The iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and three-time Grammy-Award winner Brian Setzer and his 19-piece orchestra will perform music off their latest Christmas album, Rockin’ Rudolph, plus music off their three previous best-selling holiday albums and original material from Brian Setzer.
Rockin’ Rudolph, which was released in October of 2015, features such highlights as “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Yabba-Dabba Yuletide” and “Rockabilly Rudolph,” among other notable Christmas classic tunes, with Setzer’s trademark guitar work and vocal stylings matched with THE BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA’s rockin’ big0band horn arrangements.
Brian Setzer is an iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and 3-time Grammy-award-winner, is a “Musician’s Musician” credited with continually taking chances with innovative and daring musical styles, while single-handedly resurrecting two forgotten genres of music (rockabilly in the ‘80’s and swing in the ‘90’s).
Setzer was born in Massapequa, New York. Beginning in January 1979, he fronted the rockabilly band called The Tomcats before transforming them into the later successful Stray Cats.
After performing locally from New York to Philadelphia under various band names with no real success, singer and lead guitarist Setzer, drummer Slim Jim Phantom and bassist Lee Rocker decided in June 1980 to go to London, England where they believed people would better appreciate their sound and style.
To make the money they needed for their plane tickets, Setzer, Rocker and Phantom sold their instruments and gear to a music store. The money they made was enough for three one-way plane tickets. Once in London, they decided to call themselves “Stray Cats,” a name suggested by Rocker because of their status as ‘strays.’
After performing for only a few months they drew the attention of the British record producer, Dave Edmunds, and released a series of successful singles in the UK, which countered the already-entrenched punk scene in London.
Having released several singles and two albums in England, the Stray Cats finally caught America’s attention with the 1982 album Built for Speed, which included the two Top Ten hits, “Rock This Town,” which peaked at #9 and “Stray Cat Strut which went to #3.
Along the way, Setzer has scored chart-topping hits, sold 13 million records and received the Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award throughout his decorated career as founder/leader of the Stray Cats, his 19-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra, and as a solo artist.
He is consistently cited as one of the world’s greatest living guitarists, and has a best-selling, extensive line of elite Gretsch signature model guitars bearing his name.
Brian appeared in the 1987 film, La Bamba, portraying rockabilly pioneer Eddie Cochran. In 2002, Brian earned the privilege of being one of the few musicians to be animated in an episode of “The Simpsons,” alongside Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Tom Petty. That same year, Setzer was personally requested to induct Chet Atkins into the 17th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2014, Setzer received the distinct honor of being asked by the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. to donate a replica of his original 1959 Gretsch 6120 “Stray Cat” guitar, joining an elite collection of musical instruments at the museum including Dizzy Gillespie’s trumpet and John Coltrane’s saxophone.