What gives,Voodoo Daddy? | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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What gives,Voodoo Daddy?

With dudes in duds like these, it's clear to see, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is the bee's knees Saturday at Harrah's Lake Tahoe.
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Don the glad rags.

The ripe tomatoes and maybe some bug-eyed Betties will join the swell fellas and high hats when floorflushers fill the South Shore Room Saturday.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is hitting the stage, and they’re the bee’s knees.



In this day and age, a jazzy swing band that has had mainstream success is about as rare as a cat with real scratch getting a wiggle on over at the penny slots. That is unless, they are the Real McCoy.

“We’re all great friends who are really committed to what we are doing and we have fun doing it,” said trumpet-blower Glen “the Kid” Marhevka. “That’s the key because it’s not easy to keep a group together, especially a large group.”



The band started as a duo with singer Scotty Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren but quickly started stacking up members like brown-plaid cups at the table of a fully comped, word-slinger. A band playing swing music from the 1940s and ’50s, needed a horn section, and four were added, along with Dirk Shumaker on double bass and Joshua Levy on piano. The septet has been intact since 1997,

The band’s name came from blues guitarist Albert Collins, who described Morris when he autographed a poster after a gig. The break came at the Derby, a Los Angeles nightclub the group played Wednesday nights and was frequented by movie directors and producers.

The suits were keen on the boys, who first hit the big screen in a film called “Swingers.” Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has appeared in numerous films since, and the members all make their home in Southern California, mostly Ventura.

The band also appeared at the big game, playing at halftime of the 1999 Super Bowl.

Its most recognizable hits are “Go Daddy-O,” “Mr. Pinstripe Suit” and the hard-boiled “You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby).”

It has eight albums, the most recent 2009’s “How Big Can You Get,” a tribute to Cab Calloway on the 100th anniversary of the band leader’s birth.

But the high-energy band is best enjoyed live.

“Everybody in the horn section gets to solo quite a bit,” Marhevka said. “One of the great things about our band is that it’s real horn heavy. Everybody gets featured throughout the night a lot of solos.”

Another copacetic thing, he said, is its enduring popularity. It plays 100 to 150 shows a year.

“We play a lot of jazz festivals, rock and folk,” he said. “Over the years we’ve played with every type of musical act you can imagine. That’s one of the unique things about Big Bad Voodoo Daddy; we’re able to play with almost anybody and we fit into all types of genres and styles.”


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