The Birchmere transformed into a swing lounge one evening recently when Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the OGs of contemporary swing revival, made their 15th appearance at the iconic music venue. The band offered a 90-minute performance that featured past and present hits from their vast catalog, along with a few numbers in tribute to the New Orleans music scene from which Scotty Morris, the band’s leader, draws deep influence.
In 2018, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy celebrated its 25th anniversary of arriving on the music scene. The band, formed in the early 90’s in Ventura, California and has released 11 records, performed close to 3,000 live shows, and made countless appearances in film and television. Their most recent album Louie, Louie, Louie, released in 2017 from Savoy Records.
Listen to Louie, Louie, Louie by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Spotify:
Scotty came up with the name Big Bad Voodoo Daddy after attending a concert by blues guitar legend Albert Collins. In 2014, Scott told the Napa Valle Register in 2014, “[Albert Collins] signed my poster, ‘To Scotty, the big bad voodoo daddy.’ I thought it was the coolest name I ever heard on one of the coolest musical nights I ever had. So, when it came time to name this band, I didn’t really have a choice. I felt like it was handed down to me.”
The band’s first taste of stardom came in 1996 with an appearance in the indie film Swingers, a movie that not only launched the careers of Vince Vaugh and Jon Favreau but introduced Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to an audience beyond their LA base — it’s how I first learned about the band from the East Coast.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy consists of Scotty Morris on lead vocals and guitar, Kurt Sodergren on drums and percussion, Dirk Shumaker on double bass and vocals, Andy Rowley on baritone saxophone and vocals, Glen “The Kid” Marhevka and Mitchell Cooper on trumpet, Karl Hunter on saxophones and clarinet, Joshua Levy on piano, and Alex “Crazy Legs” Henderson on trombone.
Tarzan of Harlem
Mr. Pinstripe Suit
Diga Diga Doo
Next Week Sometime
You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight
I Wanna Be Just Like You (Jungle Book)
Minnie the Moocher
Save My Soul (dedicated to the music of New Orleans)
Zig Zaggity Woop Woop
Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days
Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens
So Long Farewell-Goodbye (with a couple bars of Sweet Home Alabama)
Enjoy some photos of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performing at The Birchmere in Alexandria Virginia on March 28, 2019. All images copyright and courtesy of Ari Strauss.