A few words from Tom Maxwell …
As a musician and songwriter, I have only ever tried to please myself and my colleagues. While the brief success that I enjoyed in the Squirrel Nut Zippers was gratifying, true validation was to come later.
I still hear from fans who have been touched by my music; who have incorporated it into their lives, as a soundtrack to triumph and tragedy. This is deeply moving. What could only be possibly better is hearing from musicians who cite me as inspiration. This is as much immortality as I can hope for!
To be clear, I have never considered myself an innovator of anything, unless one innovates through synthesis. I have always labored in an ancient vineyard. The Zippers internalized Calypso, Klezmer, and American vernacular music in all its wondrous forms: gospel, blues, cakewalks, string bands, country and jazz. I always valued that diversity.
It is an extraordinary pleasure to hear and perform with King Oliver’s Revolver. They get it, stylistically. Musical genres, to them, are so many dishes in a marvelous smorgasbord, and they avail themselves to the banquet. Most importantly, these forms are always in the service of their individual expression, and are thus emotionally and artistically authentic.
KOR generously claims my work as inspiration. To me, this means they view me in a long continuum of artists who create for the right reasons, and for that I give them thanks and a manly slap on the ass.