The Knuckledusters, a group of Boston-area guys who love rockabilly, makes its Quincy debut Saturday at the Beachcomber as part of a four-band bill.

Years of playing bass in a succession of loud grunge bands burned out Jack Bridge. But while on a break, he found inspiration in acoustic-based rockabilly. Before long Bridge brushed up his guitar skills and wrote his own songs.

Enter the Knuckledusters, a group of Boston-area guys who each have day jobs, but share a mutual love for rockabilly. Saturday night the quartet makes its Quincy debut at the Beachcomber, with a new record to release, as part of a four-band bill. Also on the bill Saturday are Boston punk rockers the Spoilers and Tommy Two Finger and the Whynots, along with the Beantown psychobilly quartet Wicked Whiskey.

"I had played bass for a long time, in a lot of alternative, grunge-type bands,'' said Bridge, of Somerville. "I got to the point where I was frankly sick of all the doom and gloom and angsty stuff. I began noodling around on a guitar, and remembered that I’d always liked Brian Setzer’s music, rockabilly that was raw but upbeat.''

Bridge continued: "I needed some new sounds at that point, and so I began listening to a lot of Setzer’s work with the Stray Cats and later his own orchestra. Of course he was very influenced by a lot of those 1950s guys, so then I began to investigate guys like Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins and the early Elvis. I had always felt Elvis was kitschy, but I had never known his ’50s work, and I fell in love with it. Then I heard how a lot of the newer rockabilly encompassed swing too, so I began thinking about a band with sax, so we’d be able to get some of that sound.''

Bridge, who teaches history at Burlington High, began discovering the whole world of modern rockabilly, punkabilly, the wilder psychobilly strain, along with more groups that incorporated that swinging flavor.

"The only thing I found, after we’d formed a band, was that Boston’s rockabilly scene’s heyday had kind of come and gone already,'' Bridge said.

The Knuckledusters became a band the newfangled way: through Internet ads.

"Once I had written a few songs and wanted to have a band to play them, I began placing ads,'' Bridge explained. "I had been driving all over to find people to play with, and once I ran some ads we all found we were living within a couple miles of each other. Basically, we found the whole band through Craigslist.''

The Knuckledusters first version would include bassist Abe Grosswasser, Mike Demers on drums and Scott Miller on sax, along with Bridge on guitar and lead vocals. Grosswasser moved to St. Louis, and that’s when Pembroke native Phil Thompson came on board, a year-and-a-half ago.

The Knuckledusters, despite their rowdy name, have some interesting day jobs. Thompson works in computer systems for the State Street Bank, while Miller is an engineer. Those jobs have kept the band to mostly New England gigs, although they have made some key contacts around the region.

"We had been playing pretty steadily at the Abbey Lounge (in Somerville), but that’s now closed,'' noted Bridge. "We also did a lot of shows at the Bulfinch Yacht Club by North Station, and also the Sky Bar in Somerville, both of which are also gone. We’ve done well at the Lucky Dog in Worcester, and really cool place called the Zen Bar in Farmington, Conn.'' ''
 
Bridge’s songs tend to feature familiar rock themes, hot rods and pretty girls and the endless pursuit of same, but with a kind of winking wisdom behind them. Tunes like the effervescent "Moonshine Martini'' evoke rockabilly’s wild and woolly past, but the title cut from the new record, "Las Vegas Bound,'' is a more midtempo ode to all the trouble – and possible redemption – one can find in Sin City. "A Ghost Named Mary'' is a real departure, a five-minute late-night ballad where the sax provides bluesy atmosphere and the guitar adds bite, and a mysterious coda of wind chimes gives it all a weird aura. In most Knuckledusters outings, the interplay between sax and guitar is compelling, and "Hot Rod ’59'' features a startling cascade of sax-and-guitar unison lines that set the rhythm. Band pal Seann Ives provides a second sax on most of the CD’s four cuts.

"The way we play guitar is not really traditional rockabilly style,'' said Bridge. "But with the horns it takes on kind of a swing feel. It comes out like ‘swing-abilly,’ definitely something different than what you hear most of the time. We also like to give it a little edge, like Reverend Horton Heat. We toss the leads back and forth between sax and guitar, play some unison lines, and try not to get in each other’s way. I tend to write all the songs on guitar, though, so we are essentially a guitar-driven band.''

Bridge said he also feels the new CD is a bit more developed than the previous effort.

"I think our first CD was more straight-ahead rockabilly, a lot of Carl Perkins-type riffs,'' Bridge noted. "The new one is definitely heavier. It’s a departure into our heavier sound, with the horns in a more pronounced role.''

Bridge played with several other bands over the past decade, including Rapture of the Deep, which made it to the WBCN Rock Rumble semifinals in 1997. He was also bassist in the trio known as Newz, and the band Hiding in Public. But now he’s much happier playing guitar and riding the rockabilly train. The quartet expects to record five or six more songs for a CD for summer release.

"This is the first band I ever played guitar, or wrote music for,'' said Bridge. "I was content before to be the bassist, but after the time off, I wanted to play some leads. I decided I had enough songs and it felt pretty good playing them. It felt a little bit weird playing out in front of people again – I’d never been the frontman. But it has been fun, and we’re trying to build a following in the area.''

Jay N. Miller covers popular music on the South Shore and in the Boston area. If you have information or ideas for Jay, send it to him by e-mail to features@ledger.com. Attn: Music Scene in the subject line.