Friday, March 15, 2024

#667 : Rocky Athas - Livin' My Best Life (


2024 – Cherryburst Records

By Phillip Smith; Mar. 16, 2024

Release Date : Mar. 10, 2024

Original source :


Rocky Athas is one of my all-time favorite blues-rock guitarists. He’s played with musical legends John Mayall, Glenn Hughes, Buddy Miles and Black Oak Arkansas and whether performing with someone else or recording his own solo work, he always manages to amaze me. Livin’ My Best Life is his latest release. It contains ten bodacious tracks of high-octane music and I absolutely love it. He puts the ‘rock’ in blues-rock. With Rocky on lead guitar, his son Rocky Athas II on bass guitar, Walter Watson on drums and lead vocals, and his son Jared Watson on guitar and vocals, the band could not be a tighter unit.

Title-track “Livin’ My Best Life” gets the album rolling with a big juicy dose of Texas-style blues with a ZZ Top vibe. Hearing Rocky shred on this one makes for a damn good listen. The fun ensues when they break out a smokin’ cover of Don Nix’s “Black Cat Moan”. I love how Rocky coaxes the most amazing tones out of his vintage 1969 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty using a vintage Vox Wah Wah to pay tribute to the late Jeff Beck on this track. From its infectious riff to its poignant lyrics, “Dark Days” is a fantastic original spawned from fatherly advice about remembering who we are regardless of the insanity surrounding us. This is indeed a favorite. It made me happy to hear John Mayall making a guest appearance on harmonica for the spectacular cover of “Long Gray Mare” originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green in 1968. He can sure make that harp sing. The solo guitar Rocky creates is outstanding. For an unexpected treat, I love the cover of Bob Dylan’s “Watching the River Flow”. The original was produced by Leon Russell and recorded at Blues Rock Studio in New York City at a session in 1971. From the beginning couple of bars of “Walk in My Shadow”, I am immersed in the groove created by Rocky II and Walter Watson. There is not a Free cover that ever sounded better to me. I feel as if Rocky is pouring everything he has into this performance, and it sounds terrific. First recorded by Freddie King in 1971, the cover “Palace of the King” makes for a riveting closing song. The twists and turns, Rocky takes with his guitar keeps me tightly glued to this track.

With Livin’ My Best Life, Rocky Athas wins me over once again.  This album certainly gets my highest recommendation.  



For more information about the Rocky Athas, visit this website :

For past reviews mentioning Rocky Athas on PhillyCheezeBlues :





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