RED BANK: SETZER JUMP-STARTS BASIE LINEUP

brian-setzerStray Cat topcat turned big-band ringmaster Brian Setzer, above, tunes up Santa’s souped-up sleigh — and Beat Root Revival (below) lights the way — as the season of nearly non-stop holiday music at the Count Basie Theatre commences Monday.

beat-rootThe official tree has yet to find its base in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park, and the horse-drawn carriages and surrogate Santas have yet to be sighted on the downtown streets.

But the elves at the Count Basie Theatre, the Greater Red Bank Green’s unofficial Capital of Christmas, already have their workshop in overdrive on a packed slate of Christmastime confections that runs right up to the doorstep of the New Year.

 

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RED BANK: BASIE’S SOUPED-UP SLEIGH

setzer-photoBrian Setzer (above) and his swingin’ Orchestra sound the keynote on a week’s worth of music at Basie’s place; a smorgasbord of sounds that includes appearances by Travis Tritt, The Duprees, and the Difford-Tilbrook partnership that brought you Squeeze (below).

Glenn Tilbrook & Chris Difford at Union Chapel on 8 November 2014.

Glenn Tilbrook & Chris Difford at Union Chapel on 8 November 2014.

Over at the Count Basie Theatre — where the coming of December heralds a packed schedule of Christmastime confections, right up to the doorstep of New Year’s — the twelfthmonth’s earliest days and nights offer up a buffet that includes music both seasonally standard and all-seasonssecular, in addition to the sort of golden oldies that comprise a sacred songbook in themselves. Arriving in town this Wednesday, December 2 atop a hybrid sleigh that’s fuel-injected with a little bit of each, Grammy-getter Brian Setzer returns with his big-axe Orchestra on an annual Christmas Tour that finds the onetime Top Cat of The Stray Cats suiting up for a set that tumbles selections from his three albums of Yuletide yippee with Stray Cat signatures (“Rock This Town,” “Sexy + 17”) and vintage jukebox juggernauts from the likes of Eddie Cochran, Bill Haley and more. It’s a big show that breaks down all humbug resistance with its rockabilly-roadrace pace and the frontman’s road-tested panache in the role of guitar-slinging retro leader of the 18-piece big band. Tim Lowman, the high-energy one-man blues-shock band known as Low Volts, opens the 7:30 pm festivities, so fly here for tickets ($58 – $118) — and flip the record over for more.

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