When The Squirrel Nut Zippers Recorded their last album, the band reunited with Hot and Perennial Favorites producer Mike Napolitano at Kingsway Studios in New Orleans. The new line-up featured the amazing Reese Gray (piano).
Newcomer Reese Gray, only 21 years old, first heard the Zippers when he was 14, and resolved that he would learn to play "Ragtime Piano" in the style of Fats Waller and Earl Hines. He picked it up, one key at a time, and spent his teenage years roaming around clubs and piano bars in the South. He played for nearly two years in New Orleans, and by the time he was 20 Reese was performing in Chapel Hill, NC unaware that Zippers even lived nearby.
When Jimbo Mathus and Stu Cole spotted Reese Gray playing his weekly gig in a local restaurant, they were blown away, and invited "the kid" to join the band. "He's got it, man," says Mathus. "It's really difficult to play that way. 'The Stride' style has your left hand dive-bombing on the low octaves and your right hand filling in the rest. He's great, and so young, we're lucky to get him."
This is the same way A.P.B. Records feels about Reese Gray. A.P.B. Records recently signed Reese Gray and his Sideways Alley Jazz Band to a record deal and a live recording is to be released soon as an interactive enhanced CD/CD-ROM. Recorded over three nights at Henry's Bistro in Chapel Hill, NC the CD features six normal audio tracks and the CD-ROM part includes 20+ MP3s, several Music Videos and Photos.