The Stray Cats announced their first album in 26 years, 40, and detailed a summer world tour. The long-running rockabilly trio — singer-guitarist Brian Setzer, bassist Lee Rocker and drummer Slim Jim Phantom — previewed the LP with new song “Cat Fight (Over a Dog Like Me),” a trademark blast of searing guitar fills, tremolo bar swoops and hopping double-bass.
“Cat Fight” is available with pre-orders of the record. The band will release the track (along with new songs “When Nothing’s Going Right” and “Rock It Off”) as part of an exclusive, 12-inch picture disc on April 13th, Record Store Day. They will also issue an exclusive colored vinyl edition of the song on May 24th.
The Stray Cats recorded 40 with producer Peter Collins (Rush, Bon Jovi, the Brian Setzer Orchestra) at Nashville, Tennessee’s Blackbird Studios in late 2018, following their first North American shows in a decade.
“You have to understand how unique the Stray Cats are,” Setzer said in a statement. “It’s me playing an old hollow body guitar, Slim Jim playing two or three drums, and Lee Rocker slapping a stand-up acoustic bass. I get to write new songs and then play them with my buddies. Somehow we created a new and exciting sound with this simple idea. And you know what? A lot of people agree!”
Rocker enthused that 40 captures the same vibe as their debut self-titled LP from 1981. “This new album really feels like the first record we did; it’s really natural and comfortable,” he said. “For the recording, we went live –– like doing a gig, we recorded in a real, organic way. We were all in one room standing next to each other recording live, with the amps turned up to 10. It captured the undefinable things that happen when a band is great. It captured the magic that takes place and an undefined spark.”
“We’re very, very focused when we get into the studio,” added Phantom. “it didn’t feel like a long time had passed since we had done this — it felt very natural and familiar. We were all in a row with everyone watching each other, so it felt like a gig in the set-up. We really embraced that a little bit for the album –– it’s like an old way of making records. The modern is meeting the vintage, which has always been our inspiration.”
The band’s summer tour launches June 21st in Vitoria, Spain, with their international leg running through July 20th in Falun, Sweden; their U.S. leg kicks off August 3rd in Atlanta City, New Jersey and wraps August 31st in San Diego, California. Tickets for the American go on sale starting Friday, March 8th at 10 a.m. local time.
The Stray Cats – 40 Track List
1. “Cat Fight (Over A Dog Like Me)”
2. “Rock It Off”
3. I’ve Got Love If You Want It”
4. “Cry Danger”
5. “I Attract Trouble”
6. “Three Time’s A Charm”
7. “That’s Messed Up”
8. “When Nothing’s Going Right”
10. “Mean Pickin’ Mama”
11. “I’ll Be Looking Out For You”
12. “Devil Train”
The Stray Cats U.S. Tour Dates
August 3rd – Atlantic City, NJ @ Ocean Resort Casino-Ovation Hall
August 6th – New York, NY @ Pier 17 at South Street Seaport
August 13th – Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap
August 14th – Huber Heights, OH @ Rose Music Center
August 15th – Grand Rapids, MI @ Meijer Garden
August 18th – Welch, MN @ Treasure Island Casino
August 26th – Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Garden
August 28th – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
August 31st – San Diego, CA @ Humphrey’s