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Lee Rocker Black Cat Bone

Ride this ghost train back to the Sun Records days: Former Stray Cats bassist Lee Rocker begins his latest CD with a bit of scratch and hiss, a la old vinyl, and then launches into the dark, Western-influenced, rockabilly-crazed “Gone.” While his more famous bandmate Brian Setzer continues to apply his art to one genre after another (look for Setzer’s “classical” album Wolfgang’s Big Night Out next month), Rocker’s roots remain firmly planted in old-style rock ’n’ roll. On Black Cat Bone, the sounds are classic, along with that slight punk edge that set the Stray Cats apart from straight revival bands, but minus some of that ’80s brightness. It’s funny the twists and turns this musician has taken—bringing these sounds from the ’50s to the new-wave era, and beyond to this faithful “new” genre we call Americana. This album isn’t necessarily anything new, but Rocker and band give his songs all they’ve got, and it’s so good. Any rockabilly fan will celebrate this release, and head out to see Rocker in clubs this summer, and in sheds with the reunited Stray Cats.

LISTEN: Must Play
Gone has that perfect bone-rattling early rockabilly sound

LISTEN: Must Play
Crazy When She Drinks could easily be a great, lost Stray Cats track

Producer: Lee Rocker. Engineers: Steve Russell, Jimmy Sage, Syd Greenburg. Studios: Foolish Art Studios (La Mesa, Calif.), Sage Studios (San Rafael, Calif.), Laguna Beach School of Music Studios (Laguna Beach, Calif.). Mastering: Steve Russell/Foolish Art.