Swing revival band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy got in the Christmas spirit a little early this year. The Southern California-based band, featuring Scotty Morris, Joshua Levy, Kurt Sodergren, Dirk Shumaker, Glen “The Kid” Marhevka, Kurt Hunter and Andy Rowley, released their 10th studio album, “It Feels like Christmas Time” on Oct. 22. The band will perform at the “Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party” Tuesday night at the Birchmere.
“The weirdest part is recording Christmas music in the spring,” Marhevka said.
The band recorded the holiday album, which was produced by Morris and Levy, at East West and Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. It features 11 songs; two original tracks and nine traditional Christmas tunes with a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy twist.
“It Feels Like Christmas Time” comes just a year after “Rattle Them Bones,” a record celebrating the band’s 20th anniversary. That album reached No. 1 on the Jazz Album Chart on both iTunes and Amazon. The band spent much of the last year on their 20th anniversary tour.“I haven’t had time to sit down and take it in,” Marhevka said. “You’re just out touring and playing concerts and [doing] your thing and then you’ve done 20 years already.”
There won’t be much time to take it all in anytime soon, either. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy started playing holiday shows Dec. 1 and plans to tour until Dec. 22 before heading home for Christmas. Then they’ll be back out on the road for a few shows before the new year. They’ll play between 15 and 20 Christmas shows this month.
“It’s a little different as far as the window of opportunity,” Marhevka said. “You only have a couple of weeks to play the music live.”
Christmas classics audiences can expect to hear on the album and at Tuesday night’s concert include “Frosty the Snowman,” “All I want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth),” and a jazzy version of “We Three Kings,” a favorite of Marhevka.
“ ... That was a really fun one to do,” he said. “It’s stripped down. There are no vocals on it. It sounds very Christmas-like.”
The title track, written by Morris, features guest harmonies from vocal group She, Her and I. The second original song off the album is a favorite among fans. “Christmas is Starting Now,” is a song Big Bad Voodoo Daddy recorded for the Disney Channel show, “Phineas and Ferb.” The band sang the track, written by show creators Jeff Marsh and Dan Povenmire, for the “Phineas and Ferb” holiday special two years ago and chose to re-record it for the Christmas album.
“Christmas is Starting Now” made Marhevka popular with two very important fans; his children, ages 9 and 6.
“My kids were really into the show,” Marhevka said. “It was something we were constantly watching all the time at home ... I looked cool in my kids’ eyes.”
Once the band wraps its Christmas tour, Marhevka said the group hopes to take a little time off before getting to work on their next studio album.
“The plan is to recuperate a little bit and then I think we’re going to start working on another album together,” Marhevka said. “We’ve been talking about different ideas over the last couple of months.”
Since the band first got together in the early 1990s, the guys have spent a lot of time on the road.
“We’re gone a lot during the holidays,” Marhevka said. “I usually get home like a couple of days before Christmas.”
But as their families have started to grow, Marhevka said holiday traditions have become increasingly important.
“One of my best friends, the day after Christmas, we go out with both our families and take this picture with both of our daughters who are the same age,” Marhevka said. “At the same spot in this little town in Los Angeles and we have nine pictures now. It’s so cool to watch them grow.”