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Black Cat Bone

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Album Review

History teaches us that unless you're Paul McCartney or Sting, if you play bass in a well-known rock band you generally can't count on a spectacular solo career after they break up, and in typical fashion Brian Setzer was the man from the Stray Cats who went on to score the hits after the rockabilly revivalists finally called it quits. But if bassist Lee Rocker's solo work hasn't connected with as large an audience, he's quietly made a handful of fine albums, and Black Cat Bone is as strong and confident a set as anything Setzer has recorded since 1996. Rocker's songwriting is in fine form on this set, ranging from the lonesome wail of "Gone" and the busted romance of "What I Don't Know" to the subtle but clear antiwar stance of "Sold Us Down the River" and the love/hate paean to touring of "The Highway Is My Home" (and if "Rebel" is made up of wall-to-wall clichés, at least Rocker seems to slyly acknowledge it). Rocker also has a strong, masculine voice to go along with his tunes, and he's got a cookin' band, with guitarist Buzz Campbell, slide man Brophy Dale and drummer Jimmy Sage laying out some fine rockabilly with flashes of blues, country and old-school pop. There's plenty on Black Cat Bone to appeal to rockabilly purists, but Rocker and company offer more than enough variety to keep this set lively throughout, and this is roots-friendly rock & roll with muscle, sass and something to say that should come as a pleasant surprise to anyone who still thinks of Rocker as second bass fiddle to Brian Setzer.


Born: 03 August 1961 in Long Island, NY

Genre: Rock

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

A longtime bassist with the rockabilly revival trio the Stray Cats, Lee Rocker was born Lee Drucker in 1961. With fellow Long Island schoolmates Brian Setzer and Slim Jim Phantom, he formed the Stray Cats in 1979. The group relocated to London the following year, scoring a series of U.K. Top Ten hits including "Runaway Boys," "Stray Cat Strut," and "Rock This Town" before returning stateside to enjoy similar success. The group's meteoric rise took its toll on the bandmembers, however, and in 1983...
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Black Cat Bone, Lee Rocker
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