‘Boogie Woogie Santa Claus,’ Bernie Brausewetter

brausewetter

Bernie Brausewetter performs “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” in 2000.

The New Jersey blues-rock scene suffered a great loss in 2007, when singer-songwriter-guitarist Bernie Brausewetter died, at the age of 52, of complications from diabetes and congestive heart failure. Brausewetter, who lived in South Plainfield, was a guitar virtuoso who fronted the band B.B. and the Stingers and also played in groups such as Steel Mill Retro, The Slaves of New Brunswick and Supreme Court. He also regularly donated his services to the Xmas Xtravaganza charity concerts that Glen Burtnik has presented annually, most years since 1989, during the holiday season.

Below is a clip of Brausewetter dynamically leading the Xmas Xtravaganza house band (including Burtnik on guitar and Tony Shanahan on bass) through “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” — a holiday standard that has been recorded by Patti Page, Mabel Scott, the Brian Setzer Orchestra and many others — at The Bottom Line in New York in 2000.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.

5 thoughts on “‘Boogie Woogie Santa Claus,’ Bernie Brausewetter

  1. Bernie was such an underrated guitarist who really deserved national attention….New Jersey music fans were so lucky to have known him….to have seen him….to share his extraordinary gift…..I miss my friend and think about him all the time…..

    • A few years before Bernie’s passing , I first learned of him when he was in a band called Attaboy. There were a whole bunch of videos of the Uncle Floyd show on YouTube back then and Floyd Vivino had Attaboy play four of their songs. Just the way Bernie looked was unique. He stood out because IMO, he didn’t look like your stereotypical rocker. Yet, there he was playing his Strat with mastery like the best of them. There were no credits to say who the band members were so I did some internet surfing and eventually learned the guitarist was Bernie Brausewetter. I don’t know if he ever played in Southern NJ but in retrospect I remember a band that was playing at a local bar in Clementon NJ way back around 1980 and the guitarist could have passed for Bernie. Sorry I never got to catch him live and meet him. I read that he was a very nice guy and very accessible.

  2. wow talk about strange, My wife just got me B.B. And The Stingers cd for Christmas. Bernie was my guitar teacher when i was a teenager, and recently i found the empty case but not the cd. I haven’t listen to it yet but when i do ill def be remembering going through the garage into his smoke filled basement and watching him just listening to a song once and know how to play it perfectly. RIP B B

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