Cherry Poppin' Daddies

(Space Age Bachelor Pad 2008)Cherry Poppin\' Daddies - Susquehanna

During that wave in the early to mid-'90s, ska, swing and rockabilly bands experienced quite the popularity. The Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and even, to a certain degree, No Doubt were greasing up their hair and donning jackets and shirts with wide, pointy lapels and pencil skirts -- although not at the same time. But as with any trend, the hype surrounding the genre died sooner rather than later and many of those bands have been off and on ever since. The Cherry Poppin' Daddies, however, are back "on" with "Susquehanna," their first album in over eight years.

Latin and Caribbean flavors are just as strong on "Susquehanna" as any of swing or rockabilly. The steady strum of Spanish classical acoustic guitar partnered with castanets and hand claps deliver the slow and rhythmic tone of "Roseanne" that is ready to seduce with flamenco. That guitar sound remains, although to a much lesser extent, as horns flare amidst dramatic instrumentation for a more expected sound on "Bust Out" before the band take a short-lived reggae side trip while "The Mongoose and the Snake" offers a more sultry swing vibe.

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies return on "Susquehanna" with a fresh and fun sound that plays effortlessly. Hopping all over their musical influences, the band seems to pull in whatever strikes their fancy while still generally making it work. But admittedly, the Daddies seem to have lost a bit of their momentum over the years as they keep to what they know. With such a long hiatus since their last album, "Susquehanna" plays well to the band's reputation.