2017 – Cherryburst Records
Release Date : Oct 15, 2017
By Phillip Smith; Nov 3, 2017
With this being the 300th installment of Phillycheeze’s Rock and Blues Reviews, I wanted to use this milestone issue to honor blues-guitar great, Rocky Athas, who has just released this fabulous new album, Shakin’ the Dust. Produced by the legendary Jim Gaines and jam-packed with a truck-load of Texas blues, this eleven-track record is a true gem. In the studio with Athas is his son Rocky Athas II on bass guitar, and drummer Walter Watson. Together they form one hell of a power-trio.
Athas fires off a blazing performance on “You Pushed Me Too Far”, an outstanding original with a heavy dose of attention-grabbing blues licks. It’s absolutely wonderful and doesn’t get much better than this. “Texas Girl” is great too, as it kicks off with an amazing intro. The song fearlessly follows suit with Athas injecting heaping helpings of fantastic guitar into a crushing wave of catchy hooks. I love the Neil Young grunge vibe Athas affixes to “Time Flies” and how the ballad seems to gently tumble by like time itself.
His revved up cover of the Calvin Carter penned classic “I Ain’t Got You” is a sweet amalgam of the versions rendered by The Yardbirds and Aerosmith. Athas breathes new life into Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Looking Back”. I get a big smile on my face every time I hear it. The album closes out with a spectacular mind-bending performance, taking on Jimi Hendrix’s “Villanova Junction”. This one is beautifully played.
The cohesive flow on Shakin’ the Dust makes an appreciable call-back to the heyday of album rock. It’s put together really well. Rocky Athas scores big with this album, and I look very much forward to hearing what is in store down the road.
Click on the link below to purchase this terrific album from the PhillyCheeze Amazon store.