Best known for their hard stomping big band swing numbers like the
incredible "Zoot Suit Riot", The Cherry Poppin' Daddies
have gone underground for a number of years but have recently resurfaced
with a new release entitled Susquehanna. The album is filled
with the band's signature sounds, running the gamut from big band
to ska and even incorporating a touch of Southwestern swing. Album
opener "Bust Out" is filled with Spanish guitars and horns
and some of the finest dark, twangy guitar since the salad days of
Duane Eddy. The song has a pronounced Southwestern feel, but
breaks away for just a moment on the fun-loving bridge and incorporating
dub sounds into the mix. Who would have thought dub and Spanish styles
would mix with swing so well? "The Mongoose And The Snake"
is a more straightforward rockabilly affair, with gritty guitars and
swinging rhythms offset with hollered background vocals
more in line with the expected fare from the Daddies. The band then
breaks into ska for the energetic and grittily skanky "Hi And
Lo" before slowing things down on the highly melodic ska-swing
of "Blood Orange Sun." It takes a few songs to get to "White
Trash Toodle-oo" which finds the band into full swing mode, recalling
their high stepping days from the late 90's. The band then touches
on more straightforward rock, although very rhythmic and cool, and
then hits back to the Spanish feel on the weirdly swingy "Roseanne",
complete with fast strummed acoustics and castanets.
Best known for their part in the late 1990's swing revival, The Cherry
Poppin' Daddies were a principal player in that movement and held
on for as long as they could, slowly fading from the spotlight. Susquehanna,
the band's latest release, is a welcome revival for not only the swing/rockabilly
style for which they've been known for so long, but the music touches
on new styles, revealing a band that is ready to continue to grow
and change while keeping their core values on their collective sleeve.
While all the songs have the trademark Daddies' sound, the music spans
genres and touches on sounds that seem incompatible, but the Daddies
make things work just right. So swing it, get your skanking shoes
on and grab a copy of Susquehanna for the best time you've
probably had in years.
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