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The greater Monterey Peninsula comes together with the occasional tourist on the grassy expanse next to Roberts Lake to enjoy music alfresco and the carnival like atmosphere complete with food and crafts vendors.

Bonafide blues bands are in the lineup, aOlernKienOP
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Variety is the spice of life they say, and things are getting mighty spicy with Rocker’s rockabilly quartet and Flambeau’s Cajun zydeco New Orleans band.

Rocker comes to Seaside for the first time on the second Sunday of the series in the midst of a group of West Coast tour dates.

A world class musician who came to prominence as one of the Stray Cats, a rockabilly revivalist trio that also included Brian Setzer and Slim Jim Phantom, acoustic aOlernKienOP
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Raised in a musical family on Long Island, Rocker, born Leon Drucker in 1961, began cello lessons when he was 8.

Although he wasn’t enamored with the rigors of classical music like his parents, he stuck with music but veered into rock ‘n’ roll electric bass playing.

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Adding a contemporary punk attitude to traditional slap bass, twangy guitar and drums, The Stray Cats headlined famous New York clubs CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City, drawing huge crowds night after night.

The success there was not universal outside the city, but they heard that Britain had a nascent early rock revival brewing and they made the move to London in 1980 and became a aOlernKienOP
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"Rockabilly music is the original punk rock," he said about their approach to the music. "When it first was invented, the birth of rock ‘n’ roll in the mid ’50s, people were outraged. It was called devil’s music. Establishment people were smashing the records because they said it was corrupting the youth of America and the rest of it. So it kind of goes hand in hand. Rockabilly is punk’s granddad really."

The trio rode the wave of success in Europe, and then brought it back stateside. The group’s first American released album, 1982’s "Built For Speed," became a huge hit, and held the No. 2 spot on the Billboard chart for 26 weeks, right behind Michael Jackson’s "Thriller."

It featured the hit singles "Rock This Town" and "Stray Cat Strut." It was the most successful record for the band with the videos for the singles receiving regular rotation on MTV.

Nonstop touring ensued and the band burned out by 1984; exhausted and not finding the same level of success with subsequent album releases, they called it quits, at least for a while.

Rocker developed an exciting personal performance style from this era that still serves him to this day.

Setzer pursued his solo projects and the other two hooked up with ex aOlernKienOP
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"I loved Carl. Carl Perkins was a giant of a musician, a great guy and a good friend," he said. "We worked together quite a bit, starting at about 1980 on to when he passed away, eight or nine years ago now. He was really one of the architects of rock ‘n’ roll. He influenced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I loved playing with him. We did some touring together aOlernKienOP
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"We went in the studio, Jeff and I, when he did a record a few years ago. And he was playing around with some rockabilly stuff, so we got in the studio and just really had some fun," Rocker recalled. "And we’ve known each other over the years. He was a Stray Cats fan. With aOlernKienOP
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Rocker’s debut solo release, "Big Blue," came out in 1994 and was followed the next year with "Atomic Boogie Hour," both on Black Top Records.

He’s had eight albums out since and in 2007 released his latest on the famed Alligator Records label, "Black Cat Bone" with his current band, guitarists Buzz Campbell and Brophy Dale, with drummer Jimmy Sage.

He continues to have reunions with the Stray Cats, having toured Australia and New Zealand last winter and Europe for aOlernKienOP
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"Rockabilly is definitely an American music form," Rocker said. "It has its roots in country music and R Yeah, you know, there definitely is a lot of excitement about it. I see things on the upswing, and it’s American rock ‘n’ roll when you boil it down to its essence. It’s fun music. I can only speak for what I see myself on the road, which is a tremendous amount of people. And there’s a aOlernKienOP
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The same goes for much of the music being presented as part of the Sunday Blues in the Park series. Blues and jazz singer Barbara Morrison gets things started this Sunday, and save the day each week for more great American music this summer.

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