Limited LP: Red Vinyl
Only Brian Setzer could cut an album with more lyrical honesty and musical diversity than anything he's ever done and then title it Nitro Burnin' Funny Daddy. Not that the name is misleading; Nitro is in fact packed with explosive performances. There's more than enough volatile picking and singing to mark this as a highlight of a catalog already crowded with great albums he's delivered as leader of the history-making Stray Cats and on his own too.
But there's more: street-corner doo-wop, heartbreak balladry, a foot-stomp hoedown, several lyrics that will shock and stun longtime fans, and always, somewhere in the mix, the blues. Every track is distinctive, none sounds like any of the others, yet all of them are pure Setzer. And it's all compressed into a tight trio format -- Setzer and his big band colleagues, standup slap-bass powerhouse Johnny Hatton and rhythm dynamo Bernie Dresel on snare and cymbals -- whose sound evokes Les Paul, Junior Parker, and even Earl Scruggs as much as Louis Prima or Eddie Cochran.
Originally released in 2003, Nitro Burnin’ Funny Daddy was Brian Setzer’s eleventh solo album and when it was released he said it was the most personal record he had ever done. The album followed his big-band release Boogie Woogie Christmas from the previous year and saw him back to his rockabilly best, taking in doo-wop (“To Be Loved”), bluegrass (“When The Bells Don’t Chime”), rootsy-rock (“Don’t Trust A Woman (In A Black Cadillac)”) and going on a cinematic Wild-West romp (“Wild Wind”).