For seven years, fans of retro swing have lamented the demise of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. In the '90s, the cheeky big band from North Carolina channeled '30s-styled hot music with an alt-rock edge. The group's mix of southern gothic, Dixieland instrumentation, and early-20th-century hedonism inspired five full-lengths before the Zippers played their last show in 2000.
But these revivalists couldn't stay buried for too long. Recently announcing a series of live shows, five of the group's eight founding members have dusted off their instruments -- and there are many, including banjo, bass, gongs, guitar, piano, pedal steel, sax, drums, cornet, violin, harp, and trombone.
The jazz ensemble plans to play nothing but the fans' favorites. If the shows generate enough heat, the Zippers will take their big-band grooves back into the studio.