(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
I caught Brian Setzer’s Christmas show last year, and I liked it so much that I am going to see it again this year. Setzer’s big band and guitar setup reminds me of a brief, cool era of music like this:
I have previously confessed my admiration for Setzer as a genre bender, but seeing him in person deepened my appreciation. Keeping an orchestra on the road is an expensive proposition, which probably kept this performance format as a short lived niche, but a delight to see nevertheless. During last year’s show, Setzer spent an interlude with a three-man drum/base/guitar Stray Cats setup. Once he built the crowd up to a frenzy, he stopped everything, smiled and announced:
“I get to play music with these guys EVERY NIGHT! It’s my JOB!!!”
Which of course reminded me of my favorite Zen quote:
The Master in the Art of Living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.
It’s Bryan Setzer’s world folks- we are just living in it.