Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cherry Poppin' Daddies get back in the swing

Cherry Poppin' Daddies have announced the July 16 release of its new album "White Teeth, Black Thoughts," which marks the Oregon band's first jazz and swing-powered outing in more than a decade. 

The deluxe edition includes a bonus disc of material and features guest appearances from Buckwheat Zydeco and Zoot Horn Rollo (Captain Beefheart). 

Despite the double platinum certified 1999 CD "Zoot Suit Riot," frontman Steve Perry and the Daddies never made another swing record, choosing instead to try their hand at Motown soul, R&B, psychedelia, funk, and country, not to mention Latin, Caribbean, and other world music.

"'Zoot Suit Riot' allowed us to continue to do our art," Perry says. "None of this would've been possible without it. I didn't make a record like this new one then because I didn't want to. A lot of the other bands did and that's what I didn't like. It was so orthodox."

That spirit has impelled Cherry Poppin' Daddies forward for nearly two decades. The turn of the century saw the band taking a momentary hiatus, but after touring behind 2009's "Skaboy JFK: The Skankin' Hits of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies," the band - including founding members Dan Schmid (bass) and Dana Heitman (trumpet) - created songs influenced by the Great Recession and held together by a swing beat.

Though the initial concept was to simply "jam it all together," Cherry Poppin' Daddies crafted two divergent song cycles. 

Where much of the contemporary swing scene is built around what Perry calls "clichés and b-movie ideas," the new album scrutinizes contemporary culture. 

On the second disc of the deluxe version, the band's styles span New Orleans swamp rock to hardcore hillbilly boogie. Raucous readings of The Barnyard Playboys' "Flat Butts and Beer Guts" and "Subway Killer" - originally recorded by Perry's own mid-'00s glam rock side project, White Hot Odyssey - sees CPD twisting psychobilly into their own skewed image.

The bonus recordings are further marked by guest appearances from founding CPD guitarist John Fohl (currently serving in Dr. John's Lower 911), Buckwheat Zydeco ("Tchoupitoulas Congregation"), and Zoot Horn Rollo (#62 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time). The Magic Band guitarist's iconic riffola on "Flat Butts & Beer Guts" accentuates Cherry Poppin' Daddies' place in the long continuum of cracked artists distorting and deconstructing the American songbook.

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