Rocky Velvet formed in the Albany, NY, area in 1996, as young men just out of high school, and over the years they’ve cultivated a reputation as one of Upstate New York’s premiere bands. Metroland, the newsweekly of NY’s Capital Region (Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga), crowned them “Best Band” in 2007. This reputation didn’t come easily—as sometimes they seemed more a legend than a band.
Call it a resurrection if you will, but they never went away, and now they are prepared to unleash their raw, spirited, BS-free brand of rockabilly on a wider audience. Rocky Velvet is the real deal, tapping into the analog spirit of Sun Records and the ghosts of dusty ‘50s roadhouses. They’ve spent a long time acquiring and mastering their language and this has been a long time coming. Rocky Velvet are revved, fit and ready.
They released a rare seven-inch for Cacophone in 1997 that was lauded by Blue Suede News, among others. They also opened for folks such as Link Wray, Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys, Wayne Hancock, Sleepy LaBeef, Rosie Flores, and Los Straitjackets. They endured a few dormant periods while members spread out across the country and the world, playing with Wanda Jackson, Robert Gordon, Commander Cody, and Eddie Angel, to name a few. That long-awaited, mythical Rocky Velvet album seemed like it would never come—until now, that is!
The truth is, Rocky Velvet have been slugging it out in clubs numerous times a year and refining their chops and reputation. For a long time, the demand was higher than the supply for this band, but that’s all about to change. As to the individuals that make up the band:
In the intervening years, besides playing with Rocky Velvet, guitarist Graham Tichy has played with Wanda Jackson, Johnny Rabb, the Neanderthals, Linda Gail Lewis, the Coasters, Bones Maki, Robert Gordon, and Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen (filling in for Bill Kirchen)…to name some.
Lead singer and degenerate wild man Ian Carlton has a garage-rock seven-inch coming out on the legendary Spinout Records, featuring Eddie Angel (Los Straitjackets) on guitar, Jason Smay (Los Straitjackets) on drums and Graham on bass. Ian also fronted the garage-rock band Thee Umm.
Rock solid Drummer Jeff Michael has been moonlighting with other local bands around New York’s Capital Region.
Newest member Jim Haggerty has been an integral part in spurring Rocky Velvet back to life. Jim is a well-traveled bass man, having played with Wanda Jackson, as well backing Chuck Berry, Robert Gordon and Bo Diddley and holding down the bottom for a slew of original bands in Boston and Los Angeles.