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The Cherry Poppin' Daddies have been around since 1989. The band currently has eight members, including two saxophonists and a trumpet player. You might remember them from the '90s when they brought swing music back for a little while. The band released their latest CD, Susquehanna, in February of this year.
The band mixes multiple genres in Susquehanna including flamenco, ska, reggae, big band, soca, etc. Overall, this is a CD full of fun music. There is something so original about their sound, even though it all seems like a throwback to big band music. The lead singer, Steve Perry, has an amazing voice. It has such a full sound and is so smooth, the listener can't help but be enthralled. It is so easy to just picture him in front of a big band and a group of new age flappers rockin' out.
The CD starts out with a heavily flamenco sounding "Bust Out." It's a great introduction and also a great outro since the last song is the same song in Spanish. The CD has a slightly horror feeling to it with spooky instrumentals and singing in a few songs, like "The Mongoose and the Snake." Each song tells its own story, sometimes about summer and of being a kid, like "Blood Orange Sun" (which includes a line about the Susquehanna river), or about the lo' times in one's life, like in "Hi and Lo." They each have a new and interesting idea.
Sometimes the lyrics are slightly immature and it seems like something is sung just so that a rhyme could be made. The word "diaper" is said repeatedly in "Wingtips." However, it doesn't really pull away from the humor of the album. The best song is "Breathe," which has some explicit lyrics, but really makes the listener feel like they really need to breathe. The mix of instruments and sounds in each song is different than what is out today. The band is great at making sounds from the past their own. "The Good Things" sounds like a song you might hear in the '60s or '70s, but it is fresh.
This CD is for someone who is looking for something different...someone who is sick of the same songs, with the same beat by rappers, or the same whiney story of heartbreak from a rocker. It's fresh and it's different and it's about time.