I had never been to the historic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and was beyond excited to be visiting the venue as well as catching contemporary swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. My friend and I rushed up the stairs through the hallways with the screeching of horns, echoing off the walls. Each section has a tall, skinny lettered door that opens up into the main area of the venue. The rich colorful music hall has a three-story ceiling with a grand organ stretching up to the very top and below on the long stage, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy made themselves at home.
The nine-man band, all looking dapper in their pinstripe suits and hats, had a full audience packed in, ready for action. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy started the night out by setting the scene of New York City in the late 20’s and introduced the song “Reefer Man.” The music came with a sharp flow of constantly climbing up and down the scales on the various instruments. Lead singer and original band member, Scotty Morris conducted the band with ease and a smooth humor throughout the night. BBVD played a range of their music history by touching base on almost each of their nine studio records. With constant encouragement to have the crowd sing and clap along with the music, Scotty assured all, “It’ll make you feel good.”
It was fun to watch each band member dance around the stage, groovin’ with their instruments, delivering high energy throughout the show. Their earlier songs such as “Mr. Pinstripe Suit” from their self-titled debut album had a very heavy bass line with a stronger percussion. Their more recent songs such as “Let it Roll Again” and “Diga Diga Doo” had more pep. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy explained how they have two styles that they perform New York City and New Orleans both late ’20s and ’30s. They paid tribute to the city of New Orleans by playing “Save my Soul” a swanky, jazzy melody that had couples upstairs dancing in the aisles.
I couldn’t help notice but after every song, there was an introduction to the next song that was about to be performed. Each song had a little music lesson/history about how it came to be and why it was so special. It was great to not only hear great music but get to know the band on a more personal level. I’m accustomed to shows were the transitions are almost as cool as the songs they lead into so it was refreshing to have the band, stop to pay respects to each song.
The night ended with their popular hits, “You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three”and “Go Daddy O!” The room buzzed with excitement and delight especially with the various horn styles. Glen “The Kid” Marhevka on trumpet blew the audience away as did Andry Rowley on baritone saxophone and Karl Hunter on saxophone. With close enough seats, you could actually see the boys hearts and souls come blowing out of their instruments.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy sang, swayed and smiled the night away. The boys said, “What a honor to perform in such a beautiful theater built in 1877.” Big Bad Voodoo Daddy offers free music on their website as well as on their Facebook page. Closing the night with “So Long, Farewell, Goodbye”, the swingers thanked the crowd and left us all hoping for a return show next year.