July 23, 2019 – Dancing on the lawn will be in order when the Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Earls of Newtown bring their retro-modern take on folk and jazz to the historic North Star House on Thursday, August 1 as part of The Center for the Arts OnTheGo Series.
The Squirrel Nut Zippers began their musical journey in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the mid 1990’s, as a musician’s escape from the cookie cutter world of modern rock radio at the time. Jimbo Mathus along with drummer/percussionist Chris Phillips formed the band as a casual musical foray among friends and family in the area. It wasn’t long before the band’s quirky mix of Jazz chords, Folk music, and Punk Rock leanings spread out of the region and attracted a national audience.
Between 1995-2000 the Squirrel Nut Zippers sold over three million albums. Their watershed album, Hot (1996) was recorded in the heat of New Orleans, fueled by a smoldering mix of booze and a youthful hunger to unlock the secrets of old world jazz. This passion mixed with Klezmer, Blues, Americana and random bits of contemporary music became the band’s signature style. At the time, there were few other bands inhabiting this space. The album would eventually break free of any “jazz” stereotypes and land on commercial radio, taking the band to remarkable heights for what was essentially an anti-establishment sound.
The band has emerged from a lengthy recording hiatus, reinvigorated, reinvested, and rejuvenated. “It’s not a reunion, it’s a revival” has been the battle cry for Mathus since reforming the group in 2016. With an all-star cast of New Orleans musicians, the band breathed new life in to the old material, and inspired Mathus to return to the studio to reignite the band’s unique, enigmatic sound. The result, is the first Squirrel Nut Zippers studio album in eighteen years titled Beasts of Burgundy.
The album heralds the band’s mission whilst having a fresh objective of its own; A hand tailored thrift store suit of songs, stitched into one complete body of material. This album weaves together true stories from New Orleans past, along with rollicking barnstormers full of all the usual twists and turns that are the hallmark of the Squirrel NutZippers sound.
Opening the show is Northern California powerhouse Americana band Earles of Newtown. The nine-piece band has been shaking dance floors all over California, including recent gigs in San Francisco Bay Area, Reno and Tahoe building a solid west coast following crafting their tight arrangements of infectious original music around early era Harlem, New Orleans, Hot Jazz and Western Swing creating a sound all its own.
Earles of Newtown received the “Best Live Band of 2014 Award” from the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce in Northern California. Notable performances include opening for Dr. John and Allen Toussaint as well as March Fourth Marching Band. The Sacramento Bee says “…one of the gems of the gold country music scene, jazz collective Earles of Newtown peddles perfectly junky juke joint jazz – the kind you’d find in hidden back alley clubs in New Orleans that still require a password and sling a mean mint julep.”
Tickets are on sale now. The historic North Star House with its spacious grounds and formal gardens offer an ideal setting for a concert under the stars. Treats and BBQ will be available for sale. For ticket information visit www.thecenterforthearts.org.
Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary, visual art and family programming. Typically, the Center presents more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center is currently underway in a major renovation of its multi-use 21,000 square foot facility in downtown Grass Valley. After the renovation, the Center will have a 490 seat main theater, a large visual art gallery, classroom space, and a 90-seat black box theater. For more information about the renovation, please reach out to The Center’s Executive Director, Amber Jo Manuel.
WHO: The Center for the Arts OnTheGo Presents
Presented in Partnership with North Star Historic Conservancy
WHAT: Squirrel Nut Zippers
Opening: Earles of Newtown
WHEN: Thursday, August 1st 7:30 PM
Doors open at 6:00PM
WHERE: North Star House, 12075 Auburn Rd. Grass Valley, CA 95949
TICKETS: Premium Seats: $40 members / $45 general public
Lawn: $30 members / $35 general public
Tickets at www.thecenterforthearts.org
The Center for the Arts Box Office, temporarily located at 998 Plaza Drive in Grass Valley, or by calling 530-274-8384
BriarPatch Food Coop: 530-272-5333