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July 23, 2024

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Cherry Poppin' Daddies
Zoot Suit Riot (Mojo Records)

By: Alex Steininger

If there is a swing revival going on, Cherry Poppin' Daddies are one of the bands that deserve credit for starting it. Playing a fusion of jazz and swing since 1990, these guys are very talented. They can make even the stiffest person on the dance floor move and shake to their music. And after self-releasing their own material for the past seven years, they have finally accepted a record deal with Mojo Records, which should bring them a lot of the credibility and recognition they deserve. Their new album, Zoot Suit Riot, is a compilation of material off their three previous albums, as well as four brand new tracks! Fourteen songs that will fill your heart with love, get you swingin', and let you have the best time of your life.

The CD starts off the title track. Right from the get go, the horns will blow you away with their tremendous energy. Soon Steve's vocals will enter, setting you up for a great experience. The swingin' beats will get you to get up and grab your loved one, and just start swinging. The soft and elegant piano will add an extra step to your swing, with its delicate and beautiful touch. The percussion is fine and fancy, and adds that extra mile to the music. But the majestic horn section will emphasis everything throughout the song, and remind you why life is so beautiful. Another new track exclusive to this CD is "When I Change Your Mind," another 40's swing style song with a dash of the 90's added to discredit anyone who wants to call this "nostalgic" music. One again the horns will over power you and just fill your body full of love. After all, isn't happiness, love, and a good time what music is all about? "Mister White Keys" is a swing/jazz track off Cherry Poppin' Daddies second album, Rapid City Muscle Car. The piano is a dominant instrument in the song, which adds a lot of beauty and gentleness to the song. The lyrics are well written as well. The song is about "Mister White Keys," a guy who will do anything to make money, is very sleazy, and does anything to please himself, but won't help out anyone else. The music will get you dancing, while the lyrics will get you up and thinking about your priorities in life, others, and just life in general. "Dr. Bones" is a swing/jazz classic with a nice punk rock bite to it. The horns blare and kick off the song, and then the vocals enter and the song kicks into full gear. You'll be dancing to a vigorous pace, and having the time of your life. The sheer energy and power of the song will fill you to the bone with happiness and warm you to the core. The Cherry Poppin' Daddies' first underground hit song, "Drunk Daddy," is an in-your-face swing track that draws a lot on lead singer Steve Perry's punk rock influences. The song has sharp horns and catchy melodies sure to hook anyone who listens and make them a fan. The lyrics are brightly written and full of anger, energy, and hopefulness. Steve Perry has compassion for the members of society that get ignored, abused, and mistreated. He knows what life is all about, seeing many things throughout his life. Now onto the Cherry Poppin' Daddies theme song, "Cherry Poppin' Daddy Strut." A bouncy, swing track that will get dancing from the first beat, until the last tick of the song. "Shake Your Lovemaker" ends the CD with some more swing/jazz powerhouse beats that will make you glad you have heard of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies.

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies fusion of swing, jazz, and a slight punk rock element is a classic blend that will have you whistling and humming along after only one listen to this fabulous CD. If you haven't ran for the door to get this CD yet, don't wait any longer. Give these guys a year, and they will be the light at the end of everyone's tunnel, as well as the band everyone swings and has a good time too. A definite masterpiece, this deserves an A+.

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