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May 23, 2014

The last time the Dead Squirrels were on the show, I was lamenting how difficult it was to carry on a conversation with a band that had barely played out and had no real lengthy history to discuss other than some demos they recorded on their iPads a few days earlier. It's amazing how much things change in a little over a year, isn't it? Since that time, they've headlined shows for Indy In-Tune including Podconcert IV and Monday Night Live, they've played shows for Shine (recordings which can be found in our mini-concert archive if you look), and they've practically become the house band at Eddy's Sports Pub in Fishers -- at least I say house band, mostly because I'm not sure I've ever seen any other band playing there. And to think, I knew them when they didn't even have a name yet and were still experimenting with their sound at the Claude and Annie's and American Legion open mic nights. Oh, and the crazy army of minions they call "squirrel nuts" have grown in volume too. I mean, not to Grateful Dead fanatical numbers, but still a pretty devout following for a couple of old guys who hadn't even written a song until about eighteen months ago.

I've often thought sophomore albums are the most important ones to listen to. Seriously, how many mainstream artists these days even have successful second albums? Certainly it creates a lot of pressure from sales and marketing people to do something that sounds like the first one. Meanwhile the artist, thingking they've paid their dues is looking to do something a little closer to their own sound, free from the influence of the label and AOR team. Then there are the fans always have their own preconeived notions, some wanting a repeat of an album they love, while others more in tune with the force behind the music are prepared to follow them on whatever journey the artist takes them on. The Squirrels, if anything, have toned down their ambitions just a bit (yes, Donnie has put down the electric violin, and even backed off on some of his effects pedals) in order to hone their their songwriting and bump up their production values. The end result is possibly the most memorable cover of the famous song from Disney's Frozen ever produced ... er ... no ... heck, just go buy the album, you won't regret it.

Links referenced in the show: