26 August, 2009
BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA MEETS FILM NOIR ON ‘SONGS FROM LONELY AVENUE’
Rockabilly guitar-slinger, big band impresario, and all-around cool cat Brian Setzer takes a walk on the dark side with his film noir-inspired new album ‘Songs From Lonely Avenue,’ out October 13th on Surfdog Records.
With a propulsive rhythm, an ominous minor key, wickedly good instrumental solos and the familiar character of the Devil up to his old tricks, opening track “Trouble Train” sets the mood for the whole album (with echoes of that other great song about Lucifer, Charlie Daniels’ “Devil Went Down to Georgia”). Throughout the rest of the album, thugs prowl the street, young couples dance the night away in New York, hearts are broken, and lives are taken, all over pitch-perfect melodies and arrangements.
Comprising ten vocal tracks and three instrumentals, ‘Songs from Lonely Avenue’ marks the first time Setzer has written every track on an album. With all the scope of a Raymond Chandler novel or an Orson Welles film, it’s his most ambitious project to date.
And as he did on 2007’s ‘Wolfgang’s Big Night Out,’ Setzer recruited 87-year-old Frank Comstock, one of the most important and inventive arrangers of instrumental music of the last century, to score the horn arrangements. Comstock wrote music for many of the era’s top artists, including Doris Day, Sonny Dunham, Benny Carter and Judy Garland (not to mention the “Rocky & Bullwinkle” theme!).
Furthermore, the “New King Of Jingle Bell Rock” (Billboard) Brian Setzer and his 18-piece big band will kick off their seventh Christmas Extravaganza 27-date tour on November 20th in Detroit. This fall, Surfdog Records will re-release Setzer’s hugely successful collection of yuletide music: ‘Christmas Rocks’ as well as the ‘Ultimate Christmas’ CD and DVD combination- songs that have become part of the holiday tradition for millions over the last several years.
From launching the rockabilly revolution with the Stray Cats to pioneering the swing revival with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, this Long Island-born innovator has earned his unique place in modern music by walking the line between conceptual discipline and balls-out rockin’. Setzer won three Grammy Awards (two for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for “Sleepwalk” from The Dirty Boogie in 1998 and “Caravan” from VaVoom in 2000, plus one for Best Pop Performance with “Jump, Jive an' Wail,” also from The Dirty Boogie) by targeting that place where wild energy and visionary imagination intersect.
* Listen to Trouble train.
* Listen to Lonely avenue.