Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

The Cabot / Beverly, MA

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Contemporary swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy appeared at the Cabot decked to the nines in pinstripe suits and fedoras.

The group got into gear around track three for clear crowd favorite, “Jumpin’ Jack,” leading with heavy drums by Kurt Sodergren and a first taste of Glen Marhevka on the trumpet. The set was a mixture of newer and older tracks, including selections from 2012’s Rattle Them Bones and their self-titled 1998 album.

Although there were nine musicians crowded onto the stage (more than half of them on brass), not a single player even once seemed unnecessary. It’s clear that two decades after their start, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is a well-oiled machine, its members easily sidestepping each other as they rotated in and out of the spotlight.

With his comparatively quiet guitar and banjo strumming, frontman Scotty Morris was at times more conductor than anything, pulling the collective together to create a harmonious whole. Every instrument was allowed a moment to shine individually, including one truly wild solo on the upright bass by Dirk Shumaker and equally impressive turn on the piano by Joshua Levy.

Opened in 1920 as a former vaudeville and silent movie palace, the elegant Cabot was the perfect venue for a memorable performance.

—Leah Dearborn

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