jakub | May 11, 2023

Americana visionary Rocky Roberts stays true to form on new Rocky Roberts & Friends EP ‘Pieces of Time’ – Onstage Magazine.com


Americana visionary Rocky Roberts stays true to form on new Rocky Roberts & Friends EP ‘Pieces of Time’, out via Wolfe Island Records on May 5, 2023. Having retired from working his “day job” of touring guitar technician for the likes of Neil Young’s bands, Wilco, Patti Smith, CSN&Y, Paul Simon, Lucinda Williams and My Morning Jacket, Rocky is busy at work creating his own authentic Roots, Country, Folk Rock and Americana music. 

Rocky’s music is so soulful, raw and genuine, it demands to be shared with an A-list group of collaborators who he’s honored to call friends. It’s no wonder that the EP’s instantly memorable lead single “Buck Moon” is a duet with the incomparable Norah Jones, featuring Carl Broemel on guitar.

“Buck Moon is an ode to all the great side men/women I had the honor to serve. Originally a poem written for a memorial to Ben Keith.The amazing pedal steel player for Neil Young, oh, and Patsy Cline! I put it to music and was so lucky to have Nora Jones sing along with me. Carl Broemel ( My Morning Jacket ) also joined the party on guitar and pedal steel.” – Rocky Roberts

he EP also features Wild Riders”a rollicking song about the gang of nomads that drove the dayglow buses of the Hog Farm in the 60’s-70’s. “Wild and worthy souls that kept the caravan moving.” says Rocky. “Party Line” is an autobiographical ode to Rocky’s sister, originally written in 1973. Last on the tracklist is the majestic “Tomales Bay”.

“Tomales Bay, on the coast of Marin County California, was home to My first stage band “Aces & Eights” Many great nights at the Marshall Tavern and Rancho Nicasio back then. I first met Bill Kirchen there when his partner Louise sang in Aces & Eights. So right to have Bill picking’ the guitar on this!”

Rocky expands on how this transcendent collection of new songs came about. 

“Many years, many wonderful friends and musicians. Most of my playing has been in between years as a guitar tech for some pretty great musicians. Even have had the good fortune to fool around playing with many of them.

Later in the 70’s I joined “Aces and Eights”. We got to open for Commander Cody, Asleep at the Wheel, New Riders of the Purple Sage and other wacky “Country Rockers”. Pretty heady days!

The last few years has been a combo of Rocky & Friends shows, occasionally getting to open for the likes of The Bill Kirchen Bands, Richey Furay of The Buffalo Springfield and Pegi Young & the Survivors at the Iron Horse Saloon. Some Festivals and up on the Island of Wolves with Chris and the gang. 

In the years of the iso-demic, I was fortunate to have a great circle of friends on my block with a studio and  their voices to record this new EP of four songs’ “Pieces Of Time”.

Photo Credit: With Patti Smith Peace Train

The new EP was produced by Wolfe Island Records’ Hugh Christopher Brown and Rocky Roberts. The EP’s cover art was done by Linda Parker. Look out for Rocky Roberts & Friends “Pieces of Time” to land on streaming services May 5th

Credits:
“BUCK MOON” 
Rocky Roberts – Vocal & Acoustic
Norah Jones – Vocal
Carl Broemel – Pedal Steel & Elec Guitar
H. Chris Brown – Grand Piano 
Jason Mercer – Upright Bass
Pete Bowers – Drums

“WILD RIDERS
Rocky Roberts – Vocal & Acoustic
Suzanne Jarvie – Vocal
Tony Sherr – Acoustic Guitars
Benoit Lefebrve – Fiddle
H. Chris Brown – Wurlitzer Piano
Jason Mercer – Upright Bass
Pete Bowers – Drums

“PARTY LINE”
Rocky Roberts – Vocals & Acoustic
Joey Wright – Acoustic Guitar & Mandolin
Luke Mercier – Fiddle
Jason Mercer – Upright Bass
Teilhard Frost, – Harmony Vocal
Suzanne Jarvie – Harmony Vocal
Stephen Stanley – Harmony Vocal

“TOMALES BAY”
Rocky Roberts – Vocal & Acoustic
Bill Kirchen – Acoustic Guitar lead
H. Chis Brown – Squeeze Box
Jason Mercer – Upright Bass
Pete Bowers – Drums
Teilhard Frost – Percussion
Sarah McDermott –  Harmony Vocal
Suzanne Jarvie – Harmony Vocal
Stephen Stanley – Harmony Vocal

Websites:
Web – https://wolfeislandrecords.com/rockyroberts/
Facebook
Instagram
Spotify

Artist Biography:
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 H Chris 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.





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