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Brian Setzer Gives Bluegrass a Rockabilly Spin

With its forays into bluegrass and traditional jazz, Brian Setzer's new album 'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!' (out April 19 on Surfdog Records) has the guitar legend testing new waters and putting his signature Stray Cat stamp on a few instrumental favorites. Setzer didn't set out to create an all-instrumental affair but couldn't resist temptation when the music started heading in that direction.

"I didn’t start writing an instrumental record, per se," says Setzer. "I wrote 7 songs with lyrics, and then all of a sudden I just took a turn and started fooling around with 'Blue Moon of Kentucky,' except without any vocals. I started playing melody chords and thought, 'Wow, this is pretty cool!'  So the direction turned about halfway through my writing. I had never done an instrumental record, but I thought, well, now’s the time."

Setzer wrote six originals and revitalizes five jazz-bluegrass classics – “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” "Earl's Breakdown," "Cherokee," "Be-Bop-A-Lula," and "Lonesome Road." Recording each gave Setzer the chance to revisit old techniques and try new tricks, such as playing banjo on the Earl Scruggs' classic “Earl’s Breakdown,” or substituting jazz chords into traditional bluegrass on the Bluegrass Boys’ “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”

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'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!' Tracklist

(all songs written by Brian Setzer, unless otherwise noted)

1. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" (written by Bill Monroe)

2. "Cherokee" (written by Ray Noble)

3. "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (written by Tex Davis and Gene Vincent)

4. "Earl's Breakdown" (written by Earl Scruggs)

5. "Far Noir East"

6. "Intermission"

7. "Go-Go Godzilla"

8. "Lonesome Road" (written by Gene Austin, Nathaniel Shilkret)

9. "Hillbilly Jazz Meltdown"

10. "Hot Love"

11. "Pickpocket"

Brian Setzer Remakes Bluegrass Classic Blue Moon of Kentucky

"Blue Moon of Kentucky," the opening track on Brian Setzer's 'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!" (out April 19 on Surfdog Records), has withstood over 65 years of remakes and covers, but it's never been put to the test quite like it is by Setzer.

Setzer goes jazzy, muscled and completely instrumental on the bluegrass standard -- enshrined in 1989 as the official bluegrass song of Kentucky – turning what Bill Monroe wrote as a "country waltz" into a western swing anthem that finds the rockabilly legend picking his way through a series of lightning quick riffs.

Originally written in 1946 for Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Bluegrass Boys, "Blue Moon of Kentucky" has been covered countless times by a number of esteemed artists. Setzer joins a list that includes John Fogerty, Patsy Cline, Ronnie Hawkins, LeAnn Rhimes, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Jerry Reed, Jimmy Martin, and Elvis Presley.

Read more about this release on Brian's website.

Earl Greyhound To Release Sophomore LP "Suspicious Package"

EARL GREYHOUND is pleased to announce the release of Suspicious Package, a blistering rock inferno spun out of the Brooklyn trio’s inspired and innovative rock-n-roll imagination machine.  Suspicious Package was recorded at Red Bull Studios in Santa Monica, under the nimble and keen producerly auspices of Dave Schiffman (Mars Volta, Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down).

Earl Greyhound formed in 2002 with the collaboration of songwriters Matt Whyte and Kamara Thomas, who began performing regularly as a duo in NYC. All the while, they were crafting the unique sound and songs that would form the foundation for a colossal rock band. Their influences swept from the strident English three-and four-pieces of the 70’s, to the dark pop and heavy grunge grooves of the 90’s, to the transcendental, noisy acid sounds of modern rock.

In 2005, EG recorded their first album, Soft Targets, but they also hit their first snag when drummer Chris Bear left to pursue his fortunes with the band Grizzly Bear. Reluctant to release the album without a permanent drummer, Matt and Kamara vowed to play relentlessly until their dream drummer found them. Guitar player Kirk Douglass (The Roots) witnessed a show and brought his friend and Gold Crowns band mate Ricc Sheridan to the next few gigs. Ricc says, “I awoke from a dream one night, and I knew this was my band.” A few weeks later, a rockneck-inducing jam confirmed that the band had found its soul mate, and they hit the ground running.  Soft Targets and EG’s wrecking ball of a live show earned them oodles of fans and critical acclaim from The New Yorker, SPIN, Rolling Stone, Brooklyn Vegan and Pitchfork, among others. The next three years were spent touring the US, Canada and Japan as well as opening for Gov’t Mule, Chris Cornell and Saul Williams.


Suspicious Package is Earl Greyhound’s sophomore release. The album marks a turning point in the band’s maturation since the benefit of Mr. Sheridan’s full creative collaboration. Listeners will notice a marked expansion into the higher reaches of the sonic territories. Heavy, dark, groovy and grand—Suspicious Package is a reminder that though ROCK is still only a four-letter word, it can still pack a load of splendor.

US TOUR

Jan 30 - Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY
Mar 23 - Harro East Theatre & Ballroom w/ Coheed and Cambrial - Rochester, NY
Mar 24 - The Westcott Theater w/ Coheed and Cambria - Syracuse, NY
Mar 25 - Northern Lights w/ Cohee d and Cambria - Clifton Park, NY
Mar 26 - Higher Ground w/ Coheed and Cambria - South Burlington, VT
Mar 28 - Port City Music Hall w/ Coheed and Cambria - Portland, ME
Mar 29 Webster Theater w/ Cohee d and Cambria - Hartford, CT
Mar 30 Hardware Bar w/ Coheed a nd Cambria - Scranton, PA
Mar 31 - Music Hall of Williamsbu rg w/ Coheed and Cambria - Brooklyn, New York
Jun 4 - Wakarusa Festival - Ozark, ArkansasJun 5 - Wakarusa Festival - Ozark, Arkansas