During its first years performing at The Derby Nightclub in Los Angeles, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy reminded the world that it was still cool to swing, big-band style.
By now the world knows the story of the high-energy ensemble co-founded by bandleader Scott Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren. The group made its 1993 debut in its hometown of Ventura, Calif., ushering in a swing revival founded on a colorful fusion of jazz, swing and Dixieland music. The group's lineup has been in place since 1995: Morris on lead guitar and vocals, Sodergren on percussion, Dirk Shumaker on double bass, Andy Rowley on baritone saxophone, Glen Marhevka on trumpet, Karl Hunter on saxophones and clarinet and Joshua Levy on piano.
Who: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 19
Where: Britt Pavilion, 350 First St., Jacksonville
Tickets: $17 to $172
Call: 541-773-6077 or see www.brittfest.org
Voodoo Daddy continues to party and take things to the next level with "Rattle Them Bones," released in 2012 on the Savoy Jazz label. The album urges fans worldwide to shake and move to inimitable grooves that explore musical inspiration.
Voodoo Daddy will perform Friday, July 19, at the Britt Pavilion, 350 First St., Jacksonville. Songwriter Carolyn Wonderland will open the show at 7:30 p.m. The Phoenix High School Jazz Band will perform at 6 p.m. on the Table Rock City Stage. Tickets cost $172 for premium blanket seating for four; $43 for reserved seating; $27 for lawn seating; and $17 for ages 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online at www.brittfest.org, at the box office, 216 W. Main St., Medford, or by calling 541-773-6077.
Morris says that honoring great musicians of the past while pushing the swing genre forward is "the greatest musical education possible."
"The goal with every album is to take the listener on a unique journey," Morris says in a news release. "This time the process involved choosing from my originals and a handful of covers we thought would make a good fit. Often, as we start making sense of the material, the record tells us what it's going to be. It was clear this time that we wouldn't be limited to a single decade or vibe."
Morris challenged himself as a writer to pen a duet for the new album. "It Only Took a Kiss" is one the standouts on "Rattle Them Bones." Its irresistible charm and timeless bounce make it hard to believe it's not an 80-year-old standard.
"We were looking for the classic, simple, yet timeless kind of love song that Gershwin did so well," Morris says. "So influences from his era are foundational. On the new album, the tune falls right in the middle of a grand sweep of musical Americana."