Get this crazy baby off my head!


Rocky Athas'

Rocky Athas' Lightning - Lightning Strikes Twice - 2007 - Armadillo Music Ltd.

Highly respected by Queen’s Brian May and the late Phil Lynot of Thin Lizzy, Rocky Athas has been part of the Dallas blues/rock scene for a number of years. Buddy Miles first discovered Rocky Athas’ inventive guitar playing in the late 1970’s when Rocky’s band Lightning opened for Miles Express. Rocky had already been named as one of the original “Texas Tornadoes”, two years before the late Stevie Ray Vaughan received this honour. Rocky and his band have toured with artists like The Kinks, Rick Derringer, and Pat Travers. Arguably, "Lightning Strikes Twice" is typical of the more modern commercial blues rock style, and as such is not as hard rockin' as it could be. Some of the tracks are reminiscent of later Thin Lizzy material, although not as strong. This is not to say that it's a poor quality album. All the tracks are originals, and if you just want an easy listening blues rock album, you might enjoy the recording. For a grittier, and bluesier sound of Rocky Athas, listen to the "Buddy Miles Featuring Rocky Athas Blues Berries", and the Rocky Athas Group's "Voodoo Moon" albums. It is also worthwhile listening to the Black Oak Arkansas 'Ready As Hell' album, which features Rocky on lead guitar.


1. Up to the Sky Athas/Watson
2. Where Do We Go from Here (Ratta Mae) Athas/Watson
3. To My Friend (SRV) Athas/Diamond
4. Survival Athas/Watson
5. Vows Were Made Athas/Watson
6. Sanity Athas/Watson
7. Ain't It a Shame Athas/Watson
8. Don't Feel Free Athas/Watson
9. Pack It Up Athas/Watson
10. Thinkin' 'Bout You Athas/Watson
11. Lightning Strikes Again Athas/Watson/Wilson
12. Home Again Athas/Samford
13. Big D Stuff Athas/Samford
14. I Will Love Again Athas/Watson
15. The Night Is Over Athas/Watson


Rocky Athas Bass guitar, Guitar, Ukulele
Larry Samford, Jerry Wilson Vocals
Walter Watson Drums
Pat Manske Percussion


By age 23, Rocky Athas was honored as one of Texas’ Ten Best guitarists as an inductee to BUDDY Magazine’s TexasTornadoes. He holds this honor with such noted guitarists as ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Eric Johnson, Bugs Henderson, Johnny Winter, John Nitzinger, and Jimmy Vaughan. Athas grew up playing neighborhood gigs with childhood pal Stevie Ray Vaughan, and shortly thereafter flip-flopped headliner chores in a series of shows with another friend, Eric Johnson. No Less than Billy Gibbons, Pantera’s “Dime-Bag” Darrell Abbott, and the New Bohemians’ Kenny Withrow are long-time admirers of the Oak Cliff guitarist. Rocky wasn’t 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 this style, well before Eddie Van Halen became known for this. In the late 70s and early 80s, he was the creative vortex behind Lightning, absolutely 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 Blackmore’s Rainbow, and Peter Frampton. Also at that time Rocky’s 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 company’s 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 BOA’s Ready As Hell LP, and his remarkable musical presence is indelibly etched into the grooves of the 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. Subsequent to BOA Rocky has 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 in 1997called Tommy Bolin Tribute. The albums release was followed by a short 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. In 2001 Rocky was busy with a followup to his 1999 solo instrumental CD That's What I Know. Mega producer Jim Gaines was brought in for the current project Rocky Athas & Bluesville. He felt Rocky's talents should be showcased in another solo effort. Mr. Gaines is also active in helping get the recording in the hands of a suitable label. Rocky's most recent accomplishments have included a project called The Blues Berries with drummer Buddy Miles of Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsy's, and SRV's rhythm section Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon. The CD was released March 2002 in Europe and May 2002 in the US on Ruf Records. A must have for any blues or blues/rock lover. Buddy Miles first discovered Rocky Athas’ inventive guitar playing in the late 1970’s when Rocky’s band Lightning opened for Miles Express. Rocky had already been named as one of the original “Texas Tornadoes”. It would be two years before Stevie Ray Vaughan, would receive this honor. Rocky and Buddy reunited in 2000 and finally kept their commitment to record together. Rocky had just completed a studio session with Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon, and everyone felt it would be a perfect fusion of talents to all do a blues project together. Rocky is also proud to be a current endorsee for BMF Amplification from Lewisville, Texas. You can check BMF and Rocky in the latest issue of Guitar Player Buyers Guide Magazine. 2003 was no time to slow down for Athas. With a Blues Berries select city tour behind him he was ready to concentrate on the recording he did in 2001 titled Bluesville. This time it was the president Tony Sweet of the UK blues label Armadillo Records who came calling. Tony loves Texas blues and has had success with other artists of the same sound on his label. He came to Texas and as predicted was blown away by Rocky, Larry Samford on vocals, along with Tommy Palmer on keyboards, and Jimmy Pendleton & Guthrie Kinnard (who Tony had worked with on past projects). This latest venture is called 'Miracle'. It has already been released in Europe and is now available in the US as of November 15, 2003. This could just be what the blues audience has been waiting for. Copyright 1998-02 All Rights Reserved. MidWest Entertainment, Inc www.rockyathas.com/rocky.html