CLEARWATER – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performs at the historic Capitol Theatre downtown Clearwater on Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m.
Since their arrival on the music scene in 1993 in a legendary residency at Los Angeles’ Brown Derby nightclub, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s irresistible live show and aggressive, musically perceptive approach has proven them over time to be the singular standout among the numerous
bands that launched the Nineties swing revival. The seven-man group forged a massively successful fusion of classic American sounds from jazz, swing, Dixieland and big-band music, building their own songbook of original dance tunes, and, sixteen years later, BBVD is a veteran force that to this day adds new fans by the roomful every time they play.
Their eighth studio album, How Big Can You Get?, A Tribute to Cab Calloway captures the essence of an American icon in a rowdy celebration of musicianship, mischief, genius, street smarts and fun. Longtime fans of “America’s favorite little big band” will immediately recognize the album as a milestone in Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s multi platinum-selling sixteen-year career. “Making the album was one of our biggest musical moments,” says lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Scotty Morris, who co-founded Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (BBVD) with drummer Kurt Sodergren in southern California. Recorded in Los Angeles’ legendary Capitol Studios, located at the famous record-shaped building at Hollywood and Vine, How Big Can You Get came out of the rooms where innumerable classics had been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nelson Riddle, Billy May, and many others.
Using Capitol’s vintage microphones and studio equipment, “we achieved a real marriage of his music and our arrangements and the group’s voice,” says Morris.
BBVD’s originals rocketed the group into its first phase of stardom, when You & Me and the Bottle Makes Three (Tonight) and Go Daddy-O were featured in the 1996 indie film landmark Swingers. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, named famously after an autograph by blues legend Albert Collins, sold more than two million copies of the albums Americana Deluxe and This Beautiful Life, and received national critical acclaim while the band’s music has appeared in over sixty movies and television shows.
The band’s career milestones have included appearances in the Super Bowl half-time show, writing theme music for ESPN and network television, and performing for three American presidents. They have appeared numerous times on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brian and Live with Regis & Kelly, and wrote, performed and recorded the current theme song for the Carson Daly show after appearing multiple times as the show’s house band.
And now, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s songs have passed into the classic American songbook, playing alongside pop standard songs in film and television, and even on reality competitions like Dancing With the Stars.
“We just turned 16 this month. I couldn’t be more proud that this is the album we’ve made at this moment,” says Morris. “I did think it would last this long,” reflects trumpeter Marhevka, who joined BBVD more than fourteen years ago, when the band was 1 years old and still a trio. “I had played in many groups, and stopped doing everything else – I put 100% in, and never looked back. People ask: ‘Are you gonna be here in five years?’, and I say: Yeah! Every guy in the band has that feeling about it. The greatest moment is being here right now, doing this. The goals are always the same: getting better at what we do individually, and moving forward in the same direction. We’re still playing, and have something to say.”