Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Space Age Bachelor Pad Records are proud to announce the July 16th release of White Teeth, Black Thoughts, the new album from the Eugene, OR based band. The album marks CPD’s first jazz and swing-powered outing in more than a decade, and affirms founder and frontman Steve Perry’s standing as a songwriter, bandleader, and bomb thrower of the first order. A deluxe edition of White Teeth, Black Thoughts includes a bonus disk of material just as jubilant as the first, and features guest appearances from legendary musicians Buckwheat Zydeco and Zoot Horn Rollo (Captain Beefheart).
Despite scoring a 2x RIAA platinum certified smash with 1999’s cutting “Zoot Suit Riot,” Perry and the Daddies never made another swing record, choosing instead to try their hand at Motown soul, R&B, psychedelia, funk, and country, not to mention Latin, Caribbean, and other world music. “‘Zoot Suit Riot’ allowed us to continue to do our art,” Perry says. “None of this would’ve been possible without it. I didn’t make a record like this new one then because I didn’t want to. A lot of the other bands did and that’s what I didn’t like. It was so orthodox.”
That revolutionary spirit has impelled Cherry Poppin’ Daddies forward for nigh on two decades. The turn of the century saw the band taking a momentary hiatus but it’s been full steam ahead since their return to the fray. After touring hard behind 2009’s Skaboy JFK: The Skankin’ Hits of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the band – including founding members Dan Schmid (bass) and Dana Heitman (trumpet) as well as the full touring compliment – convened at Eugene’s Gung Ho Studios and set to work. The always-prolific Perry had something big in mind, a double album of songs penned as the Great Recession wreaked havoc upon the heartland, held together by swing’s timeless beat.
Though the initial concept was to simply “jam it all together,” it eventually became clear that Cherry Poppin’ Daddies had crafted two divergent song cycles. Total cohesion comes via Perry’s lyrical knack for vivid vignettes and telling moments, all in one way or another lighting upon an aspect of our national makeup. Where much of the contemporary swing scene is built around what he decrees as “dumb-ass clichés and b-movie ideas,”White Teeth, Black Thoughts dares to apply the form in an effort to scrutinize contemporary culture. Songs such as “Huffin’ Muggles,” an elegantly untamed tribute to Warholian transgression, adeptly carving out more detailed narratives and complex characterizations than usually found in popular music, let alone classic swing and jump blues. “The Babooch” – which bookends the two halves of White Teeth, Black Thoughts – is a Gatsby-esque tale of “the most American character, seduced by luxury but pricked by conscience.”
On the second disc of the deluxe version of White Teeth, Black Thoughts, Perry and the Daddies engage a slew of sonic styles spanning New Orleans swamp rock to hardcore hillbilly boogie. Raucous readings of The Barnyard Playboys’ “Flat Butts and Beer Guts” and “Subway Killer” – originally recorded by Perry’s own mid-’00s glam rock side project, White Hot Odyssey – sees CPD twisting psychobilly into their own skewed image.
The bonus recordings are further marked by guest appearances from founding CPD guitarist John Fohl (currently serving in Dr. John’s Lower 911), the legendary accordionist/bandleader Buckwheat Zydeco (“Tchoupitoulas Congregation”), and tellingly, Perry’s good friend and neighbor, Zoot Horn Rollo (#62 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time). The Magic Band guitarist’s iconic riffola on “Flat Butts & Beer Guts” accentuates Cherry Poppin’ Daddies’ place in the long continuum of cracked artists distorting and deconstructing the American songbook.
Steve Perry and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies have always held to the bohemian ideal, vagabond outsiders merrily pranking and poking at the mainstream. Contrary to the core, with White Teeth, Black Thoughts, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies have simultaneously cooked up an epic statement of scathing, thoughtful social critique that is – of course! – their most engaging album thus far.