Presented by the Thomasville Entertainment Foundation, this nine-member “little big band” brings its high-energy act to the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium Thursday, March 7 at 8 p.m.
The “Rattle Them Bones – 20th Anniversary Tour” celebrates beloved styles of music that have kept Americans dancing for decades. Incorporating swing, Dixieland and jump-blues, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy delivers original songs with vintage style and covers from the 1930s, '40s and '50s in a stage show full of mischief, genius, street smarts and fun.
"We have no interest in being pop stars, but we have an absolute love of American music and a strong desire to share that with people," band leader and founder Scotty Morris says.
Morris formed the group in 1993 with drummer Kurt Sodergren in their hometown of Ventura, California. From small beginnings, with gigs in clubs and lounges, BBVD rose in stature through the 1990s, leading a nationwide revival of swing bands—an upbeat counterpoint to the popularity of grunge.
The band built its career through relentless touring and an impressive output of CDs, including the platinum-selling "Americana Deluxe," followed by "This Beautiful Life," the New-Orleans-inspired "Save My Soul" and "Everything You Want For Christmas."
The band hit pop music superstardom when it played for an audience of millions during the 1999 Super Bowl halftime show. In 2006, BBVD performed during the Capital One Bowl.
Numerous TV appearances include "Dancing With The Stars," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late Night with Conan O'Brian" and "Last Call with Carson Daley."
Their music can be heard in countless films and TV programs such as "Swingers," "The Wild," "Despicable Me," "Family Guy," "Phineas and Ferb," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Ally McBeal." Olympic skaters and gymnasts such as 2004 gold medalist Carly Patterson have incorporated Big Bad’s music into their routines.
BBVD's latest CD, "Rattle Them Bones," follows their well-received 2009 tribute album called "How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway." According to singer-songwriter Morris, the new CD is a more expansive effort that draws from some unexpected cultural sources.
"The record tells us what it's going to be, and it was clear this time that we weren't going to be limited to a single decade or vibe," Morris says. "We feel like we left Cab and started thinking about Don Draper and Mark Twain, and along the way, some fascinating ideas emerged."
Exploring the landscape of musical Americana, "Rattle Them Bones" includes a bouncy, Gershwin-esque duet; fiery big-band instrumentals; a Twain-inspired song full of old New Orleans flavor; lush ballads; and covers such as Randy Newman’s “It’s Lonely at the Top.”
Although music by other composers has been featured on each of the band’s albums, BBVD has always focused on original music, producing a diverse collection of songs that embraces both past and present. While Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has sold millions of albums, the stage is where they truly shine. “We make records because we have to, but play live because we love to,” says Morris.
“The chemistry among the band members is what makes their live performances so exciting for the audience,” TEF Executive Director Janice Faircloth says. “This show is not to be missed!”
Along with Morris and Sodergren, the band members are Dirk Shumaker (double bass), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone), Glen Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (sax and clarinet), Joshua Levy (piano), Tony Bonsera (trumpet) and Alex “Crazy Legs” Henderson (trombone).
Tickets for this performance are still available and may be purchased by calling the TEF office at 229-226-7404 or visiting the website at TEFconcerts.com. Tickets also may be purchased at the Thomasville Visitors Center, 144 E. Jackson St., or by calling 229-226-8050.
Remaining concerts in TEF’s 75th season series are pianist Olga Kern on April 2, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on April 16.
TEF is a volunteer-led, non-profit organization founded in 1937. Its annual concert series features internationally celebrated artists and ensembles in the fields of opera, theater, dance, classical music, jazz and other forms of entertainment. Additionally, TEF provides scholarships for outstanding young musicians, educational outreach programs, and student tickets.