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THE PICTORIAL, Sunday September 26, 2004 THE ARTS Rocky Jr. comes home YO, ADRIAN! Duncan ex-patriate brings his blues/pop sound to the Cowichan Theatre PETER RUSLAND - staff reporter Guitar slinger Rocky Jr. seems well suited to ZZ Tops lyric that every girl's crazy about a sharp-dressed man. 'I try to keep it as stylish as I can,' thepop-bluesman says from his place in Vancouver. Duncan-born Rocky Milino Jr. and his band are set for next Saturday's Cowichan Theatre debut when they'll play cuts from his 1998 disc Things I Can't Have, and his new CD Just Think About It slated for October release. Saturday's repertoire will be backed by bassist Bruce Morrison, drummer Chris Meister, and keyboardist Mike Norman. 'We like to rock, we're a singalong band,' Milino say's, noting, 'I don't do any covers,' But he could, praising influences from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Deep Purple and Prince. Like many players, Milino's an avid guitar collector. 'My main axe is a Fender Stratocaster. They feel good and look really good,' he says reckon-ing he has 23 instruments in his collection. 'They're all tuned differently because I sing different songs on them. 'My prized guitar is the one my grandfather gave me. It's a '67 Trini Lopez Gibson that looks like a big-bodied Chuck Berry guitar, I use that one more in the studio.' Milino built a recording studio in his home to harvest songs as they crop up. 'I do it allat home and take it to a mixing studio called The Palace where I work with Bill Buckingham.' His muse often arrives while on the road. 'Every song on the (new) album was started by me just driving or picking up a guitar. Ten-tune Just Think About It was the cultivation of about a year's work, he says. 'It's the first album I produced myself with my band giving the instrumentation. 'I just figured I knew what I wanted this time and hopefully people dig it.' Milino began playing blues guitar at age 11, impressing former teacher Casey Sarter. When Milino was four, he and his family moved to Vancouver where dad Rocky Sr. scored work 'My father manages a company supplying lighting and grip equipment for the movies,' says Milino who, like his father, wears a tattoo of his name on his right arm. Milino's band has played at parties thrown by baseball star Barry Bonds while Rocky sr.'s film biz conections helped land Milino wrap party gigs. Those bashes included fetes for 2004 sci-fi flick The Chronicles of Riddick and the 2000 action movie The Sixth Day starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. 'That was a crazy party. I got to meet and talk to Arnie,' he says of California's governor. 'He's the Terminator and he's the wickedest dude. 'Arnold's way shorter than he looks and ten times cooler; he totally just wants to hang out.' Milino hopes fans also hang with his blues-infused songs. 'I started big in blues and i've gone into a fusion of blues with pop-rock, like Prince,' he says, also applauding Canada's Motown master Remy Shand. 'He's awesome and has a whole lot of funk going on.' Spanish tunes getting Mexican airplay Milino also sings in Spanish after learning the language from Mexican-born mom Rocio. 'Spanish is beutiful and I really like singing it because it flows. 'Songs in Spanish sound completely different but even people who don't understand Spanish still like it,' says Milino who's getting airplay in Mexico. He's also a volunteer spokesman for the charity group Protect Our Children that helps abused ot addicted kids while supporting the fight against ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. 'Everyone should be a part of some charity,' says Milino who is friends with Duncan's Denomme family that's struggling with the effects of ALS. Saturday's show will offer surprises including a theatrical opener by Milino's singing brother Pat and Shannon Renning. THE COWICHAN NEWS LEADER, Wednesday, October 6, 2004 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Rocky Packs a punch REVIEW: Duncan native has stage presence to be a contender Peter Rusland - staff reporter Blues rocker Rocky Jr. sure makes a grand entrance. Led in like a boxer bound for the ring, the Duncan-born Vancouverite hit the Cowichan Theatre stage Saturday night as black-and-white dressing room footage faded from a towering screen. Then Rocky Milino began swinging from tune to tune, packing vocal muscle and a strong stage presence. He needed more electric guitar volume during some slide numbers-including I Don't Like It- but could be a Canadian blues contender. Moves by the polite guitar slinger were reminiscent of a young Colin James during Down South, Girl in the Magazine, and Just Think About It. Milino's pipe's meld those of Prince with Wide Mouth Mason singer Shaun Verreault minus the falsetto. Influences from guitar god Stevie Ray Vaughan were crystal during a decent job on Sweet Little Thing. Keyboard veteran Mike Norman, rhythm axeman Derek Smalle, bass man Bruce Morrison and drummer Chris Meister were effective sidemen. Milino's warm-up act included superb vocal calisthenics from Shannon Renning and Pat Milino (Rocky's brother) during solos and a duo workout on Time To Say Goodbye acompanied by grand pianist Norman. Rocky Jr.'s show offered refreshing surprises and solid playing. Now he needs the right breaks and a clever promoter to take him the distance. Blues-rock concert rating: 8 strings out of 10. Arts Reporter: Peter Rusland EMAIL: email@example.com Complete Bio On Website rockyjr.com.