Big Bad Voodoo Daddy roars into Thunder Valley

Scotty Morris - Click for more images

Scotty Morris – Click for more images

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy brought the roaring twenties and swing revival to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday, as the casino continues their countdown to 2013.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has been bringing the big band era music to the masses for over 20 years. Their music takes the listener back to the days of old, when gangsters weren’t quite as scary, and a flapper was a young and trending woman, not something found in a toilet. Some say those were the good ‘ole days.

Mixing their roaring twenties attitude and big horns, the band of all things swing, fuses together some of the most prolific sounds of swing, jazz and contemporary classics to create an original and exciting array of sounds that put the likes of Cab Calloway to shame, well almost. Nobody can put Calloway to shame.

Gotta love them horns!

Gotta love them horns!

Kicking off their set with “Come On With The ‘Come On’” and “Calloway Boogie,” they had the audience dancing in their seats from the start. That was a bit strange, because at most concerts fans would be standing up in the front row dancing. Apparently this was a more subdued and polite crowd.

Thunder Valley missed out on an opportunity to provide a dance floor for the many fans wanting to get up and boogie. While a number of people were dancing off to the side, the carpet just didn’t cut it.

Still in holiday mode, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy went on to play a few of their songs from their Christmas album including “Merry Christmas Baby” and “Mr. Heatmeiser.”

Andy Rowley (L) and Karl Hunter

Andy Rowley (L) and Karl Hunter


As the band started up with Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher,” lead singer Scotty Morris led the crowd through the ho-dee ho-dee ho’s and the Hi-dee hi-dee hi’s. During the song the audience jumped in at the appropriate times as well.

This was an extremely fun concert with a high energy band. While some people may never give Big Bad Voodoo Daddy a listen due to their roaring twenties label and swing sound, others are quickly realizing that this is a band that has a sound all its own, with some very catchy tunes.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

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Band members include Scotty Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Kurt Sodergren (drums and percussion), Dirk Shumaker (double bass and vocals), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet), Joshua Levy (piano and arranger), Anthony Bonsera Jr. (lead trumpet) and Alex Henderson (trombone).

You can catch these dapper fellows on The Tonight Show on Jan. 9, where they will perform “Why Me?”
Come On With The “Come On”
Calloway Boogie
Merry Christmas Baby
Mr. Heatmeiser
Mr. Pinstripe Suit
Hey Now
The Reefer Man
Minnie the Moocher
Diga Diga Do
Devil’s Dance
5-10-15 Times
We Three Kings
Zig Zaggity Woop Woop
You and Me & The Bottle Makes 3
I Wan’na Be Like You
Go Daddy O

Why Me?
So Long Farewell-Goodbye


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Jo Koy tears up Thunder Valley Casino

Jo Koy

Jo Koy

Comedian Jo Koy entertained a packed house at Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Holiday Pavilion on Friday with audience members rolling on the floor and crying from laughing so hard.

Jo Koy

Stephanie performing onstage for t-shirt

Prior to Koy coming out onstage, DJ John Magic entertained the crowd with some tunes. He asked several audience members onstage to dance and earn a prize. Audience member Stephanie was first up, as Magic told her that there are certain songs for certain dances, and that she had to dance in the style of the song that he played. As “Gangnam Style” started up, Stephanie did her best Gangnam Style dance, earning her a Jo Koy t-shirt.

Jo Koy

Tom performing onstage

Audience member Kara won Jo Koy’s Lights Out DVD and audience member Tom failed a couple of times, but finally won a t-shirt.

Following Magic was comedian James Ponce as he warmed up the crowd joking around about everything from pot smokers to his car’s “oh shit” handle.

As Koy took the stage, the crowd was on their feet welcoming the 41 year old to Thunder Valley as they clapped and cheered him on. Koy wanted to let everyone know that he he’s finally made the big time since he’s playing in a tent at an Indian casino.

The Chelsea Lately regular immediately went after the various nationalities in the audience, especially the Filipino community and his mother, who he’s friends with on Facebook. Every time a fan loads a picture of him with a drink in his hand on Facebook, his mom yells at him that he’s going to get roofied.

James Ponce

James Ponce

He continued on with a number of topics including how Mexicans can cook great Chinese food, as well as how women laugh so hard they cry and “pee” their pants.

Proving to the audience that he was more than just a comedian, Koy ended the show with several songs as he had audience members helping him out through the chorus.

This was a fantastic show with Koy bringing down the house with his off color and racially charged show. DJ John Magic and James Ponce were the perfect openers as Koy put on a fantastic show, bringing the house down with his off color and racially charged show.

Singing with Dummies

Terry Fator – Click for more images

America’s Got Talent winner Terry Fator and his cast of wooden characters took the stage Saturday night at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, complete with backing band and one mighty fine assistant.

Terry Fator is a ventriloquist with a twist, actually a couple of twists. Not only can the 47 year old command all things wooden, but he also has a knack for singing, and not just any singing, he can impersonate damn near any singer out there. From Dolly Parton to Lou Rawls he can belt it out just like the real thing.

Winston as the Phantom – Click for more images

Prior to the show the crowd was entertained by DJ Ben Harris and his exceptional dance moves. As he played a medley of songs, Harris was dancing from one end of the stage to the other.

Fator came out singing “Feeling Good,” to start the show as the mostly older crowd was clapping and cheering. Following up with “Phantom of the Opera,” Fator brought out Winston complete with his own phantom mask.

Winston called to Christine (the mighty fine assistant) saying he was her angel of music. That was up until she took his mask off and she ran off stage screaming.

Christine (the mighty fine nurse), Walter and Fator

As he continued, Winston informed him that he was auditioning for the Phantom of the Opera. Winston said he was qualified since he did win America’s Got Talent for Fator.

Walter T. Airedale came out singing Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.” Walter told everyone that he was running for president and was being attacked because people were saying he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. When Fator asked him if he had a birth certificate he said he sure does, and that was when a Home Depot receipt was shown on the big screen. Right away Fator said “So I see you got brass balls.” To which Walter replied, “Every President should have a pair.”

Audience member Rob with Fator

Fator was on fire as he continued with Duggie Scott Walker (an annoying neighbor), Wrex (the crash test dummy), Julius (the soul singer), Emma Taylor, Maynard Thompkins (an Elvis Presley impersonator who doesn’t know any Elvis songs), and Vikki the Cougar (a perpetual 49 year old who likes younger men).

Wrex – Click for more images

There was a touching moment as Fator explained how a young boy, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Fator’s show. The young boy passed away several weeks after meeting Fator. Fator regretted not playing a song he wrote called “Horses in Heaven.” Management decided that the song would not play well in Vegas, but since the boys visit Fator has put it back into his show. After playing “Horses in Heaven,” he informed everyone that the proceeds of the song goes towards Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

At one point Fator singled out a married couple Addie and Rob asking Rob to come up onstage. Placing a mask over his face Fator turned him into a human puppet and starting committing to his wife that he hates sports, and she can take control of the remote.

Winston came back out onstage and they closed the show with an extremely well done rendition of “It’s a Wonderful World.”

This was a great show and I would definitely go out of my way to see him again.  Since Fator is often compared to Jeff Dunham I  have to say while Dunham can be hilarious, he tends to be pretty racial and at times crude, where Fator’s show was good clean fun. Now that’s not to say Fator’s show at the Mirage in Las Vegas is clean, I wouldn’t know,  but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.


Thunder Valley – Nothing but Fluff(y)

Gabriel Iglesias

Gabriel Iglesias – Click for more images

Gabriel Iglesias (aka the Fluffy Guy) brought his Stand Up Revolution to Thunder Valley Casino ResortSaturday night, playing to a full house, for the second year in a row.

Prior to the show starting a music video of “Hey It’s fluffy“ played along with very funny warnings about no photos, recordings, go the bathroom before the show, and more.

The infamous Martin Moreno opened the show. Martin is the character in many of Iglesias’ jokes, one in particular where Iglesias yells Marteeeen as he pulls up to his house in a Volkswagen. Right away Moreno asked how many kids were in the audience knowing that Iglesias puts on a clean show, warning the parents that he was not Iglesias.

Martin Moreno

Martin Moreno – click for more images

True to his word Moreno dropped the F-bomb and many other colorful words throughout his routine, as did the rest of the outstanding lineup of comics including Alfred Robles, Shaun Lathum, and Rick Gutierrez. Each and every one leaving the audience wanting more.

The comics covered educational topics such as

–  How to get away with anything by claiming you were molested as a child

–  Child abuse vs. discipline

–  Astrology and what Scorpios are all about

Shaun Latham

Shaun Latham – click for more images


The thought that Iglesias had his job cut out for him, since he had so many great comics ahead of his performance, was dashed as soon as he made his way onstage like a rockstar.  A giant, fully lighted, Fluffy logo floated up into the air, as Igesias appeared underneath, walking out to center stage.

People were on the floor laughing as Iglesias stopped to catch his breath, complaining that that was the longest walk ever.

Iglesias went through various subjects including what would Siri sound like on a black iPhone vs. a white iPhone.

Alfred Robles

Alfred Robles – Click for more images

Iglesias identified a list of drinking songs for various ethnicities including white people who, according to Iglesias, have more songs than anybody, but one in particular is ““ “Sweet Home Alabama.” Moving on to black people he said black people claim they don’t have a drinking song, just as the theme song for Monday Night Football kicked in. He didn’t leave many groups out either, each causing the crowd to erupt in laughter, or yelling, depending on your ethnicity.

The majority of the show was new material. However, towards the end of the show Iglesias took requests and did a number of his old standup routines, causing the crowd to go crazy.

Rick Gutierrez

Rick Gutierrez – Click for more images

The place was packed from start to finish. At most concerts at least a quarter of the audience is filing out the door prior to the end of the show. While there were a few empty seats the majority of fans stayed until the end.

Catch Mr. Fluffy in the new movie Magic Mike that’s about a male stripper’s life! He made it very clear that he was not a stripper in the movie, but a DJ. He didn’t want

people referring to the strippers as Chunkendales!

Next week Foreigner comes to Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Summer Concert Series, followed by Steve Miller the next week!

Fluffy Puffs Up Thunder Valley

Sacramento Events

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The one and only Gabriel Iglesias, better known as Mr. Fluffy, performed at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort on Saturday night, entertaining well over 3,500 people with his hilarious mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects. I say well over 3,500 judging by the overflow in the parking lot next to Thunder Valley’s outdoor amphitheater.

Just prior to his performance, Iglesias had over 10 chocolate cakes delivered by fans to his dressing room. He said he performed a routine around seven years ago about a chocolate cake, and to this day fans are still delivering cakes to his performances. The record is 27 cakes at one event. Why do people bring him cakes from a joke made seven years ago? Iglesias said it’s all because of reruns.

As Iglesias took the stage, he told the crowd he was checking his tweets. He found out there was an 11-year-old with his family in the parking lot listening to his show. He apologized in advance for any foul language he may use. For the most part, it was a refreshingly good, clean show with very few offensive words. The four opening acts were Martin Moreno, Alfred Robles, Rick Gutierrez and Noe Gonzalez, and they were a bit more offensive.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed Iglesias’ ability to joke about the local area, including taking jabs at competing casino Cache Creek and joking about Chipotle in downtown Sacramento, where he ate earlier in the day.

This was a fun show with new material that Iglesias is trying out for an upcoming DVD. Even though the audience was falling on the floor laughing, some audience members were chanting for some of his older material. Being the gracious man he is, he did one more new routine and ended the evening with several routines from the past, starting with his Krispy Kreme joke, which had the audience cheering. When he did the Volkswagen routine, the audience started telling the joke in unison with Iglesias.

Normally the bars are hopping, but the audience was completely caught up in Iglesias’ routine and remained in their seats the entire show. As he ended the evening he was sure to tell the audience that he’s a gambling man and will be in the casino later on. He wanted to make sure that if anyone saw him gambling that he would be honored to have them come up say hi and take a picture with him.

I had a chance to talk to Iglesias prior to the show ““ my opportunity to ask Mr. Fluffy himself a hard-hitting journalistic type question.

“So what do you think about your new Xbox with Kinect?” Pretty lame question, but he loved it. He has the Zumba dancing game, and he’s been burning up some major calories. He did jokingly say that he was not about to go live with it.

Iglesias was in the fourth season of “Last Comic Standing” and won Comedy Central & Comcast Cable’s Comedy Special of the year in 2003. In 2004 and 2005 he was voted into the Top 25 of Comedy Central’s “Standup Showdown.”

He also has a brand new series on Comedy Central starting on Oct. 6th called “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution.” The show will feature stand-up routines from Iglesias and other comedians.

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