Reviewed by Art Garrison
They’ve issued 11 albums, performed at a Super Bowl halftime show and been together for 24 years … and on Saturday, Sept. 16, they were in Homer. The members of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, resplendent in their 1940s garb, took the stage at the Center for the Arts in Homer with a concert that had some dancing in the aisles. The band was promoting its 11th album, named Louie, Louie, Louie for the three artists whose music is featured: Louis Jordan, Louis Prima and, of course, Louis Armstrong.
With a lineup full of original band members on stage, the group mixed in its own hits, such as Mr. Pin Striped Suit, and delighted the young and old in the audience with its version of Prima’s I Want to Be Like You from Disney’s The Jungle Book.
The Center for the Arts, a converted church, was sold out for the performance, with the crowd lined up more than two hours in advance of the band taking the stage for the general admission seating. (Note: Once admitted, concert attendees at the center can “reserve” their seats using “post-it” notes, then seek refreshments or wander the streets of quaint Homer until concert time.)
The intimate setting gave everyone in attendance a great view, including those on the old church pews in the balcony, but the lack of air conditioning was felt as the night wore on. Space to dance as limited, but some enthusiasts took to the aisle to break out their swing dance moves.
The talented musicians, particularly Glen “The Kid” Marheva on trumpet and Karl Hunter on saxophone and clarinet, were featured as much as lead singer Scotty Morris. The sound system could have balanced the mix better — the lead singer was sometimes buried under the instrumentals — but the high-energy performance made up for any of the sound system’s short comings.
If you have a chance to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy perform, don’t miss it. You’ll find yourself singing along with “Go Daddy Go” and looking for a spot to get up and jive.