Brian Setzer

Rockin' by Myself

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During the early '90s, seemingly every single popular music artist was issuing stripped-down unplugged sets -- and returning to basics. Stray Cats leader Brian Setzer didn't exactly follow the unplugged craze, but he did perform shows as a one-man band (staying "plugged in," however), as evidenced by the 1998 live release, Rockin' by Myself. Recorded five years before its release, the album once and for all proves what a fine talent Setzer is vocally and guitar-wise (additional credit should be given to Setzer for sticking to his rockabilly style during the '80s, when almost every rock guitarist was merely imitating Eddie Van Halen). Setzer never sounded better on such Stray Cats classics as "Runaway Boys" and "Stray Cat Strut," as well as such early rock & roll classics as "Be-Bop-A-Lula," "Bye Bye Love," "Summertime Blues," and "Rip It Up." Rockin' by Myself is proof that you don't need a stack of Marshalls and blinding pyrotechnics to thoroughly rock your audience.

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