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Squirrel Nut Zippers- 20 Years of Hot, Hoodoo & Hell

Squirrel Nut Zippers
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Credit Squirrel Nut Zippers

A little more than 20 years ago, a band named after a popular peanut candy began stringing together a mixture of New Orleans Jazz, Calypso, and Swing … adding in their own whacky sense of humor.  The result was a breakthrough album called “HOT”.  The band was The Squirrel Nut Zippers from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The album produced a string of singles that were pioneered by college radio and MTV, most notably “Hell”, a Calypso that gleefully describes the Biblical inferno, and “Put A Lid On It”, a swingy Big Band crooner about heroin addiction.  

Two years ago, original member James “Jimbo” Mathus reformed the group in celebration of the 20th anniversary of “HOT”.   Re-releasing the album, and setting out on a support tour.  He stopped by Hawaii Public Radio to catch up with dj mr.nick on Bridging the Gap to discuss the band and play some unreleased material.

Squirrel Nut Zippers finish their 3-night residency at the Blue Note Hawaii on Saturday.  Tickets and information can be found here

Nick Yee’s passion for music developed at an early age, as he collected jazz and rock records pulled from dusty locations while growing up in both Southern California and Honolulu. In college he started DJing around Honolulu, playing Jazz and Bossa Nova sets at various lounges and clubs under the name dj mr.nick. He started to incorporate Downtempo, House and Breaks into his sets as his popularity grew, eventually getting DJ residences at different Chinatown locations. To this day, he is a fixture in the Honolulu underground club scene, where his live sets are famous for being able to link musical and cultural boundaries, starting mellow and building the audience into a frenzy while steering free of mainstream clichés.
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