Artist: The Brian Setzer Orchestra | Album: Rockin' Rudolph | Released: 2015 | Label: Surfdog Records | Genre: Rock, Jazz | Country: USA | Duration: 00:34:02
Billed as the Brian Setzer Orchestra's first Christmas album in a decade, Rockin' Rudolph arrives five years after Christmas Comes Alive! and seven years after Christmas Rocks! The Best Of Collection, but the distinction is, this 2015 set is the first studio non-compilation holiday release in ten years. No matter how you count it, Rockin' Rudolph deserves to sit proudly alongside the Brian Setzer Orchestra's other five Christmas albums because it serves up snazzy seasonal swingers, tunes that revel in their retro-kitsch. Setzer's sensibility reaches its zenith with "Yabba-Dabba Yuletide," which spins the Flintstones into a big-band holiday blaster, and if that sounds like fun to you, the rest of the record will satisfy because it delivers more of the same: it's all high-octane, bold and brassy Yuletide fun, bouncing along to a beat that swings back and forth between rockabilly and ersatz Vegas. If anything, this particularly Setzer holiday excursion seems to adhere a bit closer to the neon lights than normal - often, the music seems like it could've shown up on a Jerry Lewis Telethon from 1981 - but that's also part of its charm: this is old-fashioned music for an old-fashioned season, so it's bound to conjure warm, toasty nostalgia for those who share Setzer's sensibilities.The 18-piece band will support the album with a major concert tour, the "12th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour," delivering the rocking and colorful holiday extravaganza they're known for. Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to purchase a limited edition, numbered deluxe package of the album via PledgeMusic.com.
"It's been about 10 years since I made a Christmas record," says Setzer. "It [Christmas music] just seems to get more popular every year. They're classic songs and you wonder after a couple records how many of them are left. Once you dig in you find, wow! I've haven't done 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree,' you know. I've never done 'Here Comes Santa Claus!' Ones that everyone knows and are still out there. These songs are great songs. It doesn't matter if they're holiday songs or when they were written, they're just great songs. So the trick," adds Setzer, "is to make them sound hip. Some of them are eternally hip, you know, so you don't have to do too much."
Produced by Peter Collins (Rush, Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, etc...) and recorded in both Nashville, TN and Hollywood, CA, the 12-track Rockin' Rudoplh includes highlights such as "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Yabba-Dabba Yuletide," and "Rockabilly Rudolph," among other notable Christmas classic tunes with Setzer's trademark guitar work and vocal stylings matched with The Brian Setzer Orchestra's rockin' big-band horn arrangements.
01. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (2:31)
02. Yabba-Dabba Yuletide (2:01)
03. Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (2:11)
04. Rockabilly Rudolph (2:51)
05. Here Comes Santa Claus (4:17)
06. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (3:29)
07. Swingin' Joy (2:20)
08. Carol Of The Bells (2:23)
09. Little Jack Frost (2:53)
10. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (2:26)
11. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (2:51)
12. Yabba-Dabba Yuletide (Extended) (3:40)