Brian Setzer announces new solo album Gotta Have The Rumble

Rockabilly icon Brian Setzer has announced his first solo album in seven years. Produced by Julian Raymond, Gotta Have The Rumble was recorded in Setzer's hometown Minneapolis and Nashville, and features 11 original compositions written or co-written by the Stray Cats frontman.

One of which, you can check out right now, as Setzer has shared the video for Checkered Flag just in time for the weekend. Animated by Juan Pinto, the video has everything you could want from a Setzer track. The track is up-tempo, there's Setzer's inimitable Gretsch tone front and centre, and, of course, he's riding a hot rod. 

Gotta Have The Rumble a reference to my motorcycles and hot rods, something that hasn’t changed since I was 15 years old

Indeed, the combustion engine is one of the inspirations behind the record, with the album title in reference to vintage motorcycles and hot rods, and the go-faster car culture such an integral part of rockabilly culture that Gretsch was inspired to release its Electromatic G5410T Rat Rod model last year, complete with red pickup covers to represent the red tail lights of an automobile.

“Obviously, [the title is] a reference to my motorcycles and hot rods, something that hasn’t changed since I was 15 years old,” says Setzer. “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. 

5 songs guitarists need to hear by… Brian Setzer

Brian Setzer

(Image credit: SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)

He's one of the all-time great guitar players, but where do you start? Here!

“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.”

Gotta Have The Rumble is out CD and digitally on 27 August via Surfdog Records. A vinyl release will soon follow. See Brian Setzer for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.