Squirrels' Nest Live
The Squirrels' Nest came together in July of 2010 at the world's largest gathering of hammered dulcimer players, the ODPC FunFest in Evart, Michigan. The Kaiser Family campsite was a popular gathering place for many to visit, wear silly hats, and play fiddle tunes on the hammered dulcimer and many more instruments.
Jim Rathbun, the "Jam Master", had a vision of bringing high-energy music into the jam sessions, having been inspired by the music from both the Portland Collection and Camp Carp's Carpilation!
This audio and visual experience caught the attention of many, including Dale Palecek of Roller Mills String Band, who added to the energy by giving the music a syncopated bluegrass tempo. Dale and Jim then teamed up in the center of the jams, putting a "bounce" to the most excellent music that was ever created by the Kaiser Family and their friends. And when the Mom Family walked into the jam one night, their fiddle section took off!
In 2012, the members of The Squirrels' Nest decided to break out of the nest and go on stage. In addition to jams, concerts, and baseball games, the Squirrels can be found at contra dances and other family friendly events. Their two CDs, Live from the Squirrels' Nest and Back to the Squirrels' Nest, feature original and traditional tunes, with contributions by Bing Futch, Matthew Dickerson and many others.