Big Bad Voodoo Daddy holiday shows for Tahoe
For lack of a better term, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is in the midst of its traditional holiday swing.
The group characterizes itself not as a neo- or retro-swing, but rather as the little big band that helped define lounge music for the 1990s. Nevertheless, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy did rise to prominence along with the swing revival of the past decade.
“We’re an alternative to retro,” bandleader Scotty Morris said in a press release. “We’re high-octane nitro jive – loud, wild, total edge. Back in the ’40s, swing was rock ‘n’ roll, the black juke joint music white guys heard and said, ‘This is swingin’. ‘ What we do is wild and swingin’, but it’s our own modern version of swing.”
Lately, that swingin’ sound has found a niche in places like Lake Tahoe for the holidays, with its good-time music an ideal match for the casinos and the holiday season.
“It definitely fits the holidays well,” trumpet player Glen “The Kid” Marhevka told Lake Tahoe Action on Tuesday.
A lot of my favorite Christmas albums are really swing- and jazz-influenced.”
The band has played a tour each holiday season since releasing “Everything You Want for Christmas” in 2004. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy usually embarks on Thanksgiving weekend and plays nonstop up until the week of Christmas. This year, the schedule takes the show to Harrah’s Lake Tahoe for Dec. 27-28, after Christmas but at the height of the holidays.
“The holiday show that we’ve been doing, we play our entire Christmas album for the most part,” Marhevka said.
While some of the tunes are traditional, the inspirations and arrangements might not be: Marhevka credited the likes of Lou Rawls, Louis Prima, Elvis Presley and Dean Martin as influences for its holiday music.
“I love the Nat King Cole stuff,” Marhevka added. “Our music’s just that sort of vibe.”
In addition to Tahoe, where Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has been playing for the past several years, the band recently helped open three casinos in Nevada: the Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, and the Red Rock Resort and Casino and Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, both in Las Vegas.
The confluence of the holidays and Lake Tahoe affords Big Bad Voodoo Daddy a rare opportunity on the road: the chance to go out and enjoy winter on the mountain.
“It’s something that we look forward to, going to Tahoe,” said Marhevka, a snowboarder. “You don’t get that everywhere, so you’ve got to take advantage sometimes.”
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 27-28
Where: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
Tickets: $37.50 plus tax
More information: (800) 786-8208