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Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!

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Album Review

Given the never-ending flood of Brian Setzer albums, it comes as a mild shock that 2011’s Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL! is his first-ever instrumental record. And a good one it is, too. Concentrating on the pre-Beatles classics that are his lifeblood, he tears it up on “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “Be-Bop-A-Lula,” crosses the ocean for “Cherokee,” then throws a slight curve ball by dipping his toe into bluegrass with “Earl’s Breakdown” and “Hillbilly Jazz Meltdown.” It’s enough to distinguish the album from the innumerable collections of swinging rockabilly and rocking jazz that Setzer has released since his ‘90s big-band makeover, but the best thing about the album is how it focuses squarely on Setzer’s quick picking, confirming how he is a consummate roots guitarist.

Biography

Born: 10 April 1959 in Massapequa, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Every decade has its own retro craze spearheaded by a true believer who brings classic sounds and style back into vogue. Brian Setzer performed this trick not just once but twice, first as the leader of the Stray Cats, the trio that brought rockabilly back into the charts during the '80s, then he helped popularize the swing revival of the '90s with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Both of these sounds were grounded in the '50s -- that's when rockabilly was born but also the heyday of the kind of jump...
Full bio

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