Rockabilly icons The Stray Cats celebrate 40 years of jumping and jiving with a new album, as Lee Rocker reflects on a lifetime of slapping the double bass.
Stray no more. Lee Rocker, guitarist Brian Setzer, and drummer Slim Jim Phantom — collectively rockabilly’s pick of the litter known as Stray Cats — are back and sharper than ever. Some 40 years after they formed in the Long Island town of Massapequa, New York, and 26 years since their previous record, the Cats have clawed their way back with 40. Although it marks said anniversary and delivers the trio’s rockabilly revival staples, with songs about cat-fightin’ gals, bad-boy rebels, and supercharged cars, the 12-track platter also explores new harmonic and rhythmic terrain. No doubt it’s the result of the three being years more proficient and curious on their axes, and more comfortable in their musical creativity. The 57-year-old Rocker remains undersung outside of the realm of dedicated upright slappers who have followed in his propulsive path. In the ’80s, he helped make the acoustic bass popular again in an era of bright-toned, active bass guitars and keyboard-bass-la