April 13, 2009

Rocky Hill

Rocky Hill is of course the brother of Dusty Hill of long time ZZ Top residence/fame.
This record was released in 1988, is a Lone Wolf Production and ZZ Top producer Bill Ham was at the helm. Much of the record really shows the Bill Ham/ZZ Top influence that surely would have been nearly impossible for Hill to avoid. Not that it's a bad thing. Although one wonders who is responsible for the very dated sounding background vocals populating much of the work. Unfortunate.

HPD kicks it off with a good rockin blues piece, showing Hill's penchant for changing meter and feel during his songs, sometimes it works, other times not so well. Next up is I Won't Be Your Fool, full of tasty licks, and moving vocals, clearly was intended to be a hit. Take My Love, Sam Bass and Walked from Dallas round out the nice works here.
New York Turnaround is rather formulaic but Hill kicks out a killer solo in the middle.
Bad year for the Blues, while it is well meant, it is a mish-mash sort of arrangement with some awkward breaks. I'll Be There is your basic ballad. Hoo Doo Eyes with the background vocals, whew, that is a miss.
Hill wraps it up with a basic acoustic piece that at once acknowledges his roots and may have been a bit of an artist saying, Hey, enough with the horns and backup vocals, I'm a Texas bluesman.

Line up seems to be; Reed "Red Pharoah" Farrell, Randy Joe Hobbs, Steve Hardin, Doyle Bramhall, James Robinson, Lester Snell, William Brown, the Duncan Sisters and the Memphis Horns.

4 comments:

  1. This beautiful man left us this evening. He's up there playing the blues with Stevie Ray right now. Wish him well....much love.

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  2. I have not been able to verify this, can some one site a source?

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  3. Rocky is indeed dead. I'm his nephew--I went looking for references to him on the 'net, but haven't seen anything else. We knew it was coming. He was told a couple years ago he only had a year or so to live. He's being buried in Como next to his mother, though he never lived in Como himself. I haven't seen him myself in about 12 years, not since my dad's--his half-brother's--funeral. The visitation's tonight but I'm missing it. The funeral is wednesday.

    I never liked the Rocky Hill album much. Much better, blues-wise, was "Midnight Creepers", which featured Kim Wilson and Albert Collins.

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  4. Donna, Sulphur Springs, TXApril 13, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    Sorry to hear about Rocky. I met them both... Rocky and Dusty when I was a young teenager and I guess they were in their 20's. I can't remember if it was their grandmother or an aunt that lived on the street just behind where I grew up here in Sulphur Springs. She invited a few of us "star struck" kids in for ice cream and a coke. Something I sure none of us will forget. It was cool....

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