Brian Setzer is one of those wild geniuses who keeps the Earth properly spinning on its axis. If nothing else, he might be saving American history from the scorch of its own warped magnifying glass memory. We’ve screwed up the 50′s – reduced it into one giant goof cartoon of crummy over-fattening food, leather jackets and endless sock hops. And the 80′s showed up more less mangled on arrival.
But Brian Setzer, a punk rocker grinning across a gorgeous Gretsch splashed through the neon of the 80′s scene with a sound that channeled the earliest primal yelps of rock ‘n roll. Then in the 90′s when every guy within a fedora’s throw of Hollywood wanted to form a swing band, Setzer massed a bloody orchestra and launced a blistery assault on all the zoot-suited mannequins cruising the scene.
With an astonishing consistency and quality of output, an honest reverence for the American musical tradition and an idiosyncratic swagger that is itself the kind of brand that defies all contrivance, Brian’s on that short list alongside guys like Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, and Jimi Hendrix who inhabit their own crazy little islands where the waves around them may change direction but the guitar licks are scorching, the drinks stay cold and the circle remains unbroken.
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