Each month in 2021, we’ve featured a member of the worldwide Gretsch community as our spotlight “featured player” of the month!
Our final featured guitar player for 2021 and the month of December is . . . Rocko Dorsey!
Rocko Dorsey is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Upstate, NY. In 1999 he formed an original music group Rocko Dorsey & The Individuals. For the next decade the band toured the country supporting such acts as Reel Big Fish, The Living End, OAR, and The Legendary Shack Shakers, just to name a few. The band disbanded in 2010 but Rocko continued to perform, write, and work as a session player for various projects. Most recently he is featured on Fritz’s Polka Band’s latest album The Hands Of Time along with Joe Bonamassa and Deen Castronovo, formerly of the band Journey. Rocko owns and operates entertainment company RD Entertainment Services Inc. in the Fingerlakes region of New York. He continues to write and self release music which is available on all major platforms.
We asked Rocko . . .
How old were you when you knew you were interested in becoming a musician?
I was 11 years old.
Why did you choose Gretsch?
I was, and still am a huge fan of Brian Setzer! My guitar teacher let me borrow a VHS of “The Stray Cats Rock Tokyo” and after that, there was no other guitar I wanted.
What Gretsch gear do you currently use?
I have a White Falcon G7593 and a Tennessee Rose G6119. The Tennessee Rose was my main touring guitar for 10 plus years. It’s body construction was perfect for handling distortion/stage volume without feedback. The White Falcon is what I use for studio sessions and just sounds amazing all of the time!
Which musicians were the biggest influence on you and why?
Brian Setzer, Buddy Holly, and The Beatles were my ﬁrst biggest inﬂuences. The Beatles for the song structures and writing, Buddy Holly for his sound and innovation, and Brian Setzer for everything! Brian is the embodiment of so many genres and styles I adore. Not to mention he is just a dynamite player and nice guy.
How did you adjust and stay musical during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I focused on song writing and remote recording/session playing. The pandemic was hard on musicians, it still is but it also created a pause on the performance schedule that allowed for other ventures to be pursued.