Originally scheduled to take place in early May, the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy show at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre had to be postponed — along with a handful of other BBVD dates — due to the illness of the lead singer. The postponed show is set to take place this Thursday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m.
For those who aren’t familiar with the name Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, relax: It’s a West Coast swing and jazz revival band, not some sort of black magic specialist. To Historic Holmes Theatre Executive Director Amy Stoller Stearns, this show is something to get excited — not frightened — about.
“Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is one of those bands that I’ve admired for years — from their performances on movie soundtracks to the Super Bowl and now to the Holmes,” Stearns said. “I just think it’s going to be a blast to hear them in our small venue and I know it will be a fun night in DL.”
After 26 years together, this band is showing no signs of slowing down. Since its formation in the early nineties in Ventura, California, the 7-piece band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has toured virtually nonstop, performing on average over 150 shows a year, and has produced a sizable catalog of recorded music, with sales of over 2 million albums to date.
The band was at the forefront of the 1990s swing revival, blending a vibrant fusion of the classic American sounds of jazz, swing, and dixieland, with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's first phase of stardom featured an appearance in the 1996 indie film “Swingers,” a movie that not only launched the careers of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, but introduced BBVD to an audience far beyond their Los Angeles base. The band's music has appeared in countless films and television shows since, including “The Wild,” “Despicable Me,” “Phineas & Ferb,” “Friends,” “Third Rock From The Sun,” “Ally McBeal” and “So You Think You Can Dance.: They have appeared live on “Dancing With The Stars,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a remarkable seven appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and the Super Bowl XXXIII Halftime Show. The band has also appeared as special guests with many of the country's most distinguished symphony orchestras, and has performed for three U.S. presidents.
And yet, in all that time, the band’s membership has stayed intact, with an all-original core line-up that includes Scotty Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Kurt Sodergren (drums), Dirk Shumaker (double bass and vocals), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen "The Kid" Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet) and Joshua Levy (piano and music arranger).
“It took the first couple of years to kind of get everybody together,” said Marhevka in a telephone interview prior to the band's originally scheduled show. “It’s been 25, 26 years for some of us, but we’re all still really good friends — we’re sort of a family after being together this much time. It’s a great group of people.”
Though the band first became known for doing its own, original music, over the years they have also covered some of jazz and swing’s most iconic musicians, including Louis Prima, Louis Jordan and Louis Armstrong (“Louie, Louie, Louie,” 2017); as well as Cab Calloway (“How Big Can You Get,” 2009).
“It’s fun to get people to check out some of our heroes’ music,” said Marhevka of the tribute albums. Most recently, however, the band has been working on a new album of original tunes.
“Nothing is set in stone at this point," Marhevka said, "but we’re definitely taking time in between our travels to start demoing out some new music — it’s mostly original stuff coming up.”
Those who haven’t heard their music before can expect to be entertained, he added. “I would say the band is pretty high energy,” he said. “The music is really fun and uplifting. We play classic American jazz and swing music and styles from the early 1900s, and I think we present it in a really great, fun, energetic way.”
Though all tickets for the original May 3 date will be honored, some tickets for Thursday night's show are still available at $30 for adults, $15 for students, and can be purchased at the Holmes Box Office, 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes; by phone at 218-844-7469; and online at www.dlccc.org/holmes-theatre.html. A limited number of tickets may also be available at the door the night of the show.