Neo-swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy first found fame in the ‘90s during the long-overdue Louis Prima revival that suddenly brought swing bands from coast to coast to greater prominence. But Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was always among the best of the lot with a really tight band that could jump, jive and wail just like their many musical heroes.
Those heroes include the three snapshot Louis that stand as hugely important figures in the development of jazz, swing and jump blues that helped fuel the rock ‘n’ roll revolution in the 1950s. Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, and Louis Jordan are these men, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are devoting their new album, Louie, Louie, Louie, to paying tribute to them. The real key figure connecting these three is Prima, who has been woefully underappreciated for his crucial role in popular music. Prima was born in New Orleans like Armstrong and played traditional NOLA jazz in his early years before embracing swing in the ‘30s and ‘40s by leading a big band. In the ‘50s, Prima absorbed influence from Jordan and began rocking the house in Vegas with his crack, small band featuring Sam Butera and Keely Smith. It’s in that jump blues sound that one hears clearly a progenitor of rock ‘n’ roll.
But at the end of the day, no matter what you call it, this music swings. And hey, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. Hear Big Bad Voodoo Daddy shake up the dancefloor with the Armstrong classic “Dinah”.
The band’s Scotty Morris says, “From the moment we decided to make Louie, Louie, Louie, I knew we had to record Dinah! Its one of those songs that has always felt like a snapshot of a moment in time, and after doing some research on the tune, it turns out it has a little history as well, It’s one of the first popular tunes to have a scat vocal in it. Improvisation was something that all the musicians had been doing on their instruments until Louis Armstrong did it with his vocal. Dinah is the perfect time machine to open this new record.”
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s new album Louie, Louie, Louie releases 16 June 2017.