Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Brian Setzer - Rockabilly Riot Vol. 1 (Surfdog, 2005)

Ex Stray Cat Brian Setzer has been on a rockabilly kick throughout his carreer from that great retro-rock band through the big band jump blues group he led through the 1990's. This is his first outright tribute to the rock and roll of the 1950's and the legendary Sun Records label that launched the careers of people like Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins (not to mention Howlin' Wolf and James Cotton as well!) He nails the sound very well, with just raw guitar, bass and drums driving the sound forward. Hardly going through the motions, this is a very exciting and refreshing disc.

A number of popular standards from the era are here beginning with rave-ups like "Red Hot" and "Put Your Cat Clothes On." Carl Perkins looms large over the proceedings with "Boppin' the Blues" and the immortal "Blue Suede Shoes" and there are a couple of tracks from left-field such as the funny "Flyin' Saucer Rock and Roll." Setzer even gets in a nice period feel original called "Peroxide Blonde in a Hopped Up Model Ford." He and the band do the originals proud throughout this tribute so if you are a fan of his previous projects or of 1950's rock and roll in general, this is a fine addition to your collection.

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