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Albums Of The Week: Brian Setzer | The Devil Always Collects

The Stray Cats frontman is still tearing it up on his 11 set of retro-rockabilly boogie.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Creative sparks and killer riffs are flying everywhere on Brian Setzer’s new album The Devil Always Collects.

Setzer’s guitar work is virtuosic on the new album’s 11 tracks, and his vocals deliver the clever storylines of catchy songs like The Devil Always Collects, Girl On The Billboard, Black Leather Jacket and Rock Boys Rock. Add in non-stop freight train rhythms, and you have an album — produced by Setzer and Julian Raymond and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge — that stands with Setzer’s best. It’s always been Brian’s special talent to inject the roots of rock with a contemporary freshness that unites fans of rock, Americana, rockabilly, and punk.

This fall, Setzer will support the album — his first since 2021’s Gotta Have The Rumble —  with his first live shows in over four years. The Rockabilly Riot tour will kick off Sept. 27 in Red Bank, NJ and includes stops in Nashville (at the historic Ryman Auditorium), Cincinnati, Chicago and others before wrapping in Minneapolis (his adopted hometown).

For these dates, Setzer will be joined by, in his words, an “international rockabilly band (with) Chris D’Rozario from Melbourne, Australia and Juan Laurios from Mexico City, Mexico.” Although Setzer has a 40-year career as a solo artist, leader of The Brian Setzer Orchestra and as frontman of The Stray Cats, he continues to play with a jaw-dropping level of vigor.

“I’ve had a pretty long break, and I needed it,” he says. “I’m renewed and really want to play live again. I want to just get out on the road with this kick-ass little three-piece band and start playing.” He adds, “I think fans can always expect that I’m going to play the hits. I also want to play some solo guitar and little things I’ve worked out by myself. I’ve never really gotten to do that, so it’s going to be something new.”

His setlists will include “some of the favorite covers I’m doing now. I haven’t recorded it, but I really like playing my version of Georgia On My Mind. And then with the band, I want to play a new song ‘Girl On The Billboard because it tells a fun story. It’s an old truckers song,” says Setzer of the track popularized in 1965 by country music singer Del Reeves. “At first I wasn’t getting the sound I wanted, until I picked up my Gretsch 1957 Duo Jet 6131 Firebird. I mean, the sound is monstrous, dirty and twangy.”


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