Setzer Revisits The Trio With '68 Comeback Special

He led the rockabilly revival as a member of three-piece hitmakers the Stray Cats in the 1980s, and in the '90s led the swing revival fronting the Brian Setzer Orchestra (BSO). Now, the tattooed and p

He led the rockabilly revival as a member of three-piece hitmakers the Stray Cats in the 1980s, and in the '90s led the swing revival fronting the Brian Setzer Orchestra (BSO). Now, the tattooed and pompadoured musician will return to the trio format for some stripped-down rockabilly roots music as the Brian Setzer '68 Comeback Special.

Joined by BSO slap-bassist Mark W. Winchester and drummer Bernie Dresel, Setzer will hit the road this summer in support of "Ignition," due June 12 via California indie Surfdog Records. A two-month U.S. tour -- which will find Setzer playing banjo and pedal steel in addition to guitar -- kicks off June 15 in Saratoga, Calif., to be followed by a month of as-yet-unannounced European dates.

A June 14 performance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" will precede the outing, and a July 12 appearance on "The Late Show with Conan O'Brien" is also planned. The tour also includes a free show July 27 in the Dayton, Ohio, Courthouse Square by the trio, as well as a few BSO dates -- July 13-15 at Atlantic City, N.J.'s Caesar's Casino, and Aug. 4 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

Setzer chose the name '68 Comeback Special -- which conjures memories of a black-leather clad Elvis Presley performing a raw, stripped-down performance for a television audience -- "because it's cool." Asked if this album and tour are a tribute to the King or the 1968 "Elvis" special, Setzer responds, "Isn't all music an Elvis Presley tribute?"

In January, the BSO picked up the best pop instrumental Grammy for its performance of "Caravan" on last year's "Vavoom!" (Interscope). The set debuted at No. 10 on Billboard's Top Internet Albums chart and at No. 62 on The Billboard 200. A BSO Christmas album is in the planning stages, according to Setzer's official Web site.

Here are Brian Setzer '68 Comeback Special tour dates:
June 15: Saratoga, Calif. (Mountain Winery)
June 16-17: Lake Tahoe, Calif. (Caesar's Casino)
June 19: Del Mar, Calif. (Del Mar Fairgrounds)
June 20: Phoenix (Celebrity Theatre)
June 22: Boise, Idaho (Big Easy)
June 23: Missoula, Mont. (Wilma Theatre)
June 24: Spokane, Wash. (Met Theatre)
June 26: Seattle (Showbox)
June 27: Portland, Ore. (Roseland Theatre)
June 28: Jacksonville, Ore. (Britt Fest)
June 29: Kelseyville, Calif. (Konocti Showroom)
July 11: Westbury, N.Y. (Music Theatre)
July 13-15: Atlantic City, N.J. (Caesar's Casino / Brian Setzer Orchestra)
July 19: Hampton Beach, N.H. (Hampton Beach Ballroom)
July 20: Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun Casino)
July 21: Boston (Avalon)
July 22: Hyannis, Mass. (Cape Cod Music Theatre)
July 24: Pittsburgh (Club Laga)
July 25: Cleveland (Odeon)
July 27: Dayton, Ohio (Courthouse Square / free show)
July 28: Chicago (House of Blues)
July 29: Kansas City, Mo. (Beaumont Club)
July 31: Boulder, Col. (Fox Theatre)
Aug. 1: Beaver Creek, Col. (Vilar Theatre)
Aug. 4: Los Angeles (Greek Theatre / Brian Setzer Orchestra)
Aug. 9: Albuquerque, N.M. (Sunshine Theatre)
Aug. 10: Tucson, Ariz. (Rialto)
Aug. 11: Las Vegas (House of Blues)
Aug. 15: San Mateo, Calif. (San Mateo County Fair)
Aug. 16: Santa Cruz, Calif. (Catalyst)
Aug. 17: Santa Ynez, Calif. (Gainey Vineyard)
Aug. 18: Reno, Nev. (Silver Legacy Casino))