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The Cherry Poppin' Daddies
Susquehanna
Space Age Records
www.daddies.com


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… a bit 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.

-L. Keane

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