A throwback to the world of big band jazz and swing bands, the Squirrel Nut Zippers formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. The original line-up comprised Jim ‘Jimbo’ Mathus (vocals, guitar, trombone; ex-Metal Flake Mother), Katharine Whalen (North Carolina, USA; vocals/banjo), Ken Mosher (vocals, guitar, reeds), Don Raleigh (bass/gong), Chris Phillips (drums), Tom Maxwell (vocals, guitar, saxophone), and Stacy Guess (b. USA, d. March 1998; trumpet). Taking their name from a peanut-flavour confectionery manufacturer from Massachusetts, they began life in 1992 entertaining a wide range of audiences with their mix of swing, hot jazz and calypso. Their bookings included everything from nightclub sets to festivals, weddings, wine-tastings and even a fireman’s ball.

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