| Headliner

Cherry Poppin' Daddies

Thursday, August 31 at 8 p.m.

The Northern Lights Theater 1721 W Canal Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53233
Price: $25/$20

Ever since they first formed some 25 years ago, the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies mission has been to follow its own muse, regardless of feedback from critics and fans alike. That individuality and defiance—always a part of the band’s DNA—have, in turn, reinforced its rebellious reputation and singular musical spirit.

Steve Perry, the band’s longtime leader/singer/songwriter says the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies mantra has never wavered, “The obstacle is the path.” And though the rebellious image is well deserved, their bending of musical boundaries has been tempered and by an adherence to an older, now vanished, musical tradition grounded in Tin Pan Alley, Swing and the great American songbook.

The band’s new opus, Please Return the Evening: The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies Salute the Music of the Rat Pack, taps into a tradition set by three of the hippest singers of all time, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., unique personalities that helped patent the concept of cool. Please Return the Evening offers up a superb set of standards that have come to epitomize the Rat Pack’s repertoire—songs like “Fly Me To The Moon,” and “I’m Going To Live Until I Die,” have a singular optimism that energized America at the dawn of the ’60s. The album was designed to challenge the Daddies’ craftsmanship; to do justice to the original magnificent, orchestral arrangements and recordings with an eight-piece band inside a small Eugene, Oregon recording studio.

The Daddies will also be performing songs from the album The Boop-A-Doo, the second of a planned trilogy of albums covering tunes designed to highlight some of the Daddies’ swing influences. The Boop-A-Doo covers a prohibition-era sound and songs that might have had their birth at the renowned Cotton Club. Tenor banjo-driven tunes like, “Let’s Misbehave,” “42nd Street,” and “Top Hat” showcase the band’s versatility and playing chops. Undoubtedly, the Daddies will once again set dance floors ablaze, and this time it just might be a manic Charleston or two.

Says Perry, “We knew tackling these eras in a legitimate fashion was going to be hard, but in the end it helped us to build muscles and understand our craft. It also shines a different light on our body of work and who we are as a band. We see ourselves as coming from a Swing, Jazz and Tin Pan Alley tradition that is almost an extinct lineage in music. We aspire to be worthy of carrying the torch, but we have always striven to create our own modern, iconoclastic version. Frankly, we feel the tradition we measure our efforts against offers the ultimate example of what modern music should be.... We’re really fascinated by that mid-century American can-do attitude.” That singular spirit; a combination of attitude, affability and desire to go all-in also makes the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies a fantastic band.