Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

2014 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

The band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy helped to bring about a swing/jazz revival in the 1990s. Drawing on musicians like The Rat Pack and Duke Ellington, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy revived the big band sound of the 1940s and 1950s. They even wear the notorious zoot suits to accompany their music. Their swing music has been met with great acceptance as their concerts have sold out tickets all over the United States, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

In 1989, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was put together by guitarist Scotty Morris in Ventura, California. Originally, he formed a jazz, swing, and blues trio. This trio included drummer Kurt Sodergren. Scotty named the band after a meeting with one of his idols, Albert Collins. Scotty heard his favorite guitarist, Albert Collins, playing in a club one night, and after the show, he asked Collins for an autograph. Collins signed it 'To Scotty, the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.' Scotty liked the name so much, he named his band after it.

The trio starting touring, playing small clubs in California, and the band slowly began to grow. The trombonist from the original trio left the band, and five new members were added. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy now includes Scotty Morris on guitar and vocals, Kurt Sodergren on percussion, Dirk Shumaker on the upright bass and vocals, Joshua Levy on piano and vocals, Glen Marhevka on trumpet and vocals, Karl Hunter on saxophone and clarinet, and Andy Rowley on saxophone and vocals.

By 1992, the band was finally cemented and began playing small venues in the Los Angeles area. Two years later they released their first album, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. This self-titled album was produced independently, but it was quite a hit in Southern California. Their album did so well, in fact, that in 1996, music by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was featured in the film Swingers. At that time, the band was already working on their second self-produced album, Whatchu' Want for Christmas.

From all the publicity that Swingers and their two records had garnered, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was a hot commodity. By the time they released their second album in 1997, Capitol Records was ready to sign a major record deal with them. A year later, their first record-label album was released. This album was titled, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Although it has the same name as their first album, it was not the same album. Their fourth album, This Beautiful Life, was released in 1999. In July of 2003, they released their next album, Save My Soul.

In between all this recording, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy continued to play concerts all around the world. They even performed at Super Bowl XXXIII. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has performed with Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Castro, Ira Nepus, and Lee Thornburg. Their concerts have sold out tickets in the Hollywood Bowl, and on their 2004 tour, they chose to perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonics.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's success is partly due to the band's high level of musicianship. Most members of the band play several instruments and have studied music all of their lives. They also love making music, and this is evident in the fantastic shows they perform night after night.


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