Valley News -

By Tony Ault
Staff Writer 

Rocky Zharp and the Blues Crackers band 'electrify' the DVAC


Last updated 8/2/2018 at 4:09pm

Tony Ault

Rocky Zharp and the Blues Crackers band perform on stage Saturday, July 21, at the Diamond Valley Arts Center, 123 N. Harvard St., in Hemet. The band includes, from right, Rocky Zharp on guitar and harmonica, Jerry Cox on electric bass, Michael Romaine on drums and Dan Kennedy on lead guitar and ukulele.

What was it? Blues rock, boogie rock or electric blues? It was none other than Rocky Zharp and the Blues Crackers on stage at Diamond Valley Arts Center Saturday, July 21, that rocked historic downtown Hemet.

Canned Heat, the legendary American Blues band, would have been delighted to hear Rocky and his bandmates playing some of their best blues tunes like "On the Road Again," "Let's Work Together," "Got My Mojo Working" and "Grandma's Boogie."

"Wait a minute. Grandma's Boogie. Was that Canned Heat?" Rocky Zharp, leader of the band, quipped to the questioning glances from the audience.

It was actually his own song written for the Blues Crackers band, whose skill on the instruments and drums were reminiscent of the best blues bands in the nation. To wit, maybe even John Lee Hooker or Country Joe McDonald, or even Bob "The Bear" Hite from Canned Heat to this listener.

Tony Ault

Bassist Jerry Cox puts on a mean back beat for a rocking blues boogie at the July 21 concert at the Diamond Valley Art Center at 123 N. Harvard St. in Hemet.

The many sounds on the harmonica by Zharp and lead guitarist Dan Kennedy on his electric guitar stirred the audience who couldn't help but tap their toes and clap to the rocking blues music throughout the evening. Backing Zharp and Kennedy was Michael Romaine on drums, a unique modified set of shells from Canada, and the solid back beat from bassist Jerry Cox. The crew could not have found a more pleased audience that evening in the DVAC theater. The Rocky Zharp and Blues Crackers CD went fast during and after the two-hour performance.

Twice a month during the summer the DVAC presents top flight bands like Rocky Zharp and the upcoming Michael Tenants Musical Chain Gang, which will perform Saturday, Aug. 4. Cost for the performance is $20 for general admission or $15 for Diamond Valley Arts Council members. For more information about upcoming music and art show events, visit or find them on Facebook.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at [email protected]


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