In celebration of the bands 20th year in the music business, Eugene, Oregon’s horn-heavy, genre-bending, multi-platinum-selling Cherry Poppin’ Daddies are giving store shelves a double shot of musical goodness in September: both “Susquehanna” and “Skaboy JFK: the Skankin’ hits of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies” are scheduled for release on September 29, 2009, on Rock Ridge Music/Space Age Bachelor Pad Records. “Susquehanna” will finally receive its national release, as it was previously only available on the band’s website, while “Skaboy JFK” is a compilation of new ska tracks with older Cherry Poppin’ Daddies ska songs (some of which have been re-recorded) in a collection that comes off like a classic of the genre.
Says CPD band leader Steve Perry: “We are excited to be working with Rock Ridge Music on the release of ‘Skaboy JFK,’ because we have had a previous successful working relationship with their CEO Tom Derr, while we were both at Universal Records. Rock Ridge has done a great job promoting and distributing Reel Big Fish records (our ex label mates) and this record is directed at some of the same markets, so it’s a perfect fit for us. We also made a deal to have Rock Ridge distribute and promote our 2008 recording, ‘Susquehanna,’ which had previously not received distribution outside of our web site. This is our coming-out party after a bit of a self-imposed hiatus, and we are happy to be with a company with such great industry bona fides.”
“As has been done by Steve and CPD, Rock Ridge again sees the opportunity to break some ground, break some rules, and break into dance,” says Rock Ridge Music CEO Tom Derr about the upcoming Cherry Poppin’ Daddies releases.
“Susquehanna” brings together the Daddies West Coast retro style and Latin influences: Flamenco, Greaser Rock, Swing, Ska, Glam, and Soca to name a few. The album is an experiment in narrative storytelling through shifting genres. “I wanted each song to come across as a chapter in a modernist novel,” Perry says of the record, “like James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses,’ where the literary style/genre that each chapter is written in is radically different. So it’s a pop album, disjointed, and maybe even jarring, in style and structure, but it’s thematically coherent.”
Like their 1998 multi-platinum smash “Zoot Suit Riot: the Swingin’ hits of…,” the new album, “Skaboy JFK: the Skankin’ Hits of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies,” will emphasize a single genre, this time the 60’s era up-tempo form of pre-reggae Jamaican soul known as ska. “Skaboy” will combine four new recordings with tracks from the group’s earlier catalogue, reflecting all the waves and varieties of ska: Traditional/Bluebeat (“2:29,” “Soul Cadillac”), Two Tone (“Hammerblow,” “Skaboy JFK”), Third Wave (“Hi and Lo,” “Sockable Face Club”). There are even funky Fishbone-esque hybrids for good measure (“Slapstick”).
With “Skaboy” the Daddies plan to reconnect with a ska audience that is largely aware of the band as merely a swing band. “We toured with many of the iconic ska bands when we were coming up,” Perry says, “like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Fishbone, Reel Big Fish, The Specials, No Doubt, and Madness, but at that time, we were really touring behind ‘Zoot Suit Riot,’ so we didn’t play a ton of ska in our sets. Now we will.”
Speaking of sets, the band plans to tour in support of both albums, with tour dates to be announced soon.