Rocky Roberts & Friends
"What a sweet and tender bluesy Americana sound for the oncoming summer months. Perfect for swinging in a hammock after a few tequilas. Rocky Robert & Friends EP Piece of Time is a tranquil beauty... It’s the best of American music, the honorable, gentle, open-hearted kind."
— Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros, NoHoArtsDistrict.com
Many years, many wonderful friends and musicians. Much of my playing has been in between years as a guitar tech for some pretty great musicians. I've been so lucky to hang out listening, watching while tuning guitars for such heroes as Nils Lofgren, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, CSN&Y, Patti Smith, Nancy Griffith, Paul Simon, Lucinda Williams, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Ryan Bingham and even Deep Purple! I had the good fortune to fool around playing with a few of them.
I started life as a kinda rambler. My dad was in the spy game and joined the CIA when it was formed in the late 40's. That had us traveling around the world for the first 13 years of my life. Germany and Manila, Philippines. We finally landed in Washington DC suburbs where a kid from down the block first introduced me to rock and roll. Nils Lofgren was already playing amazing guitar and writing songs in junior high! We first became friends playing boys club football and as he developed into a rocker, I'd tag along and listen and occasionally play roadie. When he and his band headed out to California in 1970 to meet up with Neil Young, I caught a ride with them. I was moving there to serve my alternative service for the Draft as a "Conscientious Objector." I worked at an experimental high school in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was there that I started playing and writing songs.
It was also there that I met and joined "Spare Change", a band of merry pranksters from The Hog Farm, busking on the streets of San Francisco and all over the West Coast. We played bluegrass versions of rock and roll as loud and fast as we could. Hippie Americana!
Later in the 70's I moved to Marin County, California and joined "Aces and Eights". We were a country and rock band that got to open for Commander Cody, Asleep at the Wheel, New Riders of the Purple Sage and other wacky "Country Rockers". There were many shows at the infamous Rancho Nicasio and Marshall Tavern. Pretty heady days!
The first version of Rocky Roberts & Friends was born back in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the early 90's around the time I began my mid life crisis as a guitar tech for Neil Young's Bands. We played parties and clubs around the mountain and got to do some fun gigs on occasion. Opened for the Sir Douglas Revue at Slims in SF, The Drifters in San Mateo. I also corralled friends while out on the road for dark nights to play local clubs. Some great fun with folks like Rick Rosas, Sarah Harmer, Nels Cline and others kind enough to join me on their nights off.
I moved to New England in 2001 and reformed the band with some new friends from the Pioneer Valley. We played club shows, occasionally getting to open for the likes of Richey Furay of The Buffalo Springfield, Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun and Pegi Young & the Survivors at the Iron Horse Saloon (RIP). Also some clubs and festivals up on Wolfe Island, Ontario with Chris and the gang.
In 2005 I recorded my first album "Rocky Roberts & Friends" up on Wolfe Island with Hugh Christopher Brown producing. One of the benefits of spending time on Wolfe Island over the last 20 years was getting to lay down a few slide tracks for many of the Wolfe Island Records artist like Suzanne Jarvie, David Corley, Paul Bolger and of course, Hugh Christopher Brown. So many great songs and souls!
Over the last couple of years I spent much of the "Iso-demic" time at my cottage on Wolfe Island. I was fortunate to have a great circle of friends there with studios and their voices to record this new EP of four songs written over the years and finally finding their voice. Grateful for the friends who joined the party and helped me produce these new tracks! I hope you enjoy them.