Those nuts in the Squirrels' Nest (and why they produced these CDs)
Friends Dale Palecek (Wisconsin), Jim Rathbun (West Michigan) and Lynne Ellen Kaiser (Southeast Michigan) are part of a large group of musician friends who get together as often as they can to play as much music and make as much silliness as they possibly can.
This group of friends has evolved over time into the high-energy jam known as The Squirrels' Nest. Known for fast tempos, key changes, blinky hats, glow sticks, friendly open jams, and squirrels in various states of undress, they can be pretty hard to miss if you come into their vicinity at the Michigan music festivals. And at the Evart, Michigan ODPC FunFest, they pull out all the stops!
Back in 2013, Dale, Jim and Lynne Ellen began to brainstorm about how to raise funds for a music scholarship. The idea for a fundraising CD was born! "Live from the Squirrels' Nest" was a labor of love.... a love for our music friends and the magic we make when we get together... a love for nurturing young musicians and encouraging them to continue playing..... a love for the great people who come and listen to our jams.... and mostly a love for the great music we an all make when we just have fun together. All that came together in a CD that raised funds for helping others. That CD sold out by 2015.
In 2014, we recorded again, and in 2015, we produced "Back to the Squirrels' Nest", which featured even MORE high-energy tunes that captured some of the magic of The Nest. (Currently, there are still limited numbers of this CD available.)
In 2017, we came together and released a CD for a different reason. One of the musicians who played in Squirrels' Nest lost their home and place of business in a devastating fire. Squirrels' Nest members and musician friends donated cuts of music to a CD to raise funds to help our friend Nikki and her family begin to recover from this devastating loss. For more info on how to purchase this CD, "After the Fire", which feature cuts from some of the best dulcimer musicians in the country, please click on the CD Tab above.
This group of musician friends can't wait to play together at every occasion possible. We also look for chances to help others, whether that's helping mentor future players, encouraging beginners, spreading the love of this music, or simply sharing our joy in the music and friendship we've found.
So, next time you're at a Michigan music festival, look us up! Usually, we are kind of hard to miss. And, always, always remember -- YOU ARE WELCOME! ...Welcome to join us, welcome to play along, welcome to sit and listen, welcome to put on a blinky hat and join the party! It's always an OPEN jam, and we're always glad to see you! Now -- let's make some music!!!!