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Date(s) - March 17, 2024
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Bluetick Tavern
128 W Broadway Ave
Maryville, TN
United States

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society


Rocky Athas Band

at Bluetick Tavern, Maryville TN

On Sunday, March 17th, the Smoky Mountain Blues Society and Bluetick Tavern will be pleased to present Rocky Athas Band.

Tickets cost $20 for SMBS members and $25 for the general public. Doors open at 4 pm and the performance will run from 5 pm – 8 pm.

Bluetick Tavern has a wonderful selection of food, beer, and liquor available to purchase and is located on 128 W Broadway Ave, Maryville, TN 37801

Rocky Athas Bio:

Rocky Athas, known by critics and fans as The Texas Tornado, The Malice from Dallas, The Young Eric Clapton and The Last Great Bluesbreaker Guitarist, possesses an arsenal of punishing guitar riffs and catchy hooks that have opened every door.   From his first solo album at Willie Nelson’s studio with multi-Grammy winning producer, Jim Gaines, to recording with Buddy Miles and SRV’s Double Trouble to Glenn Hughes, Joe Walsh and John Mayall, Rocky has a blues rock pedigree that reads like a Who’s Who of musicians.  You might not know how to pronounce his name correctly, but you will most certainly remember his playing!

After carrying the mantle of the coveted role of lead guitarist with John Mayall’s legendary Bluesbreakers for eight years, Rocky Athas renewed his successfully established solo career. The much anticipated reunion between Rocky’s good friend and multi-Grammy winning producer, Jim Gaines, delivered Shakin’ the Dust to rave reviews and garnered a nomination for Album of the Year!

At the beginning of his career, Rocky was the creative vortex behind Lightning, one of the biggest draws in Texas nightclub history, regularly opening for national acts.

By the age of 23, the Oak Cliff, Texas native had been included in Buddy Magazine’s now-legendary list of Top Guitarists – one of the first and the youngest to receive the honor.  Rocky shares that honor with Eric Johnson, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Gibbons (of ZZtop), and Johnny Winter.

Moving on from Lightning, Rocky began appearing as the lead guitarist for national acts, including the southern rock one-of-a-kind Jim Dandy and Black Oak Arkansas. Two of BOA’s greatest hits, “Ready as Hell” and “Wild Bunch”, were written by Rocky and feature his playing.

While playing with BOA, Rocky was introduced to the Bolin brothers–drummer extraordinaire Johnnie Bolin, and Tommy Bolin (of Deep Purple and James Gang). Johnnie and Rocky cemented a life-long bond as brothers. After Tommy’s death, Rocky performed, toured, and recorded Tommy Bolin Tribute shows with Johnnie in support of the Tommy Bolin Archives foundation. Joining them for these efforts was their friend and amazing vocalist and bassist Glenn Hughes, of Deep Purple and Trapeze.

In the late oughts, Rocky was made an offer he couldn’t refuse: John Mayall, the iconic “Godfather of British Blues”, had asked him to play lead guitar on his next album. Needless to say, Rocky was honored to be recognized for his skill and thrilled to join Mayall’s legendary outfit, The Bluesbreakers. Former members included Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, and Mick Taylor. Within weeks of the call from John Mayall, they were together in the studio working on Tough. The album was a smashing success, and Rocky’s performance did not go unnoticed. Guitar Player Magazine wrote that Rocky was, “a veteran Texas gunslinger with a wicked tone and a thriving solo career of his own.”

Over the next few years, Rocky continued to record and tour with Mayall’s The Bluesbreakers. Mayall’s album A Special Life featured stellar guitar performances by Rocky, prompting Neil Spencer of Uncut Magazine to highly praise the new work, “… whose guitarist, Rocky Athas, recalls the young Eric Clapton.”

With a mutual admiration nurtured by thousands of miles on the road together, Rocky was proud to stand next to John Mayall, rockin’ the blues around the world and blazing a fresh, new, innovative sound with the veteran bluesman.

In September of 2016, John Mayall announced that he would reduce his performance format to a trio and become his own guitar player. While Rocky no longer tours with the band, he holds nothing but respect and gratitude for its founding member.

In 2015, the ultimate, commemorative Rocky Athas series was released, highlighting Rocky’s most crowd-pleasing solo work. Also included are never-before-released bonus tracks paying homage to artists who influenced him, like Eric Clapton and Leslie West. The release of The Essential Rocky Athas – Volume I & II is hailed globally by critics as “a delectable album tailor-made for the blues enthusiast”  filled with “delicious howling guitar riffs”.  

Band Members
Rocky Athas – lead guitar
Walter Watson – lead vocals, drums
Jared Watson – guitar and vocals
Rocky Athas II – bass player

Rocky Athas – “Dictator”

Media should contact Alisa B. Cherry for more information at

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