Brian Setzer On New “Rock This Town” Swing

Former Stray Cats frontman Brian Setzer has spent the last few years transforming his image from that of the rockabilly strumming singer to swing and jazz band leader.

But unlike other ’80s acts that have re-emerged on the music scene, Setzer is actually selling albums, as his newest record with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, “Dirty Boogie,” has spent the last month climbing up the charts — eventually landing in the Top 25 on the Billboard Album Charts.

On “Boogie,” Setzer and his orchestra revisit part of the frontman’s Stray Cats past with a new swing version of “Rock This Town,” a track the Cats took to the Top 10 in 1982 and which has remained a perennial favorite for Setzer’s live performances.

“Of all the songs I’ve written,” Setzer told the MTV Radio Network, “I’ve got some that have almost reached, like classic status, I hate to say it, but it’s
true.”

“Like ‘Rock This Town,’ I have to play it all the time and I thought, if I have to play that every night, then I’m really going to do the best I can. And when it came to doing it with a big band, it turned out so good, I thought ‘Wow! I’ve re-invented the song — it’s like a new song.’” [250k Audio/600k QuickTime]

The Brian Setzer Orchestra will bring its dirty boogie to the stage when it plays Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheater on July 29.