Tag Archives: Brian Setzer

Brian Setzer Announces Three-Night Run At The Hollywood Bowl

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Three-time Grammy-winner Brian Setzer recently announced a history-making run at the Hollywood Bowl for three consecutive nights this September.

For the first time ever, his 18-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra will be joined by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Sept. 14-16.

For more information, visit hollywoodbowl.com.

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Watch Setzer Rock CMA Country Christmas Special

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Rockabilly king Brian Setzer partnered with country superstar Brad Paisley last night on the CMA Country Christmas Special for a very upbeat “Sleigh Ride.” Enjoy …

Setzer, who was nominated earlier this week for a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album for Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!, can also be caught live in action during his current Rockabilly Riot! tour. Tour info here.

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Brian Setzer Discusses Gear, Instrumental Album with Guitar Aficionado

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King of rockabilly Brian Setzer recently chatted with Guitar Aficionado about his instrumental masterpiece Setzer Goes Instru-Mental and all the gear he used to record it.

“I didn’t start off wanting to do a purely instrumental record,” Setzer tells Guitar Aficionado. “When I started writing songs for this record, I quickly completed six or seven songs with vocals. All of a sudden, I started fooling around with the melody chords that became the foundation for my version of ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky.’”

“Blue Moon of Kentucky” is the opening track on the album, which was released in April 2011. It is one of a handful of covers featured on the record, complementing Setzer’s masterful rockabilly/jazz-infused originals.

Setzer recorded the tracks almost entirely on his signature model Gretsch and Gretsch Hot Rod guitar, and tells the magazine that the Gretsch tone can’t be beat.

“For the rockin’ stuff, I’ve never been able to beat that Gretsch tone,” he told Guitar Aficionado. “I bought my first Gretsch 6120 when I was a kid. When I plugged it into my Bassman amp I went, ‘There it is!’ That was the sound I was looking for.’”

Read the entire interview on GuitarAficionado.com, and visit Brian Setzer’s website here.

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More Love for Setzer

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After recently gracing the cover of Guitar Player, Gretsch signature artist Brian Setzer got some more coverage from Premier Guitar in their May issue. The feature story covered his bluegrass and rockabilly roots, his new album Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL! and his love/hate relationship with vintage Gretsch guitars.

For instance, he dives into specifics about his longtime companion —  a 50-plus-year-old Gretsch ’59 6120.

“I bought it a long time ago from a guy on Long Island when I lived there, and incidentally it’s a really good one,” Setzer tells PG. “Guitarists tend to romanticize vintage instruments, but the old ones are really so hit-and-miss. I rate them ‘Monday through Friday,’ Monday being the worst. With a Monday guitar, it’s like the guy working at the factory started the week with a hangover and a fight with his wife, which translated to a crummy instrument. With a Friday guitar, the guy was in a great mood and was pumped up for the weekend, so he makes a beautiful instrument. That ’59 is definitely a Friday guitar—when it’s in perfect working order, it plays and sounds incredible.”

Click here for more!

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Brian Setzer Gets Guitar Player Cover

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Rockabilly and Big Band Swing’s reigning king Brian Setzer and his vintage ’59 Gretsch 6120 decorate the cover of Guitar Player’s May issue in celebration of his newest album, Setzer Goes Instru-Mental!

GP quizzed the former Stray Cats frontman about his thinking behind his first-ever solo instrumental effort, and the gear he used to fuse rockabilly, country and jazz into a potent batch of songs.

Here’s a quick sample of what the article offers:

Q: What was your setup for “Far Noir East” which has that great sounding tremolo?
A: Man, I could put that tone in a bowl and eat it. I’m using a ’61 Fender Twin Amp, which, of course, doesn’t have reverb, so I was using the matching reverb unit with it. Fender was really at the top of their game with that thing, and I just love how it sounds. But the Twin Amp does have a beautiful sounding tremolo and that’s what you’re hearing.

Q: What’s the advantage of taking out the zero fret (from his Gretsch Hot Rod)?
A: I could never get along with a zero fret because grooves would wear into it, and then the strings wouldn’t slide over it properly. Even 30 years ago, we would take a chisel and bang those things out. So if you want the original-style Chet Atkins model from the ‘50s, Gretsch still offers it—but if you want to rock with it and have it play in tune, I think my model is the logical alternative. I think about what a 6120 was used for in the 1950s—it was a guys who were trying to play like Chet Atkins. And that’s why the old Gretsches are usually in pretty good shape. Basically we’ve tried to duplicate a ‘50s guitar, but add all the things I’ve done to them over the years to make them rock.

The article also includes a link to this oldie but still rockin’ live performance of “Guitar Rag.”


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