The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Guitar Slinger

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On his second Orchestra album and fourth solo album overall, Brian Setzer extends the genre exercise in jump blues he first tackled on The Brian Setzer Orchestra album. Of course, Setzer, best known as the singer/guitarist from the Stray Cats, is no stranger to retro stylings, and the guitar-dominated, yet horn-filled arrangements of the orchestra are not all that far removed from the Cats' rockabilly update, especially given Setzer's fervent singing and characteristic lead work. (A new version of the Cats' "Rumble in Brighton" fits right in.) And he's not shy, leading off with a Stevie Ray Vaughan cover, "The House Is Rockin'," swaggering his way through the Gene Pitney chestnut "Town Without Pity," and collaborating with ex-Clash leader Joe Strummer on the set-ending "Sammy Davis City." Like Joe Jackson, who tried this kind of thing with his excellent Jumpin' Jive album, Setzer takes this music seriously and turns in a credible version of it through a combination of craft and conviction.

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