The STRAY CATS Reveal ‘Three Times A Charm (live)’

The Stray Cats from L-R: Brian Setzer, Slim Jim Phantom, Lee Rocker,
By Russ Harrington


ROCKED THIS TOWN: FROM LA TO LONDON is the name of the new live album by The STRAY CATSAvailable now via Surfdog Records and distributed by Mascot Label Group (CD Boxset, Light Blue 2LP, Digital), this collection of 23 tracks recorded during the band’s critically acclaimed 40th Anniversary Tour combines their unparalleled virtuosity and red-hot rock & roll spirit, all raw and completely live–the way it was played on sweaty stages around the world.  

Talking about the song Slim Jim Phantom said; “THREE TIME’S A CHARM” is probably my favorite song from the “40” album – I remember when Brian first played it for me over the phone – He had told me he wanted to write one around Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps style where the drums follow the lyric. This one was perfect and we came up with a good drum part over the phone in 5 minutes. I don’t even think we had a demo for that one. Brian played guitar and I played drums right over the phone. It worked in the studio and it was a natural one to play live. I dig this one the most!”

The live album was produced by the multi-platinum band’s guitarist/vocalist Brian Setzer, upright bass player Lee Rocker and drummer Slim Jim Phantom–original founding members of the iconic American rock and roll trio–and mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White, Arctic Monkeys).The album’s career-spanning track listing (below) features their greatest hits as well as several brand-new scorchers from last year’s 40, the band’s first new album in 26 years.
40 kicked the door open on a fiery new chapter in The STRAY CATS’ career. It entered the Billboard Album Sales chart US charts at #5. It marked the group’s highest entry since 1983’s Built For Speed, which was released 36 years ago. In Germany, it entered the Album Chart at #6 and in France at #7. MOJO called ‘40’ “Top Class”, American Songwriter declared “The Stray Cats remain a well-oiled machine, as super charged in 2019 as they were 40 years earlier”, while All Music noted: “Comfortable in their skin and still intoxicated by a big rockabilly beat, the Stray Cats sound vigorous and sly….”

Photo credit: Suzie Kaplan

On the live front, The STRAY CATS performed European shows last June and July and then toured America in August. As Newsday (New York) noted, “All three are now virtuosos on their instruments, with Rocker and Phantom weaving together intricate rhythms while Setzer delivers wild guitar solos. And Setzer’s rockabilly croon has only deepened and improved with age, as he showed on their breakout hit ‘Stray Cat Strut’ and a gorgeous version of ‘I Won’t Stand in Your Way.’ The simplicity of their setup makes what they do with songs like ‘Rock This Town,’ which becomes an epic anthem live with solos from Setzer and Rocker, all the more stunning”.


  1. Cat Fight (Over A Dog Like Me)
  2. Runaway Boys
  3. Too Hip, Gotta Go
  4. Double Talkin’ Baby
  5. Three Time’s A Charm
  6. Stray Cat Strut
  7. Mean Pickin’ Mama
  8. Gene & Eddie
  9. Cry Baby
  10. I Won’t Stand In Your Way
  11. Cannonball Rag
  12. Misirlou
  13. When Nothing’s Going Right
  14. (She’s) Sexy + 17
  15. Bring It Back Again
  16. My One Desire **
  17. Blast Off
  18. Lust ’N’ Love
  19. Fishnet Stockings
  20. Rock This Town
  21. Rock It Off
  22. Built For Speed
  23. Rumble In Brighton

**On LP and digital only


The STRAY CATS, the band that put Rockabilly music back on the record charts in the early ’80s, scored several big hits on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to a striking visual 1950’s style brought “up to date” with exaggerated pompadours and colorful tattoos and as well as genuine musical chops that evoked the best players of rockabilly’s original heyday. Formed by guitarist/vocalist Brian Setzer, upright bass player Lee Rocker and drummer Slim Jim Phantom in the Long Island town of Massapequa, NY, in 1979, the trio shared a love for Rockabilly music.  After banging around New York for a few months, in the summer of 1980, and seeing a pompadoured kid on the cover of UK magazine NME, they hopped a plane to London where a rockabilly revival movement was just beginning to emerge. Their massive hits and videos include “Runaway Boys,” “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut” “(She’s) Sexy + 17,” and “I Won’t Stand in Your Way.”

For more information on The STRAY CATS, visit:
Official Website | Facebook 

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