SQUEEZEBOX is a collaboration of three exceptional musicians with extensive performance backgrounds: Ted Lange, Mollie Busta, and Dave Burner. Based in NW Ohio, this live band specializes in multiple genres of music including polkas, waltzes, fox-trots, 2-steps, big band, swing, square dances, and figure dances. With over 60 years combined experience among the core members of the band, they're able to accommodate requests that bridge generations, nationalities, and musical styles. Their receptivity to audiences makes clear that their primary goal is to keep the masses happy, whether on or off the dance floor—and invariably they do!
With an eclectic play list featuring over 500 selections, and impressive vocal fluency in English, Czech, German, and Polish, they are able to adapt to any venue. The result, which is never lost in translation, is that everyone has loads of fun (or legrace, or Spaß, or zabawa, or shut up already and dance).
The core of SQUEEZEBOX first coalesced as a band in the late 1990's under the moniker "The Bratwurst Boys." The band included members from Grammy Nominated, "Toledo Polkamotion." As the band evolved and added new material to their ever-expanding repertoire, concern grew that their name might pigeon-hole them as a "polka only" band... thus Squeezebox was born. That said, don't for a moment delude yourself into thinking that Squeezebox has squeezed polkas out of their play list. They play polkas with the best of them, and love playing polkas. The band's name change was just a nod to the fact that their range of material has become as expansive as, well... a squeezebox!
Ted Lange - Accordion, Bass, Vocals, Band Manager
Ted Lange got his start in Polka Music at a very early age with his parents’ band, "The Buckeye Polka Band", a Polka/Variety Band in Northwest Ohio, and at age 5, started playing drums with them. His parents' band was quite popular in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, and performed nearly every weekend, and Ted enjoyed traveling with the band, and at that age, really enjoyed packing up the equipment. (GRIN) As he grew older and more experienced, he began filling in on accordion and drums with many of the local Northwest Ohio Polka bands including The Maumee Valley Polka Band, The Happy Times Polka Band, Bette's Polka Band, and The Polka Brats, to name a few.
Ted was also very active throughout his school years with numerous musical groups. He was a member of The Junior Choral Society of Northwest Ohio, a select treble ensemble of students ranging in age, from 5th grade to 9th grade. While a member of “JCS”, Ted and two classmates were selected to perform lead roles in “The Magic Flute”, with the New York City Metropolitan Opera with Renee’ Fleming as the female lead in the production. Also while a member of JCS, Ted had the honor to perform with the Bowling Green State University Chorus, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and attended the Interlochen Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. Additionally, Ted formed his first band in Junior High, performing for school concerts.
While in High School, Ted organized an Accapella contemporary Christian group named “The Unknown”. This group performed for school concerts, athletic events, corporate parties, youth camps and at many churches across Northwest Ohio. While in the high school marching band, Ted even played a halftime show featuring polka music, with Ted playing accordion along with the marching band.
He graduated from Archbold HS in 1994, and began playing accordion for Marv Herzog and the Bavarian Polka Band from Frankenmuth, MI from 1994-1995. While a member of the Marv Herzog Band, Ted took over the bandleader responsibilities and filled in for Marv while Marv took some time off due to illness, and continued performing at all the band’s commitments, keeping that “Herzog Sound” alive with his interpretation of Marv’s unique Cordovox playing and rich German vocals.
After Playing with Marv, Ted moved on to the Grammy Nominated Toledo PolkaMotion from 1995-2001, and recorded 6 albums with TPM. While a member of TPM, Ted appeared in the Warner Brothers movie entitled "Welcome to Collinwood", (2000), and appears on the movie soundtrack. He was also a recipient of the Great Lakes People's Choice Awards with TPM 4 times for Ethnic Musical Group of the Year.
After leaving TPM, Ted performed 2 years with previous Grammy Award Winner Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones, (Chicago, IL), and the following year joined another Grammy Nominated Polka Band, "John Gora and Gorale' " (Burlington Ontario, Canada). While a member of John Gora and Gorale', he was nominated for a Grammy award for his work on “Pangora’s Box” released by the band in 2004. Ted received his second Grammy nomination also with John Gora for his work on “Bulletproof Polkas” in 2007. In addition to performing with John Gora, Ted also performed with a Toledo based Polish Style band named "Change Of Pace from 2004 through 2006 and recorded 2 CD's with them. Lastly, in 2007, Ted performed and traveled with the award winning “Polka Family Band” from Bloomsburg, PA.
Most recently, Ted has kept busy by filling in with various bands across the US, and performing with his own band called “SQUEEZEBOX”. He currently performs over 100 dates a year in 20 states a year, covering all areas from the West Coast to East Coast and from Florida to Canada. In “SQUEEZEBOX”, Ted plays accordion, sings, and plays bass in addition to his duties as band manager. In his free time, Ted enjoys spending time with his 10 year old daughter, Alli, and relaxing at home on "off weekends."
Mollie Busta has loved music for as long as she can remember. Music always filled the Busta house between the Jim Busta Band (her father’s band) practices and recording sessions, her sister and Dad playing piano, her brother practicing drums, and the records that were played nearly non-stop. Mollie had the beat in her at a very early age. Her mother always says, “Mollie was dancing the polka before she could walk.” Before Mollie started school, she started plunking notes on the piano. And by time she was 8 years old she had enough music knowledge that her Dad put her on stage to chord along on the keyboard with the Jim Busta Band.
For the next 10 years, Mollie played several instruments both in the high school band and her dad’s band. She also composed songs for the piano (some compositions were award-winning), arranged songs for her high school choir and band, and arranged songs for the Jim Busta Band. In addition, she served as the student-director for her high school band both in rehearsals and in concerts. She also held roles in musicals at the Ye Olde Opera House in Spring Grove, Minnesota (her home-town). Her favorite role was “Maria” in the Sound of Music.
The summer Mollie graduated from high school, she joined Karl and the Country Dutchmen out of Trempeleau, Wisconsin, while still playing full-time with the Jim Busta Band and taking on any additional gigs as vocalists for ceremonies, receptions, etc.
Mollie received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music (trumpet and voice) from Luther College and a Master of Arts degree in instruction from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. While in school, she continued performing music of many genres in the jazz bands, the concert band, the orchestras, the choirs, and in the traveling polka bands on the weekend.
In 2007, Mollie relocated to Ohio and joined SQUEEZEBOX, formerly known as "The Bratwurst Boys." She continues playing and recording with SQUEEZEBOX, showcasing her versatility on several instruments, complimented by her talented vocals.
Beyond performing for various events with different ensembles, Mollie enjoys her “day-job” as a teacher. She has taught in schools (elementary though university level), in churches, and out of her own private music student. And in her free time, she enjoys dancing and traveling.
Since Mollie’s mid-teenager years, she has enjoyed performing with many bands; some of those include Jim Busta Band, Karl and the Country Dutchmen, Bruce Bradley Band, Gary and the Ridgeland Dutchmen, Music Connection, Brian and the Mississippi Valley Dutchmen, the Out-of-Town Czechs, Ray Dorschner and the Rainbow Valley Dutchmen, and SQUEEZEBOX.. In addition, Mollie has been a guest vocalist with award-winning bands, such as Toledo Polka Motion, John Gora and Gorale, Polka Family, Klancnik and Friends and Kevin Solecki.
Some of Mollie’s most note-worthy performances include: Iowa Governor Culver’s Inauguration Gala (Iowa City, IA, 2007), American Folk Arts Festival (Bangor, ME, 2006), “Big Joe Polka Show” (National RFD-TV program 2005-2007), Library of Congress (Washington, DC, 2002), Kennedy Center of Performing Arts (Washington, DC, 2002), Caribbean Cruise (2003), playing the role of “Maria” in the Sound of Music (Spring Grove, MN, 2003), “Polka Passion” (National PBS special, 2001), the President’s Palace in the Dominican Republic (2000), and Handel’s “Messiah” & Mozart’s “Requiem” soprano soloist (Decorah, IA, 2000).
Dave Burner - Drums, Vocals
Dave Burner was born on February 7, 1961 and grew up in the small town of Deshler, Ohio. Somewhere around the age of 6 or 7 he decided that he wanted to be a musician when he grew up and the instrument of choice was the drums. He began drum lessons in the 5th grade and enjoyed playing along to his Bachman Turner Overdrive albums and also to his parents’ Marv Herzog albums. Around the age of 14 he started playing a few songs with the Marv Herzog band when Marv’s band came to the Ohio area. At the age of 16, Dave’s music career started when he joined his first band. From there several years later at the age of 21, he went on to join the Marv Herzog band full time traveling the country and abroad. For about 13 of the next 20 years, Dave would be working with Marv and his band.
Dave also had the opportunity to play music and travel with the Polka Nuts band from Brighton, CO, the Walt Groller orchestra from Whitehall, PA and the Dave Slivinski band from Frankenmuth, MI. For the past 5 years, he has been working with Ted Lange when they were the Bratwurst Boys and now with Squeezebox. Through the years of playing music, Dave also had the privilege of recording numerous albums/discs with Marv Herzog, the Polka Nuts, Dave Slivinski and Squeezebox.
Other areas of musical interest include playing bass guitar and drums with the praise band at his church. Dave’s wife and children are also very musically inclined and they have their own family praise band that occasionally plays at churches in the Toledo, OH area.
Dave has lived in Toledo for the past 19 years with his wife Lynette. They have 3 children; Jessica, Nicholas and Keegan. Dave works as a Computer Systems Administrator for a medical device testing laboratory in Northwood, OH. His hobbies include vacationing with his family, recording music at home with the family band, watching movies and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Squeezebox - Squeeze Me
Contains 16 songs including 8 polkas, 2 waltzes, and 6 fox-trots/two steps/slow songs with vocals in English, German, Polish and Czech!
Squeeze Me, Praha Polka, You Can’t Be True Dear Waltz, Beyond the Sea, Tinker Polka, Top Of The World, I Feel Good All Over, At Last, My Dear Anna, True Love, L.O.V.E., Round and Round Polka, Apple Blossom Time, Life Together, Paper Roses, The Last Polka
Squeezebox - Freshly Squeezed
Contains 20 songs including 14 polkas, 2 waltzes, and 4 fox-trots/two steps with vocals in English, German, Polish and Czech! Something for Everyone!
Two People In Love, Our Mike Polka, I Wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart, Hopelessly Yours Waltz, Last Night, Young Widow (Polish Vocal), Till I Waltz Again with You, Out the Window, Whatever Made You Change Your Mind, Johnny Cash Medley, All I Ever Need is You, Du Waggle (German Vocal), Everybody Polka, Corn Cockle (Czech Vocal), San Antonio Rose, Hometown Polka, Because Your Blue Eyes Blink, At the Spring Waltz (Czech Vocal), Kramer's Polka, I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore
Ted Lange Discography:
- Freshly Squeezed ~ Squeezebox - 2009
- Polka Playin' Fool ~ John Gora & Gorale - 2009
- SQUEEZE ME ~ Squeezebox - 2007
- Bulletproof Polkas ~ John Gora & Gorale ~ 2007 **Grammy Nominated**
- Raising The Bar ~ Change Of Pace ~ 2006
- You'll Be Back ~ Change of Pace ~ 2004 ~
- Pangora's Box ~ John Gora & Gorale' ~ 2004 **Grammy nominated**
- Peggy's Pie Parlor ~ Ralph's World, Ralph Covert ~ 2003 ~ Guest Artist on Accordion
- I've Just Seen A Face ~ Ted Lange & Power Supply ~ 2003
- All Night Long ~ Toledo Polkamotion Compilation CD ~ 2003
- The Beat Goes On ~ Toledo Polkamotion ~ 2002
- Timeless ~ Toledo Polkamotion ~ 2001
- Just Playin’ Around ~ Jim Busta Band ~ 2000 ~ Guest Artist on Accordion
- Welcome To Collinwood ~ Movie ~ Warner Brothers ~ Toledo Polkamotion ~ 2000
- No Illusion ~ Toledo Polkamotion ~ 2000
- Holy Toledo Live ~ Toledo Polkamotion ~ 1997
- Blackjack ~ Toledo Polkamotion ~ 1996
- Lustige Musikanten in Frankenmuth, U.S.A. ~ (VHS) ~ Marv Herzog ~ 1995
Mollie Busta Discography:
- Freshly Squeezed ~ Squeezebox ~ 2008
- Polka Playin' Fool ~ John Gora & Gorale ~ 2008 ~ guest vocalist
- The Best of Polka Parade 2007 ~ 2008
- Wisconsin State Polka Festival vol. 3 ~ 2007 ~ tracks 1, 11
- Solecktive Sounds ~ Kevin Solecki ~ 2007 ~ tracks 3, 10, 17
- Squeeze Me ~ Squeezebox ~ 2007 ~
- Polka Passion ~ 2002 ~ GPN ~ tracks 2, 6, 9, 13
- Have a Jolly Mollie Christmas ~ Mollie Busta ~ 2001
- Come, Let Us Sing Joyfully to the Lord ~ Jim Busta Band ~ 2001
- Luther College Concert Band ~ 2001 ~ Dorian Festival Productions ~ tracks 5, 6, 7
- West Coast Tour 2001 ~ Luther College Nordic Choir ~ 2001 ~ Dorian Festival Product.
- Handel’s Messiah ~ Luther College ~ 2000 ~ Dorian Festival Product. ~ disc 1, track 18
- Just Playin’ Around ~ Jim Busta Band ~ 2000
- Boys Day Out ~ Karl and the Country Dutchmen ~ 1999
- A Song for Everyone ~ Mollie B ~ 1998
- Golly Gee… Mollie B. ~ Jim Busta Band ~ 1997
- Jim Busta with Family and Friends ~ Jim Busta Band ~ 1991
Dave Burner Discography:
Marv Herzog & The Bavarian Polka Band:
1) Marv Herzog Presents Daughter Rhonda (1983)
2) All About Love (1984)
3) It’s Party Time (1984)
4) Hall of Fame (1987)
5) Bavarian Flavored Country (1987)
6) Home on the Range (1991)
7) International Album (1991)
8) European Favorites (1993)
9) Most Requested Hits (1993)
10) Live at the 2002 Summer Music Fest (2003)
Marv Herzog & The Polka Nuts:
1) It’s A Small Word (1991)
Dave Slivinski Band:
1) My Way (2004)
1) Squeeze Me (2007)
2) Freshly Squeezed (2009)
On Friday October 16, 2009 , I had the pleasure of travelling to Windsor Ontario to see the first of 2 days of PolkaPalooza, the highlight of which was seeing Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra tape a PBS special that I am told will be aired this coming March or April. In 7 hours of pure polka fun, the other bands that I had the pleasure of seeing that day were Ted Lange & Squeezebox, Polka Family and Big Daddy (Marshall) Lackowski.
The first thing I must note is what a fantastic venue was chosen for this event and the PBS taping. The 5000 seat Colosseum at Caesar's Windsor must be one of the premier concert venues in Ontario and I can't remember the last place that had as good a sound system. It made the great sound produced by all the bands so much better.
Although there weren't 5000 people in the Colosseum at one time anyway (wish there were), people were already lined up for the show half an hour before the doors opened as you can see in the picture below.
The first band up was Squeezebox, an incredible 3-piece band with bandleader Ted Lange on the accordion, Mollie Busta playing a myriad of instruments including the saxophone, trumpet, keyboards and even buttonbox, and drummer Dave Burner. I knew a little bit about the band before seeing them as Wild Wilson had played one of their hits, Cowboy Sweetheart on his internet radio show www.wildwilson.com www.247polkaheaven.com and I believe that was my favorite song of all the songs I had heard on his show that day, but from the moment they started playing I knew that this was one incredible band.
Mollie Busta has been honored as the USPA's female vocalist of the year and I can see why. I would say that Mollie has one of the top 10 female voices not just in polka but in any genre of music. And on top of that she plays the keyboards, saxophone, trumpet and even the buttonbox. Remember the name folks, this is one quickly rising star.
The show started with Marion Lush's Dzien Dobre - "I've got a story, a cute little story on how you should start every day, just say Dzien Dobre, in Polish it means have a good day." I would like to thank John Ziobrowski, president of the Polka America Corporation for giving me some background info on this song as I had just written it down as "In Polish Means Have A Good Time" lol.
I liked every single song Squeezebox played and find it amazing that this fantastic sound comes out of a 3-piece band. Really, they could pass for a 10 piece band, they sound so good. Some of my favorites that I heard however were Never Ending Love For You, Could I Have This Dance (better than the Anne Murray version I thought), Theresa Brewer's Till I Waltz Again With You, Wooden Heart, Dean Martin's Memories Are Made of This, Beyond the Sea, Mozart's Polka, Daddy's Hand's Polka (this worked really well), the Carpenters Top Of The World, Rock & Roll Waltz, Johnny Cash's Ring Of Fire Polka and I Feel Good All Over Polka. The last song they played, Cowboy Sweetheart was the perfect conclusion to a perfect show. Live at this venue I think it sounded even better than on the cd, and I bought both of their cds at the show and I think they are great. I have listened to them in the car over and over and over again.