Stray Cats bassist Lee Rocker will release Gather Round, his first new solo album of original songs in over 13 years, on January 22.
The 10-track collection, which you can pre-order now, is made up mostly of songs that Rocker wrote this year after the start of the pandemic, and also includes his 2019 single “Dog House Shuffle,” a tribute to some of rock ‘n’ roll’s early bass players.
Lee explains that much of Gather Round was written while he and his wife “criss-crossed” the U.S. in their Airstream trailer. after the pandemic started.
“We rolled through 20 states from north to south and from east to west,” he notes. “In addition to the pandemic, the presidential election was raging. I wrote songs and music and drove 6,000 miles.”
Rocker adds, “It’s been year filled with global disaster and uncertainty. It’s also been a time of introspection and for me a time to reimagine how to record an album under these circumstances.”
When he returned to his home on Southern California, Rocker began recording the album, playing most of the instruments himself, along with tracks contributed remotely by his solo band members — guitarist Buzz Campbell, drummer Larry Mitchell and keyboardist Matt Jordan.
Besides “Dog House Shuffle,” Rocker released another advance single from Gather Round, the politically themed “Pickin’ and Grinnin’,” in October, along with a companion video.
“I wrote this song as my statement on [President] Trump and the dividing of this country which I love,” Lee points out. “We all need to reside in the UNITED states of America.”
The Gather Round album also features Rocker’s original solo version of “When Nothing’s Going Right,” a song he wrote that The Stray Cats recorded for their 2019 reunion album, 40.
Here’s Gather Round’s full track list:
“The Last Offline Lovers”
“Everybody Wants to Be a Cat”
“Pickin’ and Grinnin"”
“Every Time I See You”
“A Dirty Martini”
“When Nothing’s Going Right”
“Dog House Shuffle”
By Matt Friedlander
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