Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is that heart of the revival of big-band and swing, concentrated on the swinging days of the ’40s and ’50s, borrowing some of the Rat Pack lingo in addition to the zoot suits that cloaked each bandmate. Formed in Los Angeles in 1992, the group built up a following with regular gigs on the local lounge circuit, playing to Gen-Xers enamored with the kitschy charm of the cocktail nation. This burgeoning lounge scene was captured in the hit 1996 indie comedy film Swingers, which featured Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on the soundtrack as well as an onscreen cameo by the band. By the end of ’97, the band buzz was substantial, and they were signed to Capitol Records.
Capitol released the group’s major-label debut, Americana Deluxe, to great acclaim. This Beautiful Life followed one year later. By the time the band came together for a follow-up, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy had sold over three million albums, performed at Super Bowl XXXIII with Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan, and had their music used in over 60 film and TV trailers. The swing revival had considerably died down, however, thus returning Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to their original status as an underground band.
The group’s fifth album, Save My Soul, appeared in 2003, five years after their Interscope debut. Inspired by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Save My Soul found the band expanding its sound to include elements of the Big Easy’s jazz, swamp funk, and Cajun traditions. A live CD/DVD and holiday-themed album appeared in 2004. In 2009, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy released How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway, which found the band digging even deeper into a hardcore jazz and swing sound. The band stuck with the more swing- and jazz-oriented approach after signing with the Savoy Jazz label and releasing Rattle Them Bones in 2012. Their third collection of Christmas music, It Feels Like Christmas Time, appeared in the fall of 2013.