ARTIST: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
TITLE: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (or American Deluxe, technically, but you’d never guess).
YEAR RELEASED: 1998
CHART ACTION: #47
SINGLES: You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight (#31 Modern Rock)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Mr. Pinstripe Suit; So Long, Farewell, Goodbye
LINEUP: Scotty Morris, Kurt Sodergren, Dirk Schumaker, Joshua Levy, Glen Marhevka, Karl Hunter, Jeff Harris, Andy Rowley
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Neo-swing hep cats strike it big by getting in Swingers soundtrack, and keeps them in zoot suits and fedoras.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Neo-swing hasn’t had as many revivals as neo-ska, but the concept is kind of the same. Part of it is homage, part of it is differentiating yourself from other acts, and the other part is hipster-influenced iconoclasm.
What happens, and what happens on this album, is that while it seems like it’s a definite homage to the swing music of the past – with perhaps a little more overt hedonism and alcoholism, it doesn’t quite seem authentic. Everything seems a bit more clean and polished on the record compared to the real swing tracks from the past.
The cover of “Minnie the Moocher” definitely shows the chasm between the clean playing of this album and the somewhat rowdier Cab Calloway versions out there. Really, I think bands should just stop recording this; you’re going to get compared to the original and you will lose every time.
This is more of a live band, really. After a few spins I was down to the highlights and skipping the others. Also, this album is LONG, and the songs seem too long as well. But would I like to see them live? Yeah.
NOTES & MINUTAE: They had a self-released album in 1994 which had some of the songs on this one and a Christmas album released in 1997.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: C+: Keeping a few, exiling others, and finding old time swing bands. Note, this is only half on Google Play and not on Spotify, but I think used CDs can be had quite cheaply if you are inclined.