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Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Concert Was a Swinging Good Time (Subscriber Content)


Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in Reno, Nevada, 2019. Image: Nick McCabe.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in Reno, Nevada, 2019. Image: Nick McCabe.

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Big Bad Voodoo Daddy swing, swang, swung into town Friday night and tore it up at The Nugget. It’s next to impossible to not have a good time when they are on stage. They brought their own high energy version of swing and jazz to the Celebrity Showroom Stage playing a 90 minute set of several classics as well as many of their own original numbers.

They started off with ‘Tarzan of Harlem’ from their 2009 album, The Music of Cab Calloway (thou not written by C.C.), followed by originals ‘Old McDonald, and ‘You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)’. By this time the dance floor had started to get populated, and it stayed that way all night.

BBVD has been together for 25 years with the same core group of members, hitting their stride in 1996 when some of their music was used in the musical comedy movie, Swingers. All these years of playing together has done nothing but make them tighter than a frog’s Zoot Suit. Their five-piece horn section is flawless in their execution of tight rhythmic harmonies, and everybody gets their turn out front soloing.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in Reno, Nevada, 2019. Image: Nick McCabe.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, banjoist (is that a word?) and frontman Scotty Morris was a natural bandleader, upfront cueing and conducting as the show rolled by. Kurt Sodergren (drums), Dirk Shumaker (bass), and Joshua Levy (piano) kept this jazz/swing machine rolling to the rhythm as if they were one with each other.

In these times when so much of what we are subjected to as music is computerized and processed to the extent that it hardly resembles anything that could be considered authentic music, it’s refreshing to hear a group like this kick out the tunes in such a beautiful, organic, and natural fashion. When you’re in the room with this band you can’t help but get caught up in the experience. I even saw my metal buddy Chuck’s head bopping up and down as he experienced swing for the first time.

Step out and get energized by listening to live music. Special thanks to locally owned and operated One Night Only Productions for bringing this show to town. 


  • Scotty Morris – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Percussion
  • Kurt Sodergren – Drums, Percussion
  • Dirk Shumaker – Bass, Vocals
  • Andy Rowley – Baritone Saxophone, Vocals
  • Glen “The Kid” Marhevka – Trumpet
  • Karl Hunter – Tenor, Alto and Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet, Vocals
  • Joshua Levy – Piano, Arranger
  • Alex Henderson – Trombone
  • Mitchell Cooper – Lead Trumpet


You should have been there.

Nick McCabe
Nick McCabe
Nick McCabe is a Reno-based photojournalist and musician. He’s been shooting concerts in the Reno-Tahoe area since 2006 and writing articles and reviews since 2012, as well as doing interviews on occasion. His musical education and playing experience goes back to 1967. He is a founding member of the Reno Tahoe Forte’ Awards, and he still plays music locally for enjoyment. First concert: Jimi Hendrix. Last concert: we’ll see.