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Monday, June 6, 2016

Squirrel Nut Zippers to Reissue Hot, the LP that Blew Up the Band

Posted by on Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 5:58 PM

click to enlarge squirrel_nut_zippers_-_hot4.jpg
Saturday marked a big anniversary for a former local institution: on June 4, 1996, Chapel Hill's Squirrel Nut Zippers released Hot, the record that would propel them toward stardom with "Hell."

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the record, the band has announced that a remastered reissue will arrive on vinyl July 29. This version will include a previously unreleased song, "The Puffer." The track was written by Stacy Guess, the band's trumpet player who broke from the outfit shortly before the band recorded Hot in October 1995. It appears on the reissue as a tribute to the late trumpeter.

The band has also announced a string of tour dates with only two early members: Jimbo Mathus and drummer Chris Phillips. Tom Maxwell, the former Zipper who wrote "Hell," explained some of the reasoning for that in a piece he published on Medium in December titled "Squirrel Not Zippers."

You can read the full release about the reissue and listen to "The Puffer" below—we'll have more on the band and Hot in the coming weeks.


Newly Remastered Album To Be Released On Vinyl and Digitally
On July 29th

Includes Bonus Track “The Puffer”
Billboard.com Debuts The Track Here

June 6, 2016 – It was about 20 years ago when NPR’s Morning Edition said: “It’s not easy to categorize the music of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, except that it’s hot.”

2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Squirrel Nut Zippers most celebrated and commercially successful album Hot. Originally released in the summer of 1996, Hot was the follow up to the band’s critically acclaimed debut The Inevitable. By this time the group had already established a substantial live following across the country thanks to early support from NPR, college radio and non-commercial stations. Hot wound up selling over 1.3 million copies.

Pitchfork, which was in it’s second year of operation at the time, raved about Hot giving it a 9.5 and saying: “When you first splashdown into the CD, ya hit this realization: that people even older than your parents liked music like this. …Hot is exuberant, gin house swing without apologies and it rocks without pretense. If you can manage to resist liking it, you must be dead.”

A newly re-mastered version of the album along with a bonus track: “The Puffer” will return to stores on July 29th 2016 on Hollywood Records. Long out of print on vinyl, Hot will make its glorious return to wax on 180-gram vinyl.

A previously unreleased track “The Puffer” written by Squirrel Nut Zippers trumpet player the late Stacey Guess is included as a bonus track on the release.

“When I first fathomed and then formed the SNZ back in '91, it was out of necessity a string band,” commented leader Jimbo Mathus. “I didn't know any horn players until I was introduced to Stacy Guess who was a Chapel Hill, NC native and a trumpet player. He was very serious and knowledgeable about jazz music and he taught me to write and arrange horn charts. In those early days of 93-95 when the band was on a very steep learning curve, he and I rehearsed, conversed, and composed incessantly. The Puffer is one of our collaborations. The puffer was the nickname of an old steam train that still ran through town when Stacy was a small child. We tried to make the song evocative of those strange, sometimes frightening early memories of events that we all carry in us, in this case watching this huge panting, smoking heaving mechanical beast chug thru a small mill town.”

“The Puffer was originally set to be included on Hot,” drummer Chris Phillips added. “However, due to his personal issues at the time Guess never joined us for the recording of the album and the track sat on the shelf until Jimbo dug it up a few years later and finished it. Considering how much we loved Stacy, we thought it would be cool to finally give it a proper release.”

The Squirrel Nut Zippers recently announced their first set of tour dates since 2009. The band has now added many other shows to their upcoming 2016 touring plans including the Montreal Jazz Festival, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and the Strawberry Music Festival with many more still to be announced.

In honor of the 20th Anniversary the album, the bands visionary creator Jimbo Mathus, along with founding member and partner Chris Phillips (Drums), have crafted a brand new stage show including singer Ingrid Lucia of Flying Neutrino’s fame. Several leading musicians from New Orleans have also been enlisted to serve up the bands unique musical flavor which owes its roots to that city.

“It’s been a long road folks and the music lives on,” remarked drummer Chris Phillips. “We - all of us - thank all of you. This album and the success it found would not have been possible had it not been for the tireless and endlessly imaginative work of so many team members. This includes the folks at Mammoth Records, the many musicians who graced this album and the band, the amazing road crew, family and friends. Most of all, it would not have meant a thing without you our loyal fans.”
For the most up to date information on the band visit:


6/29/2016 Tucson, AZ Rialto
6/30/2016 Tempe, AZ Marquee
7/1/2016 Flagstaff, AZ Oprheum
7/2/2016 Las Vegas, NV The Downtown Grand
7/3/2016 Park City, UT Deer Valley Resort
7/9/2016 Montreal, QC Montreal Jazz Festival
7/30/2016 New Orleans, LA Tipitina’s
8/31/2016 San Diego, CA Belly Up Tavern
9/1/2016 Los Angeles, CA Teragram Ballroom
9/2/2016 Tuolumne, CA Strawberry Music Festival
9/3/2016 Sausalito, CA Sausalito Arts Festival
10/18/16 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
10/23/16 Black Mountain, NC LEAF Festival
11/11/16 Cape May, NJ Exit Zero Jazz Festival
11/12/16 Bergen, NJ Bergen Performing Arts Center

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