Brian Setzer

Former Stray Cats frontman and swing purveyor Brian Setzer is one of a handful of guitarists who'd dare attempt to put his own spin on the classic Sun Records catalogue, and perhaps the only who can actually reinterpret the raucous Memphis pre-rock without embarrassing himself. A rumbling doo-wop chorus and nasty sax solo float through Charlie Rich's "Lonely Weekends." Elsewhere Kevin McIntree's piano brings a bit of twinkling stardust to "Flying Saucer Rock and Roll." But Setzer also understands not to tinker too much with the original stripped-down arrangements. The manic frenzy of tracks like "Red Hot," "Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache," and "Flatfoot Sam" still sounds as dangerous and exciting as it did almost 50 years ago.

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J. Poet