The Cherry Poppin' Daddies don't need no Zoot Suits.It's been 10 years since the Cherry Poppin' Daddies blew up the charts with their hit "Zoot Suit Riot," and the band's front man, Steve Perry (make your Journey joke here) says he's been in recovery from the mega stardom ever since.
That said, the Eugene-based eight-piece band that hit it big with its swing hit hasn't disappeared and actually has released a surprisingly well-done record. Perry, who wrote all the music on the Daddies' new record, Susquehanna, an album he also produced, is strikingly honest and delightfully hilarious in his take on his band's history and current state.
"If we were a planet, we were out past Pluto and coming back toward the sun," Perry says of the band's journey from household name to near obscurity.
When the Daddies play at Summerfest this weekend, there will be some people there solely to hear "Zoot Suit Riot" before heading back to the car as well as a contingent of zoot-suited folks looking to get their fill of swing dancing, but Perry says that's not who the band is looking to please when they hit the stage.
"If you're sitting there for an hour and a half, you don't want to hear 'Zoot Suit Riot' 30 times. People think they do, but they really don't. That's why we have breaks where the style changes and it's a welcomed change," Perry says.
This stylistic diversity is heard on the 13 tracks of Susquehanna, few of which feature the big band flair that brought the Daddies fame. "Bust Out" is a sweeping genre buster that includes orchestral elements combined with modern pop rock, while a tune like "Hi and Lo" showcases the ska/punk backbone on which the band was built on the University of Oregon campus in the early 1990s.
But yes, they will almost certainly play "Zoot Suit Riot" on Saturday - which could be all you wanted to know in the first place. - Mike Bookey
Cherry Poppin' Daddies at Summer Fest
8:30pm Saturday, July 12. Downtown Bend.