Saturday, 24 October 2009

Brian Setzer Orchestra - Songs From Lonely Avenue

Brian Setzer Orchestra - Songs From Lonely Avenue
Surfdog Records


01. Trouble Train
02. Dead Man Incorporated
03. Kiss Me Deadly
04. Gimme Some Rhythm Daddy
05. Lonely Avenue
06. King of the Whole Damn World
07. Mr. Jazzer Goes Surfin'
08. Mr. Surfer Goes Jazzin'
09. My Baby Don't Love Me Blues
10. Love Partners In Crime
11. Passion Of The Night
12. Dimes In The Jar
13. Elena

Anybody who’s read my pages here or at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame will no I’m a massive fan of Brian Setzer, whether it be with the Stray Cats, the 68 Comeback Special or his Orchestra. Being a rocker first and foremost, the three line-ups mentioned above are probably chosen in the right order as well. I like a bit of swing but I’m never going to buy a zoot suit.

This latest Orchestra venture is being dubbed “A Soundtrack To An Unwritten Film” with the film in question being a film noir from the 40’s. Setzer wrote all the songs, the first time in his long career that this has happened. So, what’s the result?

Basically it’s all okay. Most songs have got a spark courtesy of his guitar, but otherwise are nothing special. Best example is Passion Of The Night, where he plays some wicked guitar that helps hide what’s basically a crap song. The best moments are when the double bass is well to the fore, as in the opening pair, Trouble Train and the very Stray Cattish Dead Man Incorporated. King of The Whole Damn World also has a neat rockin’ beat that could be the best song here.

The title track is very mundane and whilst Setzer’s acoustic guitar on the closing track Elena is excellent, the song itself does nothing for me. Dimes In The Jar is average and the two Jazz/Surf tunes were boring. The same can’t be said of the duet Gimme Some Rhythm Daddy, a lively mover with some neat 20’s vocal sections.

Bigger fans of swing and jazz will no doubt enjoy it more than me, I just hope the next album is with the 68 Comeback. I get the feeling that although Brian Setzer is a big swing fan, he was born to be a rockabilly.

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