Courtesy of Harrah's Tahoe

Get ready for the swingin' sounds of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Saturday at Harrah's Tahoe.

Mel Shields: Lake Tahoe swings with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Published: Friday, May. 31, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 23TICKET
Last Modified: Friday, May. 31, 2013 - 6:42 am

Get your zoot suit pressed and slap on that fedora. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the band that helped jumpstart the neo-swing movement back when grunge and rap ruled MTV.

Others who revived that distinctly American sound may have gone by the wayside, but Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has been smart enough to establish itself not only as a group of recording artists but also as a top touring band, with its talent on display Saturday at Harrah's Tahoe.

Founder Scotty Morris has stuck to his primary vision, mixing original with classics songs, the latter reinterpreted and presented to audiences that have probably never heard tunes such as "Minnie the Moocher."

Brass is a big part of the live Voodoo experience.

Glen "The Kid" Marhevka joined the band in 1995, the first year it formed a horn section.

"They were looking for somebody who had seriously studied trumpet to form a core of good horn players," Marhevka said via telephone, waiting to play a club in Naperville, Ill.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is touring in support of the release of its new album, "Rattle Them Bones," a follow-up to its popular 2009 CD "How Big Can You Get? The Music of Cab Calloway."

"I can honestly say it's a great album," Marhevka said. "We just get better and better. There's a cover of 'Diga Diga Do, ' which is especially cool. The songs have got crazy horn arrangements."

There will most likely be several tunes from the new album during the Harrah's show, but "it changes every night," Marhevka said. "Scotty comes up with a set list just before we go on and it depends, of course, on the venue. We can adapt to just about everything.

"The cool thing is that after these years, I still enjoy playing these songs. Other bands get a mega-hit and play it endlessly. It would drive me crazy."

Marhevka got his nickname back when he first joined the band. He was 22 and the band was having a meal in San Luis Obispo.

"(It) was really sophisticated food, and I ordered hot dogs," Marhevka remembers. "Scotty said, 'You are The Kid, man,' and it stuck." (7:30 p.m.; $52.70; Ticketmaster.)

• Lake Tahoe this weekend also sees the area debut of country siren Gretchen Wilson, whose latest release "Right on Time and Under the Covers" is yet another confirmation of her tell-it-like-it-is, working-class ethos. Expect songs in line with her hits such as "Here to Party," "Work Hard, Play Harder," "All Jacked Up" and "I've Got Your Country Right Here."

In other words, no meek and mild little country gal, that Wilson. (9 p.m.; $56.50, $68.25; Ticketmaster or montbleuresort.com.)


CASINO GUIDE

Carson Valley Inn – Cabaret Lounge: After Dark, today-Saturday; George Pickard, Sunday-Wednesday; Chili Sauce, Thursday-June 8. (775) 782-9711.

Eldorado, Reno – Great El Dorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival, June 21-22. Showroom: "Menopause the Musical," Tuesdays-Sundays, through July 14. (800) 648-5966.

Harrah's Lake Tahoe – Eric Burdon and the Animals, June 8. (800) 427-7247.

Harrah's Reno – Sammy's Showroom: Biggest Little Sideshow, next Friday-Oct. 13. The Stage @ the Zone: DJ Viola Lala Mia, today-Saturday; Decoy, next Friday-June 8. (800) 427-7247.

Harveys, Lake Tahoe – Improv: Bob Zany, today-Sunday; Heath Hyche, Wednesday-June 9 Outdoor Arena: Steve Miller Band, June 22. (800) 427-8397.

Horizon, Lake Tahoe – Illusion Fusion starring Alex Ramon, Thursdays- Tuesdays. (775) 588-6211.

MontBleu Resort, Lake Tahoe – Outdoor Event Center: Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival, June 29. MontBleu Theatre: Gretchen Wilson, today; the Virgins, June 8. Blu Nightclub: Gift of Gab (Blackalicious) and Pigeon John, June 14; Long Beach Rehab, June 21. (888) 829-7630.

Silver Legacy, Reno – Spring Fever Revival Classic Car Show, today-Saturday. Grand Exposition Hall: Scott Weiland, June 8; Scotty McCreery, June 22. (800) 687-8733.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Mel Shields



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