John Rockford “Rocky” Hill (December 1, 1946 – April 10, 2009) was a blues guitarist, singer, and bassist from Dallas, Texas, United States. Hill was the older brother of ZZ Top bassist, Dusty Hill.
Hill was a member of the 1960s acid rock and blues group American Blues with his brother Dusty and drummer Frank Beard. Before the formation of ZZ Top, Rocky left the trio and subsequently played in blues bands for John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins (for whom he played bass), Freddie King, and Jimmy Reed.
In 1982, he released his first solo album, Texas Shuffle (reissued in 2005) which featured Johnny Winter and Dr. John. In 1988, Virgin Records released Hill’s eponymous album produced by ZZ Top’s manager and producer Bill Ham.
Hill, a self-styled “anti-Clapton”, was called “a monster on guitar” and “perhaps the wildest and scariest—both on stage and off—of all the white-boy Texas blues guitarists” and was noted in particular for his “metal-melting tone and whistling, artillery-shell harmonics”.
Hill died on April 10, 2009, aged 62. (by wikipedia)
The brother of ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, information on Rocky has always been kind of tough to find. He was in a band with his brother in the ‘60s when Dusty decided he wanted to play rock music and joined Billy Gibbons in what would eventually be ZZ Top. Rocky wanted to play blues so he went solo but quietly. He put out his debut record in 1982 and then didn’t release another on until his self-titled record in ’88. He never had much chart success which was surprising due to his brother’s major hits, but Rocky always kind of stayed to himself and didn’t want to compromise his love of blues for a record label. It’s a shame he wasn’t a hit because that record in ’88 is damn fine but most people don’t even know who Rocky Hill was. He passed away in ’09. (by popdose.com)
I have finally been re-united with this excellent, mainly blues-rock album from 1988. The best track on the album is the soul ballad “I’ll Be There With You”. But there are other great tracks like “Hoo Doo Eyes”, “Walked From Dallas” or “HPD” (Short for Houston Police Department) or “Mississippi Delta Blues”. Houston-based guitarist and singer Rocky Hill is sadly no longer with us. This is some of his finest work. (O.Laursenon)
I first heard this album when I bought a bunch of clearance LPs in 1990 for $1 each. GREAT BLUES! I always thought it was a shame Mr. Hill never got the recognition he deserved. Life just ain’t fair! (Earl Earon)
In other words: a forgotten pearl of Texas blues-rock … !
Doyle Bramhall (guitar)
William Brown (drums)
Reid Farrell (guitar)
Steve Hardin (keyboards, harmonica)
Rocky Hill (guitar, vocals)
Randy Jo Hobbs (bass)
Lester Snell (keyboards)
The Duncan Sisters (baclground vocals)
The Memphis Horns
01. HPD (Farrell/Hill) 4.28
02. I Won’t Be Your Fool (Hill) 4.55
03. Bad Year For The Blues (Farrell/Hill) 3.36
04. I’ll Be There (Hill) 5.18
05. New York Turn Around (Bramhall/Hill) 4.05
06. Take My Love (Farrell/Hill) 3.18
07. Hoo Doo Eyes (Farrell/Hill/Bramhall) 3.28
08. Sam Bass (Hill) 3.22
09. Walked From Dallas (Traditional) 3.40
10. Mississippi Delta Blues (Traditional) 3.34