the rhythm section of Rocky's son, Rocky Athas II on bass and drummer, Walter Watson. Texas Girl is great, too, as it kicks off with an amazing intro with Athas' brilliant guitar complimented by a crushing wave of catchy hooks. Athas puts his own stamp on the Johnny "Guitar" Watson cover, Looking Back, a nice touch being that this version is slowed down somewhat. I Need Your Love So Bad has been covered by the likes of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, but it still sounds the business here, very intense slow blues. The most important thing in this song is the feeling that you can put in your guitar strings and that is one of the strongest points of Rocky. It's then back to Rocky's own work again with Not This Time, a melodic rocker again with ripping guitar work and a catchy chorus. The album ends with the magnificent Hendrix cover, Villanova Junction, in which the guitar naturally takes on the leading role and then Athas is at his best. All in all, this is a great album in a long list of great albums by this unsung survivor of the Bluesbreakers. Not that he needs to use that handle. The man is a legend in his own lunchtime, as the saying goes!