Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to swing by Stephens Auditorium for a holiday bash


Photo by Andy Rowley

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, a neo-swing band who have been performing together since 1989, are making a stop in Ames on their “Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party” train.

Gabby Lucas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Ames is in for a jumping pre-holiday treat. The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy “Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party” train is swinging by Stephens Auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday. 

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, whose name was given to them by legendary blues guitarist Albert Collins, are a jump-blues and swing-revival band from Ventura, California. They are fronted by lead vocalist and guitarist Scotty Morris, who founded the band with drummer Kurt Sodergren in 1989. Comprising of seven core members and two additional touring members, the group rose to prominence in the ’90s after appearing in the Jon Favreau film “Swingers.” This introduced them worldwide as a driving force in the decade’s neo-swing resurgence, where they particularly reminisced the big-band music of the mid-20th century. 

For fans of The Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Squirrel Nut Zippers or any other ’90s retro-upswing outfit, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy also hits the sweet spot, directly connecting the influences of jazz, blues and good-old-fashioned rock-and-roll. While rich cover songs of artists like Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Louis Jordan are prominently featured in their catalogue, the band’s original songs keep it real and authentically pay tribute to the old-school legacy of the ’40s and ’50s.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy pride themselves on their all-original lineup of band members and rigorous year-round touring schedule, each one being more jam-packed than the last. Despite the “Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party” train being a holiday-themed tour, the group aims to please by dishing out fan-favorites such as “You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3” and “Go Daddy-O” on top of a mix of classic and eclectic holiday tunes — arranged in true swing-revival fashion, of course. 

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy have been described as “built to perform live” due to their seasoned practice and devilish enthusiasm. Throughout their 25 years, 11 studio albums and thousands of live shows they’ve played, including the Superbowl XXXIII halftime show with Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan in 1999, the group remains armed at the ready to jump, jive and wail. 

Doors at Stephens Auditorium will open at 6 p.m., and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will take the stage at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $30 and are available at the Stephens box office, online at or by calling 800-745-3000.