Backstage News, Front Row Pics

Brian Setzer Orchestra Announce First New Studio Christmas Album in a Decade!

Album cover, artwork by Derek Yaniger

Album cover, artwork by Derek Yaniger


Rockin’ Rudolph Set for Release Friday, October 16 Via Surfdog Records ~ Deluxe Box Set Available Now Exclusively Via Pledge Music


“2015 12th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour” Dates To Be Announced in August!!



BSO Christmas Tour 2014

BSO Christmas Tour 2014

Held hostage by the hot, muggy weeks that let us know summer is still here with a vengeance, it’s kind of refreshing to talk about cooler days to come, especially since iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and three-time Grammy® award winner Brian Setzer and the Brian Setzer Orchestra will release Rockin’ Rudolph ~ their first studio Christmas album in 10 years ~ on Friday, October 16 via Surfdog Records (hard to believe the last time we talked with Brian was on May 19 of last year!). The 18-piece band will support the album with a major concert tour, the “12th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour,” delivering the rockin’, rollin’, festive, dare-you-not-to-get-out-of-your-seat-and-boogie holiday extravaganza they’re known for bringing to audiences of all ages.   


Fans will have the opportunity to purchase a limited edition, numbered deluxe package of the album (see full details below) via Start getting in a rockin’ state of mind by clicking here to watch a short sizzle video for Rockin’ Rudolph.


Setzer“It’s been about 10 years since I made a Christmas record,” confirms 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 is to make them sound hip. Some of them are eternally hip, you know, so you don’t have to do too much.”


Setzer "...rockin’ to the ground..." with long-time band member Tim Messina during the 2014 Christmas tour; photo by Matthew Olivar Photography

Setzer “…rockin’ to the ground…” with long-time band member Tim Messina during the 2014 Christmas tour; photo by Matthew Olivar Photography


Produced by Peter Collins (Rush, Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, and more) and recorded in both Nashville, TN and Hollywood, CA, the 12-track album features highlights including “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Yabba-Dabba Yuletide,” and “Rockabilly Rudolph,” among other notable Christmas classic tunes with Setzer’s trademark guitar work and signature vocal stylings matched with the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s irresistible big-band horn arrangements.


BSO, Christmas 2014

BSO, Christmas 2014


Christmas NowStandard Rockin’ Rudolph  pre-order the album here) track listing:


“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

“Yabba-Dabba Yuletide”

“Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

“Rockabilly Rudolph”

“Here Comes Santa Claus”

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

“Swingin’ Joy”

“Carol of the Bells”

“Little Jack Frost”

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

“O Little Town of Bethlehem”

“Yabba-Dabba Yuletide” (extended)


"Live in Nashville" print

“Live in Nashville” print

The Rockin’ Rudolph Deluxe Box Set (pre-order here 


  1. Brand new Rockin’ Rudolph album on CD
  2. Commemorative sheet music / guitar chart to “Nutcracker Suite” (just as Brian reads on stage!)
  3. Custom Brian Setzer die-cut Christmas tree ornament (3″ tall, alloy metal)  
    Christmas tree ornament

    Christmas tree ornament

  4. Brian Setzer’s own Murray’s Pomade styling product
  5. Commemorative BSO “Martini Logo” stainless steel guitar pick 
  6. BSO Christmas album cover drink coasters 
  7. Six Polaroid-style BSO concert photos
  8. “Live in Nashville” 10×10 print 
  9. Reusable 8GB USB credit card w/ extras including: 
  • Hi-definition .wav files of full 12-track Rockin’ Rudolph album 
  • 2 new bonus instrumental tracks not included on album:  “Deck The Halls” & “Little Drummer Boy”
  • Album cover rough sketches by artist Derek Yaniger 
  • Brief behind-the-scenes video footage of BSO’s Rockin’ Rudolph recording session (@ House of Blues studio in Nashville, TN.) 
  • “Jingle Bells” ~ live performance by BSO (previously released) 
  • “Nutcracker Suite” ~ live performance by BSO (previously released) 
  • Behind-the-scenes look at Brian writing entire big band arrangement from scratch (previously released)  


Photo courtesy of Bill Mathias

Photo courtesy of Bill Mathias

A Brian Setzer Mini-Bio 


Iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and 3-time Grammy-award-winner (and classic car aficionado/collector) Brian Setzer possesses a rare blend of talent, charisma, and an authentically “vintage” rock-n-roll sensibility that is unmistakable in his extensive and varied body of work but is ingeniously balanced with the chances he takes by incorporating innovative and daring musical styles from which other artists shy away. Considered a “Musician’s Musician,” Setzer, displaying his love of music from past eras along with his artistic vision of bringing them to current day audiences, is lauded for continually taking risks and single-handedly resurrecting two forgotten genres of music ~ rockabilly in the ‘80s and swing in the ’90s, both of which the public still embraces whole-heartedly.  


Yup, that's Brian in the center, the main Stray Cat

Yup, that’s Brian in the center, the main Stray Cat


Along the way, he has scored chart-topping hits, sold 13 million records, and received the Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award throughout his decorated career as a solo artist, the founder/leader of the Stray Cats ~ the band that introduced his magnetically good-natured greaser swagger to the world, and the founder/leader of his 18-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra. He is consistently cited as one of the world’s greatest living guitarists and has an extensive line of elite, best-selling Gretsch signature model guitars bearing his name (get a look  his new G6120 signature Hot Rod in action, complete with crystal-clear custom-voiced TV Jones pickups, no control knobs, and best of all, a killer new see-through Harbor Blue finish on its flame maple body here). Unassumingly multi-talented, in 1987 Brian appeared in the film La Bamba as rockabilly pioneer Eddie Cochran, and in 2002, he earned the privilege of being one of the few musicians to be animated in an episode of “The Simpsons,” alongside Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Tom Petty. Also in 2002, Setzer received a very personal request that he induct Chet Atkins into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the 17th year of the esteemed induction ceremony. 


Brian officially signs the deed of ownership over to the Smithsonian

Brian officially signs the deed of ownership over to the Smithsonian

Last year, Setzer received the distinct honor of an invitation from the  Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. to donate a replica of his original 1959 Gretsch 6120 “Stray Cat” guitar; it joined an elite collection of musical instruments at the museum including Dizzy Gillespie’s trumpet and John Coltrane’s saxophone, fitting company for an instrument played by a virtuoso musician who has quietly but permanently changed and enriched the music scene across the decades and we’re pretty sure will continue to do so for years to come.


So since we’ll eventually have to bid summer farewell, what better way to usher in the new season than with an album and tour that will surely win out over any winter blues.