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Swing revival band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy celebrates 20 years on the music scene by rounding out 2013 with their holiday album It Feels Like Christmas Time. The band was formed in Ventura, California back in 1989, playing in clubs and lounges in their early years. They found fame in the 1990s when they were signed with Capitol Records. They even played during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999. Some of their most popular singles include "Go Daddy-O," "You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)," and "Mr. Pinstripe Suit."
It feels Like Christmas Time, which will be released on October 22, is a lovely addition to their repertoire of '40s and '50s style jazz albums. Sometimes, it’s hard to get into holiday music because, let’s face it, we can all get a little sick of hearing the classics over and over again. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s new album, however, breathes new life into the over-played songs that we hear each holiday season.
The album as a whole has a wonderful mix of upbeat, jazzy swing numbers and more relaxed songs that you could kick your feet up and drink some hot cocoa to. All in all, there are 13 jazzy tracks to enjoy.
The first track, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," opens the album with a bang. The song is easily recognizable as the classic, but Big Bad Voodoo Daddy adds their own jazzy flares, and plenty of brass, to spice up the song. It was a great choice to begin the album, as it really gears the listener up to want to hear more. The jazz interlude in the middle made me feel like I was at one of those old swing clubs, and made me actually enjoy the old holiday classic for once.
Another fabulous track on the album is the fourth track, “Jingle Bells.” Now, before you start to tell me how cliché the song is, let me just say that Big Bad Voodoo Daddy took the original song and added some excellent new material to it. The song features a trio of women singing, which adds depth to the lines and hearkens back to the music of the '50s perfectly. I couldn’t get over the sassy “I love those J-I-N-G-L-E Bells” line which was used throughout the song. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to the original "Jingle Bells" again after hearing this version.
It Feels Like Christmas Time also features an original song, for which the album is named, which was smooth and beautiful, and reminded me of watching snow fall. The track “Christmas Is Starting Now” was upbeat and exciting, making me want to get up and dance along with it. “We Three Kings” had no vocals in it, and was a beautiful and relaxing track, very similar to the original but with just the right jazzy elements to it.
The only negative thing I have to say about the album as a whole is that the holiday classic songs were sometimes too much like the originals, just with some swing thrown in. However, the album was great overall and it is a worthy addition to anyone’s holiday music collection.