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Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!

4.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 19, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

After 43 years of honing his craft, Brian is releasing his first all-instrumental album showcasing what has made him one of the most legendary and credible artists in music today. He is universally respected by his peers and some are even calling him the greatest living guitar player today. We stand behind their claims with Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!
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Digital Booklet: Setzer Goes Instru-Mental!
Digital Booklet: Setzer Goes Instru-Mental!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 19, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Surf Dog (Ada)
  • ASIN: B004O9G9OO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,245 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
Two names I suppose I never expected to hear in the same sentence would be the name, Brian Setzer and Bill Monroe or Brian Setzer and Earl Scruggs. However, if there were one artist on the planet whom could make "bluegrass" cool, it would be Brian Setzer.

He proves that on his first all instrumental recording appropriately titled "Setzer goes Instru-MENTAL!" and the only reason for the "bluegrass" reference is because he breaks out his banjo for Earl Scruggs' "Earl's Breakdown" and does one heck of a job on Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky". Bluegrass tunes have never sounded so hip, and probably never will again, unless, of course Mr. Setzer gets a hold of anymore bluegrass classics.

Now before you all start throwing sticks and stones at me for insinuating the bluegrass genre is not cool. Let me just say this. I think this genre is one of the coolest and earthiest of all musical styles, but Mr. Setzer is going to introduce the genre to many who have never given bluegrass a fair chance, and possibly never even heard it before. He is merely bridging a gap that needed bridging.

I personally believe that Mr. Setzer could play a stick if you put a string on it, and he would put together a hip and cool sound with it as well. I'm obviously not the only one on this planet who believes that, evidenced by his 43-year long career.

For this venture, Mr. Setzer assembled a trio consisting of himself on guitar and the fore mentioned banjo, Johnny Hatton on the upright bass, and Noah Levy on the drums. They are very near flawless all the way through this remarkable collection of eleven songs.

It all starts with Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky", followed by Ray Noble's "Cherokee".
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Format: Audio CD
Brian Setzer is caught in some strange time warp, playing old jump blues and rockabilly and heavens know what else HIS way, with an uncompromising love of rocking. The last oh 50 years of popular music don't seem to have influenced his style too much. What keeps him from being another boring retro act is his guitar playing. He is the genuine item, a virtuoso on electric guitar, able to shift between different styles with astonishing ease and play with intelligence imagination and beauty. He may very well be the world's greatest electric guitarist--he is certainly heads and shoulders above the boring metal players usually ballyhooed in the various guitar magazines.

This CD turns to some the surf instumental sound popular in the early sixties. I must admit I don't particularly care for the original instrumentals--but I have heard them, and frankly, I think Setzer buries them completely. He even dares to take on the bluegrass masters Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs, electrifying their songs and managing (amazing!) to rock as he bluegrasses. Hate to say it, because I love old bluegrass, but at some level Setzer even wins this battle.

The man is amazing. This may not be his most accessible CD for a first time listener--it has no real vocals--but it blows me away.
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Nothing to add to what previous reviewers reported. If you like guitar instrumentals then you'll love this album. If you like guitar at all you'll probably love this album. I can't stop listening to it. It's 35 minutes long which turns out to be the perfect length for making you want more. Each song is 45 RPM single length - no extensive aeolian explorations here. The man makes his point, strongly, and goes out with a shbang. No need to elaborate on the wonderful tone, texture, and touch he gets out of the instrument - if you don't know already, this album will learn you but good. Song selection is wonderful - varied but not straying off the plantation. My fave is "Cherokee" - just having heard that song played by every jazz musico should have worn the edge off by now. But Setzer makes a compelling case that it is a guitar instrumental, front to back, through and through, chorus and verse. That alone is a 2001 style monument.
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Being a huge Stray Cats fan, a Gretsch guitar fan, having opened for the Cats with my own band years ago and having seen his big band twice, I have a real soft spot for his work. This new album is great driving music. His playing is always fantastic. It is always fun to see what new licks and chord choices he will choose. My only critique is that it sounds a little like a very good demo of work for consideration for an album. The feel of the album is not as comprehensive as it might be. I think that Brian is a much better song writer than his choices of cover music are allowing. However, don't let that dissuade you from having this gem in your car for hitting the gas with this summer! Excellent musicianship!!!!!!!!!!!
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At the time I am writing this review there are currently 10 other reviews and all are five stars. Here comes number 11. When the guitar playing is this good, you never even miss the vocals. As usual Brian gives us a lot of variety going from surf to billy. Folks you just can't find pure no nonsense music like this anymore. This is simply picking and playing at the highest level. This is a must for all guitar lovers.
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