The Squirrel Nut Zippers are finally returning to shore with the forthcoming release of their new album Lost At Sea. The album is the band’s first new release in nine years. Lost At Sea (Southern Broadcasting/MRI) also shares the distinction of being the band’s first ever live album as well.
Recorded live at Southpaw, in Brooklyn NY, the Squirrel Nut Zippers performed many of their greatest hits and strongest material for a standing room only audience. “Danny Diamond,” “Put A Lid On It,” “Bad Businessman,” “Blue Angel,” and many other Zipper classics make up the set. The band delivers energetic, sometimes loose, sometimes clairvoyant, but always spirited performances on Lost At Sea.
The title of the new release is very appropriate considering the bands unfortunate departure from public life in 2002 when the Disney cruise ship they were performing aboard hit a massive island of trash and was rendered unseaworthy.
The Squirrel Nut Zippers were forced into a dingy which was quickly swept away by ocean currents and deposited on a remote and uninhabited island. Surviving on coconuts and monkey scat they managed to stave off death until a location scout for the television reality show "Survivor" stumbled upon them and brought them back to the United States.
Rejuvenated by this mishap and with a new lust for life, the band returned to the road in 2007 with the core of their original line up intact: Jim "Jimbo" Mathus (vocals and guitar), Katharine Whalen (vocals, banjo, ukulele), Chris Phillips (drums, percussion), Je Widenhouse (Trumpet) and Stuart Cole (Bass).
“The crowds we’ve had at these shows since coming back have been nothing short of fantastic,” Phillips commented. “It’s been great to reconnect with our old fans and meet all of the ones who didn’t catch us the first time around. It’s truly been a heartwarming experience.”
The Squirrel Nut Zippers still rejoice at the difficulty people have in pigeonholing their unmistakable sound. A perpetually evolving, hybrid-stew of Southern roots traditions, the Zippers have been tagged with every label from “swing band,” to “hot jazz band” to even "’30s punk."
However the Zippers have always seen it differently of course. Flirting with a muse most concerned with ghosts, love gone wrong, fever-dreams, and the razor’s edge of sexual desire the Squirrel Nut Zippers “sound” is near impossible to pin down. Centered around the beguiling vocals of Katherine Whalen and the anachronistic windup toy that is Jimbo Mathus, the band both charm and confound. "I always felt like we were making short movies rather than songs," Phillips says.
As far as future plans go for the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Phillips is excited.
“Honestly, the band is getting along better than we ever did in the past and I believe the desire is there to try recording a new album for release in 2010.”