In Sparks, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy puts its spin on things

Tahoe Onstage

Concertgoers cut a rug in the Celebrity Showroom on Friday, March 15, with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks. The band is celebrating more than 25 years with the same players.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Shaun Astor

Not many bands have been together for more than 25 years and continue to play with all original members. But that testament to the longevity of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, noted by frontman Scotty Morris, seemed to add to the energy flowing Friday night from the band that filled the Celebrity Showroom inside the Nugget Resort Casino in Sparks.

The band’s performance was a refreshing throwback to an era when a group’s musical delivery invited the audience to step onto the dance floor and swing and step wildly to a mix of a tight nightclub band, complete with blistering horn solos, stand-up bass player Dirk Shumaker’s spinning mid-song antics, and a piano and drum interplay over Morris’ vocal delivery.

It was in no time that the empty floor in front of the stage became filled – Morris joking that with the carpeted dance surface the audience could literally come down and cut a rug – and the band played a mix of material including reworked hits from its most popular album, 1998’s “Americana Deluxe,” along with its fun swinging takes on songs from old jazz standards to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”

The Celebrity Showroom’s tiered jazz-club ambience added to the night where those present were treated to a more wholesome and fun night of music, where couples slow danced and spun each other in turns, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy seemed able to transport the Nugget back to an era where Northern Nevada really was the entertainment and cultural capital of the West.

To top the night off, the band finished its two-song encore, announcing that members would happily be coming back to the floor to meet with congertgoers. Twenty five years in, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy maintains the ability to put on a show that can get a room to its feet in no time.

To keep up with other One Night Only shows coming to Reno-Sparks, check out

— Shaun Astor


About Shaun Astor

Shaun Astor cites pop music singers and social deviants as being among his strongest influences. His vices include vegan baking, riding a bicycle unreasonable distances and fixating on places and ideas that make up the subject of the sentence, "But that’s impossible…" He splits his time between Reno and a hammock perched from ghost town building foundations. Check out his work at

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