DATE: AUGUST 27, 2021





BRIAN SETZER is marking today’s release (August 27) of GOTTA HAVE THE RUMBLE, his first solo album in 7 years, by sharing the album’s third single + video, “Rockabilly Banjo.” The song, written by the iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and 3-time Grammy award-winner with Stephen “Dibbs” Preston (The Rockats), is a spirited countrified rockabilly song that shines a light on SETZER’s banjo playing, with Paul Franklin on pedal steel guitar. Watch the fun video, with vintage ‘50s black and white footage here. The album is now available physically (CD) and digitally via Surfdog Records, with the vinyl album due this fall (release date TBA). Listen to the full album here.

“Me and Dibbs were hanging around, and it was one of the few times ever that someone gives me a song that’s just the music and not the lyrics,” says SETZER. “And Dibbs said, ‘hey you play banjo, I love the way you play it.’ You know, banjo makes everybody smile and everybody’s after me to play more banjo. And Dibbs said, ‘hey, I got a song, what do you think of this?’ and I thought ‘Wow! Let’s clean it up.’ So that’s the last track. The legendary Paul Franklin is on steel. It was just a fun and good way out of the mess called 2020!”

“Rockabilly Banjo” follows the album’s first two singles/videos: Checkered Flag,” co-written with SETZER’s bandmate in The Stray Cats, Slim Jim Phantom, and “Smash Up On Highway One” a collaboration with SETZER’s frequent writing partner Mike Himelstein.

Produced by Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell and Cheap Trick), GOTTA HAVE THE RUMBLE contains 11 all-original songs, all written or co-written by SETZER, and was recorded in Minneapolis (Setzer’s adopted hometown) and Nashville. GOTTA HAVE THE RUMBLE is a red-hot album from start to finish–American music amped up to 10–with songs that are full of dynamism and bravado. Highlights include “Checkered Flag,” “Smash Up On Highway One,” “Drip Drop,” “The Cat with 9 Wives,” “One Bad Habit” and “Rockabilly Banjo.”

“Obviously, it’s a reference to my motorcycles and hot rods, something that hasn’t changed since I was 15 years old,” says SETZER about the album title GOTTA HAVE THE RUMBLE. “I still have the same passion for going fast and adrenaline. But it’s also about my hearing problem with tinnitus–the ringing of the ear. It was pretty bad, and I realized that I couldn’t play the way I wanted to. As I recovered, standing in front of a small amplifier just didn’t cut it. The sound from my big amp makes the guitar rumble. Which is a big part of my sound. I was really despondent for a while because I thought I wouldn’t be able to do that again. So, ‘Gotta Have The Rumble’ refers to both of those things.”

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Album cover artwork

The track listing for GOTTA HAVE THE RUMBLE is:

1. Checkered Flag
Written by Brian Setzer and James McDonnell

2. Smash Up On Highway One
Written by Brian Setzer and Mike Himelstein

3. Stack My Money
Written by Brian Setzer and Mike Himelstein

4. The Wrong Side Of The Tracks
Written by Brian Setzer and Mike Himelstein

5. Drip Drop
Written by Brian Setzer

6. The Cat With 9 Wives
Written by Brian Setzer and Mike Himelstein

7. Turn You On, Turn Me On
Written by Brian Setzer

8. Rockabilly Riot
Written by Brian Setzer and Mike Himelstein

9. Off Your Rocker
Written by Brian Setzer and Stephen “Dibbs” Preston

10. One Bad Habit
Written by Brian Setzer and Mike Himelstein

11. Rockabilly Banjo
Written by Brian Setzer and Stephen “Dibbs” Preston

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Photo: Russ Harrington

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Photo: Russ Harrington



Iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and 3-time Grammy award-winner BRIAN SETZER has achieved one career milestone after another. He’s sold millions of albums and is a “Musician’s Musician” credited with continually taking chances with innovative and daring musical styles. Setzer is widely credited for taking two forgotten genres, rockabilly and swing, adding his own blend of gunpowder and rockin’ style, and completely reinventing and single-handedly resurrecting them in the process. Along the way, he 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. SETZER is also, fittingly, in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. On the live front, Setzer has headlined venues and festivals worldwide, including a 1983 headlining slot on the iconic US Festival in California, The Playboy Jazz Festival, a three-night, sold-out headlining run at the Hollywood Bowl with the 98-piece Philharmonic Orchestra, Woodstock ’99, and performing in front of more than 150,000 people as headliner of the Montreal Jazz Festival. His reach also includes films and TV, where his roles include portraying rockabilly pioneer Eddie Cochran in the 1987 film, La Bamba, Fox’s “Beverly Hills 90210,” among many others, and he is one of the few musicians to be animated in an episode of “The Simpsons” in 2002. That same year, SETZER was personally requested to induct Chet Atkins into the 17th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. SETZER had the honor of being invited in 2006 to perform at the White House for the President of the United States. Also in 2006, he was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame with the Stray Cats. In 2014, SETZER received the distinct honor of being asked by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to donate a replica of his original 1959 Gretsch 6120 “Stray Cat” guitar, joining an elite collection of iconic treasures at the museum.



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